I was invited to one of Dr. Matthew Peterson's research projects: Learning Through Visual Metaphor. This research started with middle school science textbooks as a test to be used in other subjects and learning environments. I conceived and created symbols, images and their subsequent materials surrounding learning through visual metaphor. I implemented these concepts beyond textbooks (ipad and other classroom materials) overseeing the collaborative assistance of then undergraduate design student Bella Reinhofer.
Science curriculum materials, particularly textbooks, rely heavily on diagrams and other visualizations of phenomena to convey core concepts and critical ideas. While the content of these visualizations is generally informed and vetted by scientists, the pedagogical design and the ways in which these visualizations have been informed by principles of visual communication are typically not given a high degree of scrutiny. And yet multimedia learning theory (Mayer, 2009) and other theories of instructional design argue that the manner in which these visualizations are constructed can have a significant impact on how people learn from them. We argue that substantial research needs to focus on the characteristics of effective visualizations for learning, and we propose specifically to investigate and create proof-of-concept designs that employ an especially promising element of learning media: visual metaphor. We intend to explore the application of visual metaphors to both non-interactive (textbooks) and interactive (tablet and handheld applications) visualizations, and we ultimately aspire to assemble principles of visual learning design that can be employed to domains that go beyond science education. –Peterson, Wise, Lindgren, Cox, & Mathayas, 2015, full Paper available here
Metaphor as symbol: recognition, response, understanding and application (with options)
Concepts in use of symbol in textbook incorporating mnemonic type, constructed metaphor using juxtaposition and iconic imagery, illustration, layout techniques, embedded symbol in text for further recognition and symbol/image overlay. These game and play learning techniques inspired use in other platforms, such as ipad.
ipad Learning: Interactive and progressive language and concept learning via text, image and audio functions. Drag and drop symbol/image game, photography search and documentation for empirical understanding, features interactive cloud based library for group sharing and reward.