A visual material can refer to various elements within the electronic sector. Such elements considered as visual materials are photographs, paintings, drawings, designs and even prints (Sharma, 2006). Others include films, video and cartoons. Either, analysts argue that the three dimensional art works that include elements such as sculptures or any other architectural that can possibly be categorized as fine art can also be considered to be a visual material. There are also documentary recordings that are also considered to be of visual in nature. Analysts argue that there are those visual materials that are most like to be one of its own kinds while majority are always reproduced. Most of the reproduced visual materials are things like magazine prints and illustrations. In this paper, therefore, I tend to give a detailed expansion on the topic discussed in the book which is the usage of visual materials within the learning environments so as to enhance learning.
Further Research on Topic of Discussion
The usage of visual materials has enabled the normal learning process which constitutes ideas, data, concepts and various forms of information are associated to a significant level with techniques that provide images and pictures (Le & Lê, 2012). There are various types of visual materials and techniques used within the normal learning set up with the most common being the graphical organizers. They represent various forms of knowledge, thoughts, concepts and even ideas. Various symbols are used as a means of showing the relationship between these parts with words further used to clarify their meaning. The spatial representation of information through the usage of images allows students to focus on the various meanings of the presented information. Either, it gives students an opportunity to reorganize their ideas thus grouping those that are similar together. This improves the visual memories of the students making them better placed to comprehend information presented in different forms.
Studies have shown that there are a number of benefits that accrue whenever visual materials are incorporated within the day to day learning process for a student. The most important one concern retentions where by the studies have shown that the students develop better retention capacity (Depryck et al. 2005). This is event in the fact that the students do remember information that has been learned through combining visual and verbal representation in a better way. Either, the usage of visual materials has a significant impact on the reading capability of the students. The students’ ability to properly read comprehensions is much improved when visual materials such as graphical organizers are used within the learning environment.
The overall student achievements and performance is also affected through the usage of visual materials within the learning environment (Ma, 2006). Several studies have revealed that the visual materials have the potential of improving the general achievement levels of students, be it disabled or not, within their learning environment. Students’ grade level levels have also changed significantly. This has been further found to boost their thinking capability through the learning process. Either, visual materials are a booster to the students’ critical thinking more especially when the graphical organizers are used. There higher order thinking capabilities is significantly enhanced. The area of critical thinking is also boosted through the usage of graphical organizers. This effect has been tested and proven by various researchers who argue that when students work with visualized data, they tend to develop data literacy. This enables them collect better organized data and explore the m further through a dynamic inquiry method.
Critical thinking is also boosted whenever students employ the usage of plots and tables in the process of visually investigating and manipulating data whenever they want to analyze any set of information (Sharma, 2006). Whenever they analyze the information by looking at how they move the various types of plots such as the Venn diagrams, pie charts. Stacks and graph axis. The studies have shown that during such instances, the students do formulate pathways that link various visual images with the parts within their brains that store the acquired information. The level of information retention can be analyzed graphically when various methods are used to pass through the information.
The figure above shows level of information that is retained when various methods are used to pass the information. The level of retention is information retained is analyzed as a percentage of the original information passed through the various methods of relaying the information within the learning set up. The study found out that only 10% of the total information passed to students through oral means only was retained with a total of 90% lost during the learning process. This shows that oral methods of teaching are less effective when used alone. When the visual methods of passing information are used on the own, a total of 35% of the information passed was found to be retained.
Although the percentage of the information retained is higher compared to that retained when only oral methods are used, using visual methods of information passage alone is still not effective when used on their own. Either, when the two methods of passing information are combined within the learning set up, a total of 65% of all the information passed is retained by the students. This shows that when both oral and visual methods of passing information are used within the normal learning set up. This, therefore, requires the combining of both the oral and visual methods of information passage for students to retain a higher percentage of the information passed to them.
The visual learning can also be employed at various levels of learning as they impact differently on the learners at these different levels (Le & Lê, 2012). At infancy levels, instructors can start implementing when the infants are about 18 months and above. Such visual methods of passing information are beneficial at this stage as they help the infants develop their primary visual cortexes through the sensory information that will be stored. This will help the infants develop recognition of various moving objects, those that are static and even learn various pattern by recognizing them. At early childhood, visual materials can also be employed though at this stage the materials are found to be more advanced than at infancy level. At this stage, visual learning takes different forms as it improves through the stage. The sensory motor skills of kids, at this stage, are used more often as the kids fuse them with their improving vision so as to enable them understand better the world around them. The visual materials will thus, help them develop better at this stage when most toddlers tend to explore more of the world around them.
Visual materials can also be employed effectively at more sophisticated level in middle childhood and at adolescent level (Depryck et al. 2005). At these stages, the grey matter of the brain is found to have developed significantly thus fully generate nerve impulses that transmit information to be processed by the brain. Both the information transmitted oral and those transmitted visually are processed by the brain in equal measure and as discussed above, when the two methods of information passage are combined the students tend to process more information that they then retain within their brains. Thus, visual methods of information passage form an integral part of learning process of students that helps then retain more information.
In conclusion, therefore, visual materials are important in the day to day learning of a student. These materials do help in improving various aspects of information passage from the source to the target which are the learners. As discussed above, the visual materials are also important as they help various learners retain the information passed to them. The basic objective of any learning process is for the learners to retain substantial amount of the information they gather through the learning process. If learners are not able to retain a big portion of the information they acquire then the need for learning itself is negated. Therefore, for the main objective of the learning process to be achieved the process of information acquisition must be boosted by the usage of visual materials. Thus, visual materials form an integral part of the learning process.
Sharma, P. L. (2006). Learning Readiness. New Delhi [India: Sarup & Sons.
Le, T., & Lê, Q. (2012). Technologies For Enhancing Pedagogy, Engagement, And Empowerment In Education: Creating Learning-Friendly Environments. Hershey, Pa: Information Science Reference.
Depryck, K., Vermeersch, J., & Savage, R. (2005). Getting Started In Odl. Antwerpen: Garant.
Ma, Z. (2006). Web-Based Intelligent E-Learning Systems: Technologies And Applications. Hershey, Pa: Information Science Pub.