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Objective 2.3 – Visually Represent Information


Description of Objective 2.3 – Visually Represent Information

This objective requires an approach allowing the visual representation of the information, hence to demonstrate its understanding, whether it be a logical consequence of the search process and information analysis or simply the acquisition of ideas being presented in a course.

Visually representing information allows one to organize ideas, data or concepts, to structure them and to create links among them. This allows seeing at a glance all of the information gathered or analyzed, or only one portion of it.

Supplemental Information

Students build up a picture of the information so that it takes form in their mind. They express ideas in a graphic or visual manner.

This operation consists of representing what is useful, relevant and important according to a research question or an assumption. It also aims at acquiring an overview of the ideas and to organize the student’s knowledge in order to facilitate memorization and also understanding of a topic.

Each visual presentation is unique because it illustrates the understanding that students have of the concepts and of the relationships they establish between the different elements.

This mental activity requires training. To visually represent information is not a natural skill given to all. “Spatial Intelligence is an area in the theory of multiple intelligences that deals with spatial judgment and the ability to visualize with the mind's eye.” (Source, Wikipedia. Spatial intelligence (psychology). The more practice students get, the easier this approach becomes. This technique has every reason to be explored and developed.

Requirements - Suggestions

To develop this objective and obtain feedback, students present their teacher with:

  • a list of elements of information that were retained, and briefly explain its general organization;
  • the justification for their choices (types of presentation and tool).

To demonstrate the mastering of this objective, students must be able to:

  • produce an adequate organization of the elements of information;
  • select the right type of visual presentation and the right tool;
  • use the functionalities of the selected tool to produce a visual presentation that meets the criteria of quality as stated by the teacher.

Potential Tools

Using a procedure appropriate to a selected type of visual representation is particularly useful in supporting students in learning this objective.

A teacher must not assume that students can create such representations alone after their first contact with this technique. It is in a teacher’s interest to support students by giving them instructions and examples. This is an important step that will guide students in reinvesting in this type of representation in other contexts or assignments.

Since all types of presentation are varied, so are the tools. Most types of presentations and potential tools are relevant and useful in all disciplines (drawing tools, map view, tables, concept maps, etc.). However, there is a certain level of specialization in some domains of study. For example, creating a schema is relevant in all disciplines, but there are disciplinary variations such as organigrams, sociograms, genograms, etc. Also, disciplinary differences can be seen in the symbols and objects used in visual presentations. For example, a factory development plan will include materials, electric outlets and machinery, while the development plan of a daycare centre will include different objects such as furniture, toys, etc.

In Practice

The approach presenting information is similar in all areas, whether one studies in Fine Arts, Health Science or in Social Work (Perreault, 2014).

Here are some examples of this objective’s applications:

  • in Entry Programs (Tremplin-DEC), prepare and carry out an oral presentation with the help of a concept map by summarizing one’s knowledge of the program according to a given theme;
  • in History, create a timeline including dates, facts and pictures of politicians in order to portray the evolution of democracy;
  • in Business Administration, create a hierarchical organizational chart to analyze the structure of an enterprise;
  • in Special Care Counselling, create a genogram to analyze the highlights and emotional bonds in families;
  • in literature, generate a word cloud to bring into focus the degree of importance of themes in a text; in Psychology, represent, using concept or mental maps, information previously found, analyzed and structures concerning the difference between classical conditioning and current conditioning.

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