Development and Use of Visual Explanations: Harnessing the Power of the Seeing Brain to Enhance Student Learning: Teaching Tips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

When students come to class, they bring with them the most powerful processor known to man - the human brain Our job as teachers is to discover and implement practices that will make the most effective use of those brains. The human brain is a very powerful processor of sensory information, especially with regard to the sense of vision. We can harness the power of the "seeing" brain to enhance students' learning by providing ("feeding") our students with concrete experiences that are replete with information-rich visual explanations, such as images, diagrams, graphs, video clips, animations, anthropomorphic images, cartoons, samples, demonstrations, experiments, and performances of our subject matter, rather than relying on word-only (verbal and/or text) explanations. As far as our brains are concerned, the old saying "A picture's worth a thousand words" is really true Thus, the focus of this teaching tip is to explore the benefits and practical aspects of "feeding" visual explanations ("food") to the sensory portion of our students' brains to enhance their learning and to encourage others to not only use visual explanations in their teaching, but also to develop visual explanations specific to their subject matter and to share them with others. This article also provides students and instructors alike with 3 animations, in QuickTime format, and a PowerPoint presentation containing a number of example visual explanations. These materials are available as supplementary materials on the journal website and can be downloaded for free educational use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)68-72
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Food Science Education
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Education

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