Jay Cross is highlighting visuals. I’m very conceptual, so I don’t usually use photographs, but I’m very big on graphics. Those who know me and/or have heard me speak will know that I’m always bringing in or creating graphics around the models I use.
And I’m big on models. In fact, I load a number of them on my Treo to carry around. They get too small to read, but the spatial relationships are there and I can refer to them or share and talk to them (one of the ways I strive to see how my ‘external brain’ can make me smarter).
The power of graphics is, as implied above, capturing conceptual relationships spatially. Jill Larkin & Herb Simon had a great Cognitive Science article on “Why pictures are worth a 1000 words” that talked about this.
As one of my steps to better elearning, I recommend multiple representations (from Rand Spiro’s Cognitive Flexibility Theory) of the concept. I believe that if you’re presenting a concept, there are probably conceptual relationships, so you should be able to create a spatial mapping, and always at least supplement prose with a diagram at minimum.
So, why haven’t I included them in my blogs? Because, frankly, I don’t know how! So I experimented to see if WordPress would know to upload an image if I specified I want one, but instead it wants a URL. So I guess I might have to go wild and create a page somewhere or something. Stay tuned!
More visuals, please!