As you’ve no doubt figured out, I’m big on visuals. Someone pointed me to this site, and I like how he talks about the role models can play. He’s made a business out of creating diagrams to capture understandings and share them. Similar work is done by Dave Gray’s XPLANE, and (more with imagery than with diagrams) Eileen Clegg’s Visual Insight.
The goal is to understand someone’s models, and make them explicit in a way that captures understanding and shares it to support conversation, modification, and closure. I make diagrams myself (as I’ve mentioned before) as a way to understand things, and use them to solve problems. The visual pattern-matching channel is very powerful.
I’ve argued that we don’t use conceptual models enough in elearning, and that we should be using them to communicate the concept, show their use in examples, and highlight their predictions in practice feedback. Their practical use in communication and problem-solving also shouldn’t be overlooked!