Why Design Matters For Educators And Learners

Source: ASIDE 2016
We just finished attending the New York College Learning Skills Association (NYCLSA) Symposium in Saratoga. We met impressive educators who shared their expertise and resources, and we presented “Design Gives Context To Content To Engage Learners.” The following is an excerpt of why we feel so passionate about this topic.

The harmony between form and function not only applies to design, but it also relates to the synergy between educator and learner. It supports both. Good design of information guides the attention of our students, creating a relationship between context and content. It allows for engagement without distraction.

Design Matters, because it can:

  • Steer the eye of the viewer
  • Remove the noise and congestion
  • Separate ideas into succinct areas
  • Create a consistency across materials
  • Align information for clarity
  • Establish a hierarchy of content
  • Make information easier to navigate

Design plays an integral part in the skills of graphicacyvisual literacy, and visual thinking. If companies spend billions of dollars on advertising to grab our attention, it would make sense for educators to think about information design as well. With the growing industry of online learning, how we incorporate visual information makes a difference not only in the way a student engages with the content, but also how he or she comprehends the information over the long run.

Source: ASIDE 2016
Attention, comprehension, and retention, or “ARC,” are inextricably linked when the visual information is included in the overall design of content. It’s why people and kids remember commercial, jingles, logos, and brands. The connection increases engagement with the material, making it memorable. The more we incorporate these aspects into our teacher toolkit, as well as in the options that students have to deliver content, the deeper the link to the material.

Source: ASIDE 2016

Design can influence the perception of information, the visual communication, and the engagement with text. It enables learners to make associations, and it provides opportunities for greater understanding.