Visual engagement in education refers to engagement of students using visual aids. There are a number of visual aids available for teachers including pictures, models, slides, videos, maps, and real objects. All of them are equally important for encouraging learning process and making it more interesting and easier.
In the recent years, the technology has advanced visual engagement by adding several innovational ways, including co-browsing, annotations, and video chat. These methods allow to engage visual learners (which comprise 65 percent of all students) on an entirely new level.
Let’s review some of the innovative visual engagement tools.
Co-browsing is a software-enabled technique that allows a person to interact with another person using a web browser. In other words, it enables two people to interact on a web page at the same time.
Video chat is a software enabling two individuals to connect using video. It supports learning by allowing to interact with an educator or a peer.
Annotation is a software-enabled technique that allows to add arrows, notes, and other objects, or circle and outline areas of an image on a computer to highlight important information.
Benefits of the Visual Engagement
“Visual engagement is important for an educational system because it provides many great benefits for both teachers and students,” says Ross Mitchell, an educator from Prowritingpartner. “Its nature allows teachers to clarify, establish, and coordinate precise appreciations, conceptions, and support them to make learning more engaging, active, and motivating.”
Here’s the complete list of the benefits of visual engagement in education:
· Visuals help students clarify their thoughts.
· Visuals help teachers to create an environment of interest for students.
· Visuals can serve as inspiration for students.
· Visuals help students to analyze and organize information
· Visuals help students develop critical thinking by linking verbal and visual information, making connections, and understanding relationships.
· Visuals provide direct experience to students.
· Visuals help to provide an accurate picture of concepts that could not be perfectly explained by words.
· Visuals help with knowledge retention in visual learners.
Clearly, both educators and students can benefit from visual engagement. That’s why visual learning strategies are being increasingly used in classrooms across the country. The effectiveness of visual engagement tools in improving knowledge retention has been supported by scholar studies. For example, a done by researchers from the University of Indiana found that students with higher visual literacy tended to spend more time learning to use active learning approaches. On the other hand, students with low visual literacy spent more time on passive learning methods such as memorization flashcards. Another study published in Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition found that students who were given visual aids (diagrams and outlines) before a science lecture were better able to understand and remember the contents of the lecture.
According to the authors of the study, “Participants given illustrative diagrams likely engaged in deeper levels of processing while listening to the lecture.” How Can Visual Engagement Make Education Better? To support the argument of the importance of visual engagement tools, let’s review some of the ways in which it assists educators and learners in both online and traditional classrooms.
Visual engagement is equally important in an online classroom because visual materials and tools are designed to be used remotely as well. So, here are some of the reasons why visual engagement matters in a virtual classroom:
· Collaboration. Group projects are a common assignment in the remote classroom, so visual engagement tools such as co-browsing can be very useful for ensuring comfortable completion.
· Providing access to education for students living in remote areas. It’s a known fact that educational institutions in urban areas provide better educational services because they have access to fast Internet, museums, learning facilities, labs, and even more teachers. To ensure that students in rural areas enjoy a similar quality of education, video learning platforms are often used. For example, in China, they are the only opportunity to battle teacher shortage in some rural areas.
· Online training. Co-browsing, annotations and video chat tools are also used in post-secondary education to learn specific professional skills in an effective and efficient way.
· A teacher can help students with learning new apps and materials by moving with them on a web page. For example, he or she may give them information verbally while clicking on the screen, thus having complete control over the learning process.
· Inviting guest speakers and having them give a lecture via video chat is a great option for allowing students to connect with exciting speakers from around the world.
· Video chat can be used to organize virtual field trips without having to deal with parents’ permissions and costs of meals and transportation. Conclusion
Visual engagement is a valuable educational strategy that has a lot of benefits for both educators and students. Use every opportunity to encourage visual learning, take advantage of visual resources and tools, and have fun making learning more interesting!
*Lucy Benton is a high skilled editor, writer who currently works at Assignment Helper . She focuses mostly on the worlds of technology, gadgets, and the Internet. If you’re interested in working with Lucy , you can find her on Twitter.*