Another look at methods that improve use of visualization and data

What do you do with thousands and tens of thousands data points and an audience that might need help in making sense of it?  Plus how do you then appreciate the thought of that audience?   These are some of the questions that the researchers had.  They investigated the use of analogy and cognitive load theory when looking at the use of data from the CERN Accessible to the General Public project.   After all science is for the public and scientists have a duty to inform and to assess their effects.

Making ATLAS Data from CERN Accessible to the General Public: The Development and Evaluation of a Learning Resource in Experimental Particle Physics, Ekelin, S., & Hagesjö, L. (2017). Making ATLAS Data from CERN Accessible to the General Public: The Development and Evaluation of a Learning Resource in Experimental Particle Physics.



Eye Movement Modelling Examples

While perusing an article about how self-regulated learning is affected when learning with text and pictures (Philip H. Winne, Theorizing and researching levels of processing in self-regulated learning, British Journal of Educational Psychology2017), I came across the term EMME, Eye Movement Modelling Examples.  New to me, I used Google Scholar to look into this term.  Since my oldest is a 4th year medical student, the use of EMME to improve medical education increased my interest.  (September 2012, Volume 40, Issue 5pp 813–827 Instructional Science, Conveying clinical reasoning based on visual observation via eye-movement modelling examples.)  Improvements to medical school education that highlight strategies outside of the memorization and recall model are greatly needed.

Moreover, when testing the students’ clinical reasoning skills with videos of new patient cases without any guidance, participants studying EMMEs with a spotlight showed improved their visual search and enhanced interpretation performance of the symptoms in contrast to participants in either the circle or the control condition. These findings show that a spotlight EMME can successfully convey clinical reasoning based on visual observations.

The fact that these methodologies are being used in various content fields exemplify the extent that research into visual learning and multi-media learning is expanding to the benefit of many.

Measurement of Cognitive Load

Thanks to the people at IEEE and multidisciplinary researchers, methods of measuring cognitive load are becoming more precise.   Being able to measure cognitive load means that Instructional Designers and others can determine which types of animations, text, and multimedia enhanced material has increased learning effectiveness.

An EEG-Based Cognitive Load Assessment in Multimedia Learning Using Feature Extraction and Partial Directed Coherence, MOONA MAZHER, AZRINA ABD AZIZ, (Member, IEEE), AAMIR SAEED MALIK, AND HAFEEZ ULLAH AMIN, Centre for Intelligent Signal and Imaging Research, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Seri Iskandar 32610, Malaysia Corresponding author: Azrina Abd Aziz (, July 26, 2017, date of current version August 14, 2017.Digital Object Identifier 10.1109/ACCESS.2017.2731784-3536  2017 IEEE Access.

Translations and content mining are permitted for academic research only. Personal use is also permitted, but republication/redistribution requires IEEE permission.

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Weaving Together Literacies


Out of Stanford research, ” designed and built a web application allowing students to read and write interactive fiction and a curriculum weaving the two literacies together.  A study evaluating the curriculum found modest adoption of literacy practices from each domain. Our qualitative observations suggest a mechanism for how each literacy can support the other: . .”

Chris Proctor and Paulo Blikstein. 2017. Interactive fiction: Weaving together literacies of text and code. In Proceedings of the 2017 Conference on Interaction Design and Children (IDC ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 555-560. DOI:


Some questions about “learning” outcomes

In the following thesis the author investigated the effects of using tablets on learning.  The important take away from this study is that the researcher found no effect on success rate nor on grades.  However, the students using tablet learning devices were able to display other types of learning and its effects.  Most notably the students who used tablets conducted independent research, shared their ideas with peers and in the opinion of the researcher created new knowledge.  Specifically, users reported that the tablets’ portability and storage capacity for resources enhanced usage outside the classroom and enabled communications and information sharing with peers.   Such learning outcomes are not part of standardized testing and not always included as a grading criteria but are extremely desired in the work place.



“Interestingly, the tablet devices did not have any effect on the success rate and quality of the student grades for the respective courses they were enrolled in. The study also showed that the tablet devices were a good sharing and knowledge creating tool as the devices enabled students to conduct independent research, share ideas with peers and create new form of knowledge from the concepts they learnt.”

Richard Mayer’s Using Multimedia for eLearning

Mayer, R. E. (2017Using multimedia for e-learningJournal of Computer Assisted Learning, doi: 10.1111/jcal.12197.

“This paper reviews 12 research-based principles for how to design computer-based multimedia instructional materials to promote academic learning, starting with the multimedia principle (yielding a median effect size of d = 1.67 based on five experimental comparisons), which holds that people learn better from computer-based instruction containing words and graphics rather than words alone.”

journalAlso includes descriptions of the principles for multi-media principles that affect learning.

  • Coherence principle: Eliminate extraneous material.
  • Signaling principle: Highlight essential material.
  • Redundancy principle: Do not add on-screen text to narrated graphics.
  • Spatial contiguity principle: Please printed words next to corresponding graphics.
  • Temporal contiguity: Present narration simultaneously with corresponding graphics.
  • Segmenting principle: Break lesson into to self-paced parts.
  • Pre-training principle: Provide pre-training in key terms.
  • Modality principle: Use spoken text rather than printed text with graphics.
  • Personalization principle: Use conversational language.
  • Voice principle: Use appealing human voice.
  • Embodiment: Show on-screen agents that use human-like gestures

Fun for students, encourages research

This article explains how to use some free apps and pictures of scientists, authors, historical figures, etc., and have students script information about them.   The free apps allow the recording of the scripts using their own voice or the voice of their choosing and then animating a still photograph so that it appears to be speaking the words.   Students would pick up numerous skills and facts in this assignment and probably have quite a bit of fun.  Engaging way to research and report.

J Microbiol Biol Educ. 2017 Apr; 18(1): 18.1.90.
Published online 2017 Apr 21. doi:  10.1128/jmbe.v18i1.1228
Photo Animation Brings Scientists Back to Life in the Classroom