2023 Atlanta National Conference

March 22-25, 2023

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FILTERS APPLIED:9 - 12, Poster, Curriculum and Assessment, Literacy


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Cognitively-Based Design Principles for more Effective Science Diagrams

Friday, March 24 • 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Georgia World Congress Center - Exhibit Hall, Poster Session Aisle

STRAND: Research to Practice

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Students in K-12 science classrooms don’t think about diagrams the same way adults do, and can be easily “overloaded.” Research in cognition gives us tools to make science diagrams that more effectively support learning. Surprise: often, students learn more without features like arrows and colors!

Effective diagrams direct student attention to the most important information and relationships while minimizing cognitive load. Strategies for doing so include tree structures, explicit cues for implicit information, replacing realistic photos with illustrations, and use of the proximity principle.

Audrey Rabi Whitaker (Academy for Young Writers: Brooklyn, NY)

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