A month or so ago, I designed an infographic about a topic that is particularly disturbing: Forced sterilization of transgender people. In all my years as a student, this is by far the hardest project I have ever done (well, apart from my dissertation proposal!!!!). It took me a lot of time researching the topic but the end result was well worth my efforts.I say “hardest project” just because there is so much information out there and every bit seems too important to ignore. I had to pick certain elements over the others; I had to keep it neat and concise and yet make it as informative and instructive as possible. The best part was to design the layout myself and create assets using PowerPoint. I didn’t have to download images, except the maps. So no worries about attribution! I plan to use this infographic as an instructional tool when I teach my Gender & Sexuality class next semester.
So what is an infographic? Here is an infographic about an infographic!!After this project, I started looking for ideas for my students in French class. The first year students might have difficulty using the target language, but I think this kind of projects will work well for advanced students. I am thinking about pop culture or museums in Paris for which students can do research, gather assets and present in class. A simple Google search yields hundreds of infographics on any topic you want for inspiration. When researching infographic examples, I came across so many student projects that were so beautifully executed. Having students create an infographic on their topic of interest can be instructional as well as fun. If planned well, infographic projects can be used to foster creativity. Let’s face it, no matter how many hours we spend preparing the perfect lesson plans, sometimes the topic itself is so boring, that students lose interest quickly. One of the ways to increase student engagement is to get the students to think about how to present information visually. Students are encouraged to dig deeper and go beyond what they know. Design elements are important but the main focus is on research. You can choose to assess the design as well as the content while also giving equal importance to research skills and presentation. Research is an important skill for students to possess in the 21st century. In an online environment, this could be a very productive way for students to engage in research projects. The infographic I designed is indeed for an online class here in UCD.
Here are some websites and information on infographics for teachers and students.The teachers who use infographics project have some awesome ideas, tools, books, websites and examples that will definitely inspire you!