The Power of Infographics to Motivate and Measure Student Learning

Sharla Short

Sharla Short is a science teacher at Vista High School. She has learned from almost two decades of teaching science at levels from kindergarten to college that if she is excited and engaged, her students will be also. Sharla strives to be a guide, providing the foundation for students to flourish in their own, unique ways.

It’s Friday, just after lunch, not my most motivated class, and in two more class days, school is out for summer. I look around and see all of the students are working, actively engaged in creating projects. Even the ones who mentally checked out weeks ago are helping classmates create images and providing feedback on the best color combinations. This is the beauty of personalized learning and infographics.

The students selected their area of research from the broader topic we studied in class. Written on the board is a reminder: “Words to support the image NOT images to support the words.”

Using graphics to tell the story forces students to really think about the information and the best way to convey the data to tell a complete story. They can’t copy and paste. They have to absorb, process, and create.

Some of my second language learners have told me they love creating infographics because the medium allows them to show what they know without worrying about language skills.

My students use the free version of Piktochart.

Last year, my science students created infographics for the BioenergizeMe Department of Energy Challenge. Some of their work can be viewed by searching for Cellulosic Biofuels and Algae is the New Fuel.

Great infographics site I’m planning to use next year to inspire my students… Compound Interest Infographic Index.

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