I chose to take this theory class during the summer session and as my only class this semester. I knew I would need extra time to read and digest the complex materials as theory isn’t my favorite subject. The course consisted of 8 assignments focused on researching different learning theories in Educational Technology. I chose to focus my research on gamification and constructivism since this is an area of education that I am currently very interested in.
I found the first learning theories paper that we were tasked with writing allowed me to explore and expand on the “why” of learning strategies more so than the “how” or “what”. As I said, I focused on Constructivism in the classroom and was able to round out my understand of what the main principles are. This will help me create student-centered projects for my classrooms that allow for learners to draw from their previous experiences.
The two main papers from this course focus on the Research (Standard 5) of the AECT standards. Both papers focused on research of the Constructivism learning theory while the final synthesis paper focused on gamificaiton in the constructivist classroom. In researching these topics, I have shown mastery of Standard 5, Research, Accessing & Evaluating, and Theoretical Foundations as well as Standard 1, Content Knowledge, Using, and Accessing & Evaluating.
This week we are tasked with exploring universal design and visual literacy. Universal design is defined as “a usable design of products and environment, accessible to all people” (Lohr, 2008, p. 5). The concept of universal design is broad and covers all design. For the scope of this assignment, I am discussing universal design in relation to visual literacy; or the ability to interpret a message or task based on its visual design elements.
As I reviewed the materials this week, I spent a bit of time thinking about what type of imagery I would use. My intention was to find what I thought was the most obvious imagery that tells a story. My mind always circled back to the bathroom people.
This representative visual tells the user quickly what privacy room to use. While the feminist in me cringes at the dress definition for my gender, I cannot argue the ease people have in reading these signs. The uses of these gender figures is what could be considered a standard, like the international no symbol, to visually represent gender. The example below is the most common use, a restroom sign. I chose this sign to represent the use of these symbols because of the layout used. I feel like the layout itself is another standard followed. Designing using already defined standards and practices makes it easier for the viewer to comprehend the message and therefore increases a persons visual literacy.
Lohr, L. (2008). Creating graphics for learning and performance: lessons in visual literacy (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson/Merrill/Prentice Hall.