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Interview 1: Analysis - Research
Research > Interviews > Interview 1 Analysis
1. What is your definition of visual learning? How are the teaching methods different from conventional learning?
Visual learning = learning that relies on non-verbal visual sensory inputs. Most conventional methods in classrooms rely on verbal learning (either reading or through auditory pathways). Our minds go beyond language - visual learning leverages that.
From this reply we have a clear definition of what we count as visual learning. Since visual learning is “learning that relies on non-verbal visual sensory inputs”, our focus will become more of integrating visual learning into the classroom and to combine it with other type of learning.
2. What is your personal opinion on visual learning?
It is a great instrument for abstract, conceptual knowledge.
This reply backs up and approves of our decision to use visual learning for learning Mathematics and Science as these two subjects are both extremely conceptual. Most of Mathematics and some topics of Science are also very abstract. Since visual learning “is a great instrument for (teaching/learning) abstract conceptual knowledge”, we will continue to focus on Mathematics and Science, subjects that revolve around abstract and conceptual knowledge
3. Scientifically speaking, is visual learning more effective than conventional learning? Why?
It depends: more effective for what? We shouldn't think that different types of learning somehow exclude each other, but learn how/ when to use them in a complementary fashion. Research in this area is limited but suggests that visual learning, through concept maps for example, may be more effective for the understanding of underlying concepts and their relationships in a more abstract, systematic, manner
“Shouldn’t think that different types of learning somehow exclude each other” implies that we should not look at whether visual learning is better, or at which type of learning is the best and try to suggest using that. Rather, we should look at how we can implement visual learning more in teaching and make more use of it to complement and enhance conventional teaching methods. The example given of using concept maps can be included in our suggestion of how visual learning can be implemented in the classroom, besides our visual interactives.
4. In what way will students benefit if visual learning were to be introduced as the main medium of teaching?
I don't see the need for it to be the "main" medium. I do believe it is under-represented in schools now, so it deserves a larger presence to help students understand and internalize complex systems better. It probably would help much in math and science disciplines.
As we can see from Mr. Fernandez’ response to our question, there is definitely a need to integrate more of visual learning inside our curriculum. As such, we want to skew our project not only to providing visual learning tools freely, but also to sell our idea that visual learning deserves a much larger presence in schools. This way, it will have a much larger-scale impact leading to education all around the world to improve tremendously. Mr. Fernandez in his response also mentioned about help much in math and science disciplines. This agrees with our stand of having maths and science visual interactive and thus justifies our reason for doing so.
5. Scientifically speaking, how would other types of learning work? (e.g. Auditory and kinesthetic)?
It depends- work for what? Kinesthetic learning is critical for procedural knowledge (how to ride a bike, how to dance? Auditory is very important for disciplines that rely heavily on language.
As seen from the response, there are many different aspects of learning. There is no such thing called the best or perfect formula, it all depends on what subjects the student are learning. As such, we can see that schools should start to incorporate many different types of learning for different subjects compared to plain whiteboard teaching. However, we feel that in our research project, although we may consider the other types of learning as an add-on to our project in the future, should focus on one key aspect. And from a pre-project survey, we found out that most people are visual learners. This can be interpreted in two ways – they are more inclined to learning visually (i.e. they learn better with visual learning) or they prefer to learn visually. Either way, we can see that visual learning would have a better response and greater impact when introduced, therefore we decided to focus more on visual learning.
6. How do you think visual learning can be carried out in the classroom?
My proposal: every year. In the first and last session of each subject, students should be asked to draw and share a concept map of their current understanding of the subject. That would help students learn the key concepts in more depth, and the teacher tailor the instruction to student's needs.
This is a very practical strategy. Visual learning should not be only confined to visual interactive, but drawing or making concept maps are part of visual learning too. Therefore, to sum up and give a mental picture, we can have a visual picture of the whole topic using concept maps to not only give an outline but also reinforce the learning and understanding. It would also “help students learn the key concepts in more depth” and “the teacher tailor the instruction to student’s needs”. Therefore, our website should not only focus on selling our idea of visual interactive as integration of the curriculum but also different forms of visual learning that can be applied in the classroom. These suggestions would be useful for teachers and students, and they will make learning more effective.
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