Digital Skills: Developing Online Assessment Skills in Everyday Classroom Activities Western Reserve Public Media
 

Using Infographics to Present Research
This is an alternative to writing a research paper. It can also be used in conjunction with a larger research paper in which case the infographic serves as more of an abstract of the overall project.

 
I can:
  • Use information from research to create an infographic
  • Plan the content and layout of an infographic based on information from research
  • Cite sources
Tech Skills:
  • Keyboarding

  • Mouse skills

  • Editing

  • Cut/paste & drag/drop

  • Formatting

Materials and Resources:

Easelly
Easelly’s Complete Guide to Infographics e-book

“How to”
What is an Infographic?
10 Steps to Designing an Amazing Infographic

Examples
Sample 1 - Expert Driving Techniques
Sample 2 - How Much Does Prom Cost?

Link to slides used in lesson

 

Grade Level:
  • 7th-12th Grades (Can be adapted for 4th-6th grades as wel)

Subject Area:
  • All areas
Procedure:

After completing research, students will use Easelly to create an infographic that is representative of the information they have found.

 

Activity 1

Just as students must plan and prepare before writing a research paper, they must also plan before creating an infographic. Using Easelly’s Complete Guide to Infographics e-book, walk students through the planning process before they actually work on the website. Having a plan in place cuts down on the time it takes to actually “build” the infographic. Remind students that the INFO part of the infographic is critical. Making it pretty (changing fonts, colors, etc.) is secondary.

The first step is to show students the similarity in structure between a research paper and an infographic. Description: basic infographic structure.JPG


The research question is used to focus the infographic. Just as students need a thesis statement as the basis of a research paper, they must also have a thesis statement for the infographic.

The infographic title should be brief, but catchy to attract the attention of the reader quickly. Students should include their title and thesis on the Infographic planning document.

According to Easelly, “Infographics support focused data with clear design to tell a shareable story in a clear and concise manner.” Creating an infographic forces students to visualize the content they wish to share, and minimize the number of words they use to explain the information. Have students look at the organization in the sample infographics.

What is an Infographic?
10 Steps to Designing an Amazing Infographic
Sample 1 - Expert Driving Techniques
Sample 2 - How Much Does Prom Cost?

Students could work in pairs/small groups to look at the infographics and then discuss what they see with the class. Point out the way that images take up more “real estate” than words in the samples.

After the discussion, have students complete Section 1 of their infographic planning document.

 

Activity 2

Layout and Design

Once students have a good plan for the images, data, and text they want to use for their infographic, discuss layout and design with them.

Things that students need to remember as they think about layout and design:

  • Limit the color palette (no more than three colors)

  • Use simple graphics

  • Limit the number of font types (2-3 at most)

  • Use data visualizations that most clearly illustrate the data

  • The message should be obvious at a glance

  • Establish a connection between sections (the way transitions link paragraphs)

  • Make sure that graphics and numbers match

 

Review the 7 basic types of layouts:

Description: list.JPG A list layout is best used to support a specific claim or argument
Description: comparison.JPG

A comparison or versus layout is best used to:

  • Highlight differences between similar things

  • Highlight similarities between unlike things

  • Prove on option is superior/inferior to the other

Description: flowchart.JPG

The flowchart option is best used to:

  • Provide personalized answers for readers

  • Showcase how multiple situations can reach the same conclusion

Description: visual article.JPG


The visual article layout makes a piece of writing more visual and is best used to:

  • Cut down on text

  • Make a plain article more interesting

  • Increase sharing potential

Description: map.JPG The map layout showcases trends based on location. It is best used to compare places and cultures using setting specific data.
Description: data visualization.JPG

The data visualization communicates data through charts, graphics, and design. It is best used to:

  • Make data-driven arguments easier to understand

  • Make facts and statistics more interesting to observe

Description: timeline.JPG

The timeline layout tells the story through a chronological flow. It is best used to:

  • Show how something has changed over time

  • Make a long, complicated story easier to understand

  • Show how one thing leads to another


After learning about the different types of layouts, students work in their groups to look at the same samples from activity 1 to identify which of the layouts have been utilized in each of the samples. Have a class discussion about the layouts and why they fit the purpose of the information and even brainstorm other possible layouts for the same information. After the class discussion, have students complete section 2 of the Infographic Planning Document which asks students to identify the type of layout that will best suit each of their topics, and explain why that layout fits the information they will be presenting.

 

Activity 3

Once students have chosen a layout style, they should complete a rough sketch of their infographic. The layout plan should block out what goes where; remind students that this includes designing a space to list citations.

Students can do this digitally, using Google Drawing or on paper. Having a rough sketch of the layout plan will prevent students from being overwhelmed when they first go into Easelly to begin work. Easelly has countless examples and templates, so if students already have a plan in mind, they can focus their search.

 

Activity 4

Students will log into Easelly and create their infographic. Students will need to create an account in order to use Easelly and to access the infographics once they are completed. If your school uses GAFE (Google Apps) then students should create their account using the Google sign in option. This makes it easier for students to log back into their Easelly accounts since it will be the same sign in they use regularly. If your school doesn’t use Google accounts, then ask students to use some sort of standardized format with their username and password so students remember their username and passwords.

While it is perfectly appropriate for plans to change, encourage students to stick as closely as possible to their plan. Seeing all the “premade” infographics in Easelly makes it tempting to just use one that is there. Ask students to consult with you before changing the layout. This way you can discuss the reason behind the change and make sure that any change stays true to the style that best fits the information the student needs to presents.

Students will need to be reminded to save their work. Once they are finished, students either need to get a shareable link or download a pdf of the infographic.
Standards:

ELA

W.11-12.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

W.11-12.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.

W.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

W.11-12.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the strengths and limitations of each source in terms of the task, purpose, and audience; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and overreliance on any one source and following a standard format for citation.

Technology Standards

  • Develop strategies for using digital learning tools and resources to plan, implement and reflect upon a complex task.

  • Apply principles of copyright, use digital citation tools and use strategies to avoid plagiarism when using the work of others as well as creating personal work.

  • Create artifacts using digital learning tools and resources to demonstrate knowledge.

Use digital learning tools to represent and model complex systems of information to a target audience.
Supplementary Resources:

Other infographic programs

 

Digital
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