Universal Design & Visual Literacy

Google Classroom Graphic

 

When I was tasked with this assignment, I immediately had a visual in mind that I had used with my students to take the guesswork out of Google Classroom and how it works.  The graphic was created by Alice Keeler.  The principle of universal design as it pertains to visual literacy combines words and visuals in such a way that regardless of prior experience with the content the learner is able to ascertain the meaning of the visual, according to Linda Lohr.

 

Given the K-12 examples in the text, I felt that a visual with numbers, text, and images was a good representation of this visual learning theory.  The clearly numbered parts let the user know what needs to be done 1st, 2nd, and so on in order to set up a Google Classroom account and navigate the various features.  By placing the numbers that correspond with directions on a screenshot of Google Classroom, there is no confusion about where to enter information or what to select first.  This allows the end user to have a clear sense of the sequence of events (page 18).

 

However, this element does not transcend to all other languages as it is a mixture of both visual and textual representations.  In order to be truly universal, there would need to be strictly graphic in nature.  Numeric systems for the vast majority of the globe are universally understood, however, there are those in Asia that have different characters which they rely upon as their primary numberic representation.

Lohr, L. (2003). Creating graphics for learning and performance: Lessons in visual literacy. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

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