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Why visual learning is more effective?

  1. Aug 2, 2013 #1
    We pick up things much more quickly if they are presented to us in a graphical manner instead verbally? Why is that? Basically I am looking for an answer in a neuro-biological perspective.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2013 #2

    tiny-tim

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    I don't think that's true.

    Does it apply to cooking?

    Surely it only applies when it applies? :confused:
     
  4. Aug 2, 2013 #3

    atyy

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    Not sure Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay would agree :tongue2:
     
  5. Aug 2, 2013 #4

    Pythagorean

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    The visual system probably has the most bandwidth. Ears are basically just two point sensors, while each retina is a whole sensory array, allowing a lot of information at once.

    The somatic system is arguably larger and more complicated, but it tells us more about ourselves than the outside environment (i.e. muscle sensors tell us about the relative position of our body parts.) Skin does tell us a bit about our external environment, but it would be rather troublesome to fit lessons to the shape of a human body to transmit information and our skin's "resolution" isn't actually that great. Eyes are superior in that they can remotely detect shape and color without the objects having to conform to a specialized geometric shape.

    Of course, the best lessons involve both visual and audio input. No single learning style should be overemphasized:

    Harold Pashler, Mark McDaniel, Doug Rohrer and Robert Bjork (2009). "Learning Styles: Concepts and Evidence". Psychological Science in the Public Interest 9 (3): 105–119. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6053.2009.01038.x. ISSN 1539-6053.

    Coffield, F., Moseley, D., Hall, E., Ecclestone, K. (2004). Learning styles and pedagogy in post-16 learning. A systematic and critical review. London: Learning and Skills Research Centre.
     
  6. Aug 2, 2013 #5

    Evo

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    Some people find it easier to look, it takes less effort if something is demonstrated for them. But not all people prefer it. I, for one, like to read, but I know many people that prefer to have it simplified and have it all visually explained. Like the old saying goes "one picture is worth a thousand words".
     
  7. Aug 2, 2013 #6
    So it depends person to person. I believe there is a part of the brain that deals with language and some that deals with vision and image processing.
    So people who prefer being verbally explained have the language part of the brain more active and similarly for visual learning?
     
  8. Aug 3, 2013 #7

    somasimple

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  9. Aug 3, 2013 #8
    Visual system is much more evolved than some of the mechanisms involved with language, as somasimple implies our survival depends on how well do we process all the information that comes to us, humans are sensory beings and vision is an important sense. Brains, over hundreds of millions of years of evolution, have developed extensive hardware to process sensory information.
    This is why do we process more easily information in a graphic way, remember that reading and listening require a higher level of abstraction, thus more processing required by the brain.
     
  10. Aug 4, 2013 #9
    I think that the idea that various people have different learning styles has never been proved, despite many attempts. But as far as I know it is true that everyone learns in all of the different ways, and can benefit from using a variety of methods - does anyone know if this has been tested? I know it certainly seems that way in my classes, but it would be pretty cruel of me to have a control group who get no pictures or games!
     
  11. Aug 4, 2013 #10

    Pythagorean

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    RabbitWho, see my references.
     
  12. Aug 4, 2013 #11

    How did I miss that before? Very helpful thanks! Don´t forget kinetic learning. I found kids stopped getting the numbers mixed up when they had a physical movement with each one, so we all went through counting like a dance..

    You might say "why not just count on your fingers" but what happens then is every movement is so similar that the child says "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12"
     
  13. Aug 5, 2013 #12

    Evo

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    It is quite well known there are different learning types.
    http://h30458.www3.hp.com/ww/en/smb/998493.html
     
  14. Aug 5, 2013 #13

    Evo

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    Pyth, you know better than to fail to post links to papers. The first paper is http://psi.sagepub.com/content/9/3/105.abstract

    The second is http://www.voced.edu.au/content/ngv13692

    Please add the link to the papers as a courtesy to our members, as we request, not type out info on papers and then expect members to go and try to hunt them down themselves. That is not what we expect here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  15. Aug 5, 2013 #14

    It most certainly is not quite well known, it is quite well believed.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/201...l-learner-scientists-say-its-unlikely?ps=cprs


    http://www.psychologicalscience.org...ry-and-visual-learning-psychologists-say.html



    Nearly all of the studies that purport to provide evidence for learning styles fail to satisfy key criteria for scientific validity. Any experiment designed to test the learning-styles hypothesis would need to classify learners into categories and then randomly assign the learners to use one of several different learning methods, and the participants would need to take the same test at the end of the experiment. If there is truth to the idea that learning styles and teaching styles should mesh, then learners with a given style, say visual-spatial, should learn better with instruction that meshes with that style. The authors found that of the very large number of studies claiming to support the learning-styles hypothesis, very few used this type of research design. Of those that did, some provided evidence flatly contradictory to this meshing hypothesis, and the few findings in line with the meshing idea did not assess popular learning-style schemes.
     
  16. Aug 5, 2013 #15
    I want to give an example of why I think learning styles are a useful model even if they aren't real:

    http://www.biology4kids.com/files/cell2_meiosis.html

    If the person who wrote that was laboring under the false impression that learning styles were important they would have included a diagram for visual learners, a game for kinetic learners, and an audio file for auditory learners. They might even have written a little rhyming song about meiosis!

    This would have improved the learning of absolutely any kid that goes to read that article, regardless of whether learning styles are real.
     
  17. Aug 5, 2013 #16

    Pythagorean

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    As the references I posted indicate, there is no benefit to tailoring lessons to learning style. Instead, naively using a combination of learning styles was found to produce the best result.
     
  18. Aug 5, 2013 #17

    Sorry, I'd bookmarked them to read later as I'm not sure when I'll have internet access again and there is a lot I need to get done before I lose it!
     
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