Scaffolding visual learning in the classroom for increased engagement

Ariel Goldenthal

Session Information

Year: 2016 | Time: 2:45pm-3:25pm | Location: Innovation Hall (Room 334)


Visual learning activities have the power to engage students across the disciplines. If, however, instructors rely solely on such an activity to teach the material, without scaffolding the visual learning properly, students are more likely to disengage and not retain the information. In my English 201: Reading and Writing About Texts course, I have been working to effectively scaffold visual learning activities to increase engagement and classroom community, make student learning more visible, and develop students’ analysis, critical thinking, writing, and problem-solving skills.

This session will focus on best practices for the use of visual learning in the classroom, starting with and then going well beyond concept mapping and visual representation of ideas, and the pedagogy behind these choices. In my English 201 classroom, visual learning has allowed students to think and learn creatively; giving them new ways to dissect challenging texts and concepts. The tangible product of such activities leaves students with a clearer understanding of the material, and this fact is not limited to the study of literature. After attending this session, faculty across the disciplines will be able to effectively scaffold visual learning activities in order to foster creative and engaged learners in their classroom.


visual learning; student engagement; critical thinking; creativity; critical thinking; pedagogy; cooperative learning; retention

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