Submitted by Barbara Reisner / James Madison University on Mon, 11/18/2019 - 17:06

One of the beautiful things about being on educational leave (my institution’s word for sabbatical) is that I have more time to browse the literature. Last week, I was catching up on the Journal of Chemical Education and discovered an ASAP article on connecting organic concepts with real-world contexts by creating infographics. I thought this was a great idea and was thinking of trying out infographics in my class next year so I decided to ask my IONiC friends on Discord if they’d tried something similar.

That’s how a lively Friday afternoon/Monday morning conversation started on Discord. 

  • Anthony Fernandez (Merrimack) pointed out that Jerome Robinson (Brown) had already published an LO about using infographics in Organometallic Chemistry nearly 2 years ago! It turns out that many members of the community have tried infographics. 

  • Kyle Grice (DePaul) had used infographics as part of a global learning experience module in inorganic lab. Specifically, his students have constructed an infographic on the public perception of nanotech. (If you’re curious, you can catch his presentation in Philly at the ACS National Meeting.) 

  • Amand Reig (Ursinus) had students create infographics on spectroscopic techniques in a special topics class. One important thing she learned was that students really need to understand the concepts they are trying to communicate to make a quality infographic. 

  • Joanne Stewart (Hope) echoed that sentiment - infographics uncovers shallow understanding. She had students use Piktocharts in her general education course to explain the mechanisms for climate change on different time scales. 

  • Brad Wile (Ohio Northern) shared that he’s been doing an infographics project for several years by having students prepare infographics to explain metal interactions with the body to a (fictitious) crazy relative. The resources for his activity are here

  • I also found another JCE article on using infographics as a tool for science-communication assessment and a means of connecting students to departmental research.

Do you have any experience using infographics? Have you used this LO? Please consider sharing!

And if you’re not on Discord, I encourage you to join and participate in the fun!