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Graphics for Learning: Proven Guidelines for Planning, Designing, and Evaluating Visuals in Training Materials by Chopeta Lyons, Ruth C. Clark

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Chapter 6. Plan Graphics That Minimize Memory Load

CHAPTER OVERVIEW

In situations where content is complex, learners are novices, or the rate of presentation of instructional material is outside of the control of the learner, learning can be improved by using visuals in ways that reduce mental load. Mental load, which is the amount of work required of working memory, can be reduced by replacing text with visuals, by visual design and sequencing decisions, and by presenting words in audio rather than text. In this chapter we present research, psychological rationale, and examples to support the following guidelines:

  • Use graphics in place of text when the content can be communicated more efficiently visually

  • Plan graphics that are consistent in style ...

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