LEARNING STATISTICS USING INFOGRAPHICS: A POWERFUL TOOL TO ENGAGE COMMUNICATION STUDENTS IN LEARNING ACTIVITIES
Escola Superior de Comunicação Social (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 8-9 March, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:We live in an information-driven society, where statistics play an important role, and are used in many different fields, for instance, business, political, advertising or social activities. Furthermore, statistics have been used to help decision makers develop informed policies that impact millions of people. Consequently, they constantly appear in news on social media. So, it is very important promoting statistical literacy. Specially when dealing with communication students since they are not just consumers, they will also be producers of statistical news. That is a big challenge due to the fact that our communication students do not have a great interest in statistics and do not feel at ease with numbers. A way to overcome this difficulty is teaching using infographics. They are a visual tool to help understanding a concept or data set, and communicating it clearly and effectively by using visual elements, which are much more enjoyable to read.
The main goals are engaging communication students in class activities, motivate them to learn statistics and equipping future communication professionals with the necessary statistical knowledge and skills to search, read, critique and communicate statistical information accurately.
This approach to develop media infographics has been carried out in three phases. In the first one, students should understand the infographic message and identify the core story supported by each component: data point, piece of text, and design element. Critically analyze how data is visually reported is the second phase, in which students explore the possibility of biased or incorrect information, including data sources and their validity. After these two phases students should be able to make and discuss their own infographics, based on actual and official data, avoiding the most common errors.
This approach promotes class debate and get students more involved. Furthermore, at the end of the course students are able to:
(1) Identify the best data source according to their goal;
(2) Choice of statistical methods to report data properly;
(3) Communication of data in an accurate way and candy eye manner;
(4) Development of critical thinking.
This experience reveals that analyzing and drawing infographics based on real data, can be a powerful motivator for students to learn and improve their statistical skills which is increasingly necessary in a data-centric world.
Keywords: Statistics, teaching, communication professionals, infographics.