1 Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto (PORTUGAL)
2 Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade do Porto (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN18 Proceedings
Publication year: 2018
Pages: 6772-6781
ISBN: 978-84-09-02709-5
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2018.1607
Conference name: 10th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2018
Location: Palma, Spain
Although there is a current well stablished and eminent role for infographics in the learning and communication of science, studies have been focusing on opinions rather than on results at either cognitive or attitudinal levels and not a lot of attention has been given to audiences’ previous representations regarding the topics depicted in infographics, or how these might affect effectiveness of communication. The present research aims to clarify the role of social representations on participants’ levels of effortful thinking and attitude formation when these are processing persuasive science communication messages via digital infographics, with a focus on the recent topic of marine litter. An experimental pre-posttest design with two conditions will be used. The participants of the research are first year college students from Arts. Our research can fall into three main steps; in a first step, accordingly with the theory of social representations, participants will be investigated in relation with the way they come to represent the theme of marine litter, empathizing the moment of data collection. In a second step, a redesign and reconstruction of a multimedia infographic about marine litter will take place, in order to include participants’ social representations on the topic. An already published online digital infographic about marine litter, developed by a Portuguese newspaper team, will be used as a basis for the redesign process. In a third step, participants will randomly be assigned to one out of two conditions of infographic processing - in the first condition, the infographic used will be the one developed by the newspaper team, which does not attend to participants’ social representations on marine litter; in the second condition, the redesigned infographic, which attends to participants’ social representations, will be used. According to the elaboration likehood model, levels of elaboration or effortful thinking of both situations will be measured and compared to best understand if attending to participants’ social representations while designing infographics for communicating scientific topics improves the quality of communication and persuasion levels in participants. Data will be collected through a questionnaire which includes three distinct parts; a free association assessment of marine litter and infographics related social representations within the participants and a marine litter related knowledge assessment; two attitudinal scales with three dimensions – cognitive, affective and behavioral - related first with the marine litter topic, and secondly, with infographics; and, finally, an assessment of participants’ sociodemographic information. Expected results are an increase on participants’ elaboration levels when they process the infographic message that was redesigned to attend to their social representations on marine litter, when compared to the situation in which such message was not redesigned. This study is significant for the area of science communication, as it will help to clarify the role of social representations in the construction of scientific messages. Current work includes the gathering of data on forming social representations related with marine litter within our participants, which will lay the foundations for the redesign of the selected infographic message of our study. Upcoming results intend to be presented at the time of the conference and in the final resulting paper.
Marine litter, social representations, infographics, elaboration likehood model, science communication.