Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Developing Instructional Materials that Communicate: Connecting Visual Literacy, Cognition, and Culture

Amy C. Bradshaw.

Visually complex and rich instructional materials may support learning or make a learning task unnecessarily challenging. Particularly in cases where there is no instructor to clarify meanings and relationships it is vital that the message(s) of the instruction be easily accessible. Poorly designed instructional materials, regardless of the medium used, have the potential to distract learners’ attention from the message and to turn it onto the delivery system itself. Although many design guidelines have been produced, the limitations of most standards are that (a)assertions are not fully supported by research, (b) context is ignored, and (c) prescriptive guidelines are not conducive to formative and summative evaluation processes.

Research is needed that combines visual and instructional design elements in realistic ways to determine factors or combinations of factors that may hinder learning while acknowledging the context-driven nature of successful design choices. Further, developers need methods of evaluation and feedback that can be used to improve existing presentations.

Informed by screen design research and by professional practice, this presentation discusses strategies for developing effective instructional materials, integrating considerations of visual literacy, cognition, and cultural perspectives.

The presenters will discuss relevant literature, including concepts such as cognitive load, cognitive overhead, and need for cognition, and will summarize findings from our current line of research that explores effects of "presentation interference" in a variety of contexts and using various media.


Amy C. Bradshaw  (United States)
Assistant Professor
Instructional Psychology and Technology
University of Oklahoma

  • Instructional Materials
  • Learning
  • Visual Literacy
  • Screen Design
  • Cognition
  • Culture
  • Presentation Interference

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)