Infographics and Spiral Questioning
Infographics are all the rage these days on social media sites. They are visually engaging and are able to share so many data points that for teachers, they represent a great tool to use.
When using any type of visual data, it’s critical that good questions be constructed and mapped out. The process, sometimes called the spiral questioning technique or detective analogy, allows teachers to query students with simple questions that build towards the complex. The pattern uses questions that are leveled (1=knowledge/comprehension, 2=application/analysis, 3=synthesis/evaluation). By starting with level 1 questions and building towards 3, students use their eyes and brains to build off of each question. Answering the next level question becomes easier because the earlier questions buoy the student with information.
As an example, here is an infographic put together with the website Visual.ly. Here’s a possible pathway you could use with students:
1. What interesting details do you notice about this infographic (level 1)
2. Who was the main user in 1991? What about 2010? (level 1)
3. What countries experienced the greatest changes in internet usage over time? (level 2)
4. How would you describe the size of the population of US to their internet usage? What about China? (level 2)
5. What might explain the rapid increase in internet usage in countries like India and China? (level 3)
6. Using this same type of infographic, what do you think it will look like ten years from now? Be prepared to defend your response. (level 3)