The Role of Infographics for the Development of Skills for Cognitive Modeling in Education by Ivo Damyanov and Nikolay Tsankov
Contemporary culture is a visual culture. Visual images become the predominant form of communication. Students should be visually literate and be able to read and use visual language, to decode, interpret and evaluate visual messages successfully, and, last but not least, to encode and compose meaningful visual communication. The combination of modeling with other methods in scientific knowledge increases its potential as a cognitive method. Infographics can play a significant role in the process as tool or target according to the age and cognitive abilities of the students. Information images (infographics) are visual representations of information, data or knowledge. The use of infographics as a modeling method can develop different cognitive skills such as interpretation, analysis, assessment, conclusion, explanation, which are all part of the modeling process. In fact, they can be a tool for achieving the next stage of literacy – visual literacy. All this necessitates the exploration of infographics as an instrument in the development of a comprehensive system of cognitive tasks in education related to the formation of skills for modeling. In the paper, six types of cognitive tasks in education are analyzed as well as their relation to the visual literacy competence standards approved by the Association of College & Research Libraries. A comparison of freely available infographics tools is provided and the suitability of different infographics templates is discussed.