Visual Support for Learning

Nick Napper PhD

16,000 years of visual communication, distilled for teaching and learning design

Humans have communicated visually for thousands of years. Almost a third of our cerebral cortex is devoted to what we see, and images created in our minds.

Yet, in teaching and training this enormous cognitive resource is frequently squandered by the display of redundant screen text or images which are only vaguely relevant to the topic taught1.

Initial Teacher Training courses include scant guidance on how to use the visual medium to support understanding and help learning ‘stick’.

The research and knowledge exist to inform a generation of adult educators, however much languishes in reference books and journal articles behind pay walls.

This anomaly was the subject of my PhD2 and this website and associated resources have been created to begin to redress this imbalance in adult teaching and training.

How adults use the visual medium when learning

Images that help learning ‘stick’

Powerful imagery techniques to help you teach

How to avoid Death by PowerPoint

  1. Eilam, B. (2012). Teaching, learning, and visual literacy: The dual role of visual representation New York: Cambridge University Press
  2. Napper, N. L. (2014). An investigation into the impact of visual aids in post-compulsory education (Are text-based slides the optimum?)