Carefully Consider Your Use of Images in Active Learning

Images are well suited to the creation of dynamic skill-building exercises. Students can be instructed to apply the correct labels to a figure, select a location on a chart or map, or review data and other forms of information. These types of activities may depend on or be built around an image.

Additionally, selecting the right kinds of images for Active Learning can greatly impact the effectiveness of the interactive learning materials. Images help to facilitate multiple modes of learning and can create new pathways to recalling information.  Conversely, selecting images which add little value to the lesson goals can be a distraction to a student’s learning experience.

When deciding if you should add an image, ask yourself:

  • Does this image enhance the exercise for students in some way or offer a relevant subject for critique?
  • Will the image increase students’ comprehension of the material?
  • Does this image demonstrate a concept that isn’t already conveyed in other materials?

Image selection can take time and dedication. Keep in mind the value of using images that convey information in a meaningful way or contain components that lend themselves well to interactivity.

Using Images from Your Textbook

What types of textbook images would convert well to Active Learning activities?

Images from a textbook that are well suited to Active Learning activities could model a key concept, include information that a student could practice mastering through study and practice, or exemplify materials that can only be presented visually. When selecting textbook images that could translate into an activity, consider what the learning outcome would be for the student when interacting with the image in Active Learning.

Please note: If taking any images from your manuscript, please include the textbook figure number in the author notes column of the image log.

Images from Third-Party Readings

There are copyright concerns associated with using images from previously published content that was approved for your textbook, such as third-party readings used in an anthology. Many of these images will incur licensing fees or require special permissions for use in Active Learning. Please look for alternative image sources than those from third-party readings in your manuscript.