Visual communication refers to the transmission of information, thoughts, and ideas through visual aid in a way that can be seen, interpreted, and understood better (Machin, 2014). It also involves expressing oneself through the use of visual images and symbols. Visual communication mostly relies on vision and is generally illustrated in the drawing, images, animation, advertising, signs, and even visual messages among others (Jamieson, 2007). Visual messages are considered texts accompanied by images or signs. For instance, there is usually a written message on a pack of cigarettes saying, “Smoking is harmful to your health”. Visual messages are more educative and considerably facilitate the process of information conveying.
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It falls among three major forms of communication: verbal, non-verbal, and visual communication. All of them complement each other and at some point rely on one another for an effective communication process to occur. Visual communication supports learning in various ways. It is commonly used to teach children concepts so that they can easily remember them (Le Roux, 2009). This is because the concepts stick in their memories more easily when communicated with the help of visual aids. Though both short-term and long-term memory keeps information in bulks, the short-term “storage” is always limited (Le Roux, 2009). It cannot retain information for a long time. Therefore, it is better for the most important pieces of knowledge to be kept with areas of long-term memory.
One of the peculiarities of the human brain is that we need to complete the piece of information we want to remember with bright pictures portraying this information in order to store and keep it in the long-term memory. Children with development problems also learn best when visual aid is incorporated in their learning. Teachers of those suffering from autism should also embrace visual communication to support the learning process and help the students express themselves with ease. For example, at home such students can learn to use verbal communication through linking images with real-life situations. A teacher can use images of two or more fruits and ask them to point at the one they would. After that a teacher names the chosen fruit, and after repeating this process, these children will get the confidence to name the fruit without images.
Children with autism are also able to slowly internalize the meanings of images or signs they see. After enough rehearsal they will be able to interpret them and even have a better understanding as compared to hearing spoken words, through which they master very little information if not none. Visual communication is not easily forgotten by children as in case with verbal communication. As such, it is much more convenient to divide a particular skill bit by bit and learn it gradually (Kelly, 2014). For example, a teacher can use images to show students steps of the process of cake baking. Visual communication helps both children and adults in learning. It empowers people to participate and achieve greatness and independence. It also fosters self-esteem in people experiencing learning problems. For example, those with hearing impairment, language disorders, delays and even Down syndrome find visual communication more interesting and informative. Thus, when they get informed their self-esteem increases and they get encouraged to freely socialize with others.
Visual communication supports learning significantly as it helps in the transmission of messages faster as compared to the other forms of communication (Kelly, 2014). For instance, an image of a liver affected with liver cirrhosis due to the smoking of cigarettes will transmit information swifter and entail a serious impact in comparison to a mere explanation on the effects of cigarettes by spoken words. Visual communication also boosts students’ achievements and their capacity to organize and communicate ideas properly. Moreover, it also motivates learners to acquire more knowledge as it gives them break – some time for their brain to rest from a lot of spoken words which may be boring to them. In addition, visual communication works both ways – speaker or teacher can also take a break from much talking.
Visual literacy and intelligence positively impact one’s ability to communicate effectively and efficiently. Sufficient command of basic principles of visual literacy, students can easily conceive and make images in order to make the information easy to convey, comprehend and remember. Visual literacy and intelligence not only allow students to converse well but also to interpret visual actions; they enhance the abilities of creative thinking, critical assessing and troubleshooting of difficulties.
Another vital role of visual communication is to teach people how to deal with the objects around them effectively. This is facilitated by numerous images and pictures of the things their environment encompasses. Continued visual literacy enables one to make correct analyses of images, proper decision making and even more informed judgments concerning situations, things and people(Jamieson, 2007).
Some of the examples of visual communication include poster boards, handouts and computer assisted systems like power point. http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-visual-communication-definition-history-theory-examples.html
Using poster boards, one can clearly display pictures, charts and graphs. Poster boards are usually colorful, and this gives the real image of what is being discussed or portrayed. Just by having a glance at a poster board, one realizes what it is about even before reading the visual texts accompanying it. Poster boards are usually suspended on a rope, string or stuck to the wall using tapes. Handouts as a visual aid are important as they are portable and can be used later after an interaction. They aid people in remembering the subject under discussion. This is because by going through it, one will recall what was learned. They promote better understanding of an idea as a learner can read it over and over again in case she/he forgets. They can be used for future reference as long as a learner keeps it. Computer assisted systems, for instance, PowerPoint presentations, keep an audience and a speaker engaged and active. It is a visual communication form mainly used for long presentations. Usually, it makes the session more involved and lively. Power point slides also help the speaker in exhausting all the intended information as it is all outlined as bullet points, tables, graphs, diagrams which make the information easy to comprehend and remember.
Knowledge in visual communication has contributed so much in the scholar-practitioner–leader agenda. A comparison of learning accomplishments achieved with use of visual ways of communication and without them reveals a vast difference. One convincing example is that scholars improve their achievements when visual communication is involved in their learning. Practitioners also find it easy working in an environment with visual aid.
Communication in its three forms is very essential in daily life situations and operations. It not only contributes to the development of scholar-practitioner-leader agenda but also plays a crucial role in other fields.
Jamieson, G. (2007). Visual communication. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Kelly, V. (2014). Metaphors of resonance for visual communication design. Visual Communication, 13(2), 211-230. Web.
Machin, D. (2014). Visual communication. Berlin: De Gruyter.
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Le Roux, C. (2009). Enhancing learning and comprehension through strengthening visual literacy. Per Linguam, 25(2), 46-60.