How to Use Infographics to Drive Deeper Learning Plus Editable Templates

The art and craft of inquiry is nothing new to education; it has been around since the early days of Socrates.

However, the notion of deeper learning through an inquiry-driven approach has somewhat recently resurfaced and become quite the buzz as a student research method.

There are various approaches a teacher may take to approaching student inquiry, from the Question Formulation Technique to the 5Es of science instruction, all of which are process-oriented.

So how do we show all the incredible thinking and questioning throughout the inquiry-driven research process?

Let’s take a closer look at how you can use infographics for inquiry-driven research and its role in deeper learning in the classroom.

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Want to get started with Piktochart’s online infographic maker right away in the classroom? Go to A Student’s Guide to Getting Started With Piktochart.

What exactly is deeper learning? 

Here’s what Maryellen Weimer, PhD, retired Professor Emeritus of Teaching and Learning at Penn State has to say about deeper learning: 

“Typically, it’s defined by what it is not. It’s not memorizing only to forget and it’s not reciting or regurgitating what really isn’t understood and can’t be applied.”

According to the Deeper Learning Hub, Deeper Learning is a combination of higher-order thinking skills, learning dispositions, and the collaboration skills needed for students to succeed in the 21st century. 

The six competencies of deeper learning are: 

  1. Content expertise
  2. Collaboration
  3. Self-directed learning
  4. Critical thinking and problem solving 
  5. Effective communication 
  6. Academic mindset 

With these competencies in mind, infographics have much to offer to help students engage in deeper learning.

How infographics help inquiry-driven research to foster deeper learning 

According to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, understanding key principles and relationships within a content area and organizing that information in a conceptual framework is one crucial skill to help develop deeper learning in students. 

Sounds good, right? But what does that look like?

Inquiry-driven research typically consists of four phases for students:

  1. Asking a series of questions about something they would like to know more about. 
  2. Identifying reliable resources to help them answer those questions. 
  3. Reviewing the data provided in those resources. 
  4. Summarizing those findings to help them develop a claim that addresses their initial question.

In short, “inquiry learning means living in the soup“, or living in that uncomfortable space where we don’t know the answer.”

Guiding students through this process can get messy and quickly turn into that sinking feeling when you are “living in the soup” and aren’t sure how to move forward.

The great news is you can use infographics in the classroom to develop deeper learning among students.

Infographics enable students to distill what’s most important in their findings (main ideas, shocking statistics, telling quotations, etc.) and display them in a way that is appealing to an audience. This critical thinking process in and of itself pushes students deeper in their learning.

Visual storytelling in inquiry-based learning

Once students have shaped their findings into a conceptual framework, infographics can further facilitate students going deeper in their learning by identifying visual representations of/for their ideas.

This process requires the ability to analyze information and make a connection to an often unrelated and/or real-world context. 

This process moves students up the ladder of Bloom’s Taxonomy into the upper levels of analyzing, evaluating, and creating.

Visual storytelling is quite common in marketing- something we are all subject to as consumers and technology users. As a rapidly growing practice in the 21st century, preparing our students to analyze existing visuals and learn to create them seems important.

Infographics also provide a purpose for this form of digital and visual literacy while offering students an opportunity to apply these skills. 

Once students have conducted their research, they can think about how to “package” it to share with an audience, put visual storytelling techniques into practice, and hit a few Common Core Standards along the way.

Sharing findings of inquiry-based learning through infographics

When research is student-driven, there is a higher level of ownership for student work. This makes students more likely to want to share their learning with an audience, and infographics provide a beautiful outlet for this.

As students are researching to develop an answer to their initial question, the teacher can provide this valuable guiding question: “Who would benefit from hearing the information we are finding in our search?”

From there, students can learn about this particular population and develop their infographic with this audience in mind.

Now that your students have a framework to guide their findings and an audience to share them with, the road to deeper learning is already paved with infographics.

Infographic examples and templates you can use for your next inquiry-based learning activities

Infographic examples and templates you can use for your next inquiry-based learning activities

The possibilities are endless with infographics in inquiry-based learning activities. Here are some topics and templates to help you get started.

 Get a free Piktochart account for access to the templates below.

1. 5 stages of design thinking

5 stages of design thinking infographic

2. 9 types of learners

9 types of learners infographic

3. The scientific method

the scientific method infographic

4. Impact of depression on the immune system

Impact of Depression on the Immune System infographic

5. Fractions in real life

Fractions in real life report infographic

6. Sun 101: What you need to know

Sun 101: What you need to know infographic

With Piktochart’s infographic maker, it’s easy to create infographics in the classroom. Start creating today with a free Piktochart account.

More resources to help foster deeper learning in the classroom through infographics

Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published on August 24, 2016 and updated on August 9, 2022 for relevance, new templates, and comprehensiveness.

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