Teacher Tap

Graphic Elements

Visuals provide an attractive and effective way to convey information.

Explore the following types of graphics you may wish to incorporate into your course:


With the introduction of easy-to-use comic software like Comic Life, it's possible to create high-quality instructional comics.

Examples of comics:

To learn more, read Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, & Comics: Technology-Enhanced Learning.

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers are one way for visual thinkers to arrange their ideas. Graphic organizers have many names including visual maps, mind mapping, and visual organizers. Although many people plan with paper and pencil, technology tools can be very helpful because they allow easy editing. It's easy to take a photo of a graphic organizer created with paper and pencil so it can be shared on the web. Inspiration is an easy to use software package for creating graphic organizers. Download a trial. You can export Inspiration documents as web pages. Try Webspiration for an online example. Check out examples such as Civil War.

Examples of graphic organizers:


Diagrams, line drawings, timelines, and other images are useful in online courses. Also look for scanned artifacts such as student examples.

For instance on the Inquiry - An Overview page notice the student artwork.

Examples from Shaping Outcomes

Notice how visuals are used in the following courses:


Learn more about Illustrations from High Tech Learning.


Use photographs to illustrate concepts and provide additional information. These may be original works such as those taken on a field trip or resources from government or other public domain locations.

Examples from Shaping Outcomes

Notice how visuals are used in the following courses:

Learn more about Illustrations and Photographs from High Tech Learning.

Locating Images

Find links to images at Visual Resources: Clipart, Photos, and Visual Indexes from Teacher Tap.

Find links to Public Domain/Copyright Free Media at Teacher Tap.

apply itApply It!
Go to Taxonomy of Information Patterns for lots of examples of visual information patterns.
Try the Finding Information Patterns activity.

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