Today is the third day (Friday, March 3rd) of #BPDNOLA17, and I am presenting with some of my favorite #swtech peeps, Dr. Nathalie Jones of Tarleton State University and Dr. Melanie Sage of the University of North Dakota, at 1:45pm in Bayside C at the Sheraton in New Orleans. We will be talking about an infographic assignment that we jointly developed and implemented with students at each of our campuses. The use of infographics for classroom assignments is becoming commonplace in higher education, although less is known about its use in social work education. Our workshop will review how we collaborated to develop, implement and evaluate an infographic assignment for courses across the social work curriculum
I know I put the whole thing in here and its too much for a slide, but maybe good reference point for the blog- we can move through this quickly
Nathalie (I wanted to show the rubric used for them to rate one another) *This was my favorite step, please help if this looks tacky.
Laurel Mission statement, goals and/or objectives of the organization Client population served by the organization Services and programs provided by organization One interesting fact or piece of information that is unique to the organization Contact information for the agency
Laurel include the research questions or add
Can the use of infographics contribute to student learning about technology and about social work? If so, How?
What factors have a positive and/or negative effect on the implementation of an infographic assignment?
What differences do students perceive between an infographic assignment and a writing assignment?
Laurel Only three students had created an infographic prior to the assignment 11 students or 19% sought help with the assignment - What were their skills before the assignment? Who was more comfortable and the value – compare older vs. younger: Myth Busting
Laurel How valuable was this assignment for your learning
Nathalie – Technology challenges; three pro and con or two pros and two cons – note that the feedback is overwhelming positive
Nathalie – How is this assignment differ from more traditional assignments?
Nathalie – Learning Outcomes
Challenges Tips Laurel: 1) The why before the what
Bitmojis Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, PhD, MPH, LICSW, PIP Assistant Professor University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) firstname.lastname@example.org @laurelhitchcock
Nathalie P. Jones, PhD, MSW Assistant Professor Tarleton State University njones@Tarleton.edu @DrNJonesTSU
Do we have references?
Visualizing Data: Infographic Assignments across the Social Work Curriculum
Visualizing Data: Infographic
Assignments across the Social
Nathalie Jones, PhD, Tarleton State University
Melanie Sage, PhD, U of North Dakota
Laurel Hitchcock, PhD, UA at Birmingham
By the end of this presentation we’ll teach you these things….
Understand how the
use of social media as a
teaching tool in
can be used to develop
and assess social work
Appreciate the role of
assignments in social
Why use infographics in the
Social Work classroom?
Effective way to
What is an infographic?
Visual images and writing put together to explain/tell a story
Considerations for Digital Storytelling
Hardware Software Techniques Outputs Ethics
Smartphone Phone apps Record in quiet
Health messages Informed
Video camera Storify Test sound
Audio Recorder Piktochart Use text to
Video shorts Professionalism
Laptop/Desktop Powerpoint for
Audio stories Confidentiality
Microphone audacity Attention span
Photo exhibits Student privacy
Tools for infographics
Prepare for the
• Create an infographic that provides awareness and/or describes preventative measures related to a social problem
• Conduct research to identify statistics, resources and other data relevant to a social problem
• Conduct research to identify statistics, resources and other data relevant to a social problem
• Demonstrate communication and advocacy skills by sharing and promoting one’s infographic via social media
Step 1: Prep for the assignment
Instructor introduces infographics and purpose of their use. Offers some quality measures.
Students review some infographics. Choose a good one about a social-work-related topic to share (on a blog? In class? Blackboard? brief reflection on
what you like/don’t?)
Rate it against the class rubric
Choose your topic. (We will have specific topics related to our courses, ie policy, mental health, etc)
Find a research article (for practice topics) or legislative policy related to the topic.
Carefully select some main points that you want to share visually.
• Identify stakeholders for this topic, and choose an audience. It could be consumers, parents, practitioners, policy makers, social
workers, students, etc.
• Main points should highlight data, milestones, thesis statements, major findings, or key indicators that help offer the specific audience
key information in a way that is accessible and important to them.
• What images will help you visually represent these ideas? Imagine what picture or graphic will help you tell your story
Step 2: Learn the technology
Instructor will share YouTube videos of the use of Piktochart and VennGage, free infographic creators. Students will make time to seek extra help if
Step 3: Make your infographic and get feedback
First draft infographic should first be rated by a peer using the class rubric (post at blackboard)
Next step: email a stakeholder (author of article cited, policy maker, or other expert related to your chosen topic) and ask for feedback about clarity,
accuracy, and usefulness of your infographic
Step 4: Share your infographic
Choose at least one Twitter hashtag relevant to your topic, and share your infographic via Twitter using this hashtag
Consider sharing several times over several days, tag people in the infographic who tweet on this topic
Consider what other strategies you would use if this were a public awareness campaign for an agency you represent
Step 5: Reflection
Which class infographic got the most shares and why? Which was viewed by the biggest audience and why? What is the value of social networks to social
workers who have advocacy roles? Reflect on your learning related to (each practice behavior….. ) What else did you learn? Which of these skills do
you expect to use in the future?
Bonus: (Prize/extra credit for class-selected best? Most shared?) Extra credit for survey?
Blurbs from our Syllabi
Peer rating rubric
SOCW 3320: Service Learning at TSU
• The purpose of this infographic assignment is
to help students practice advocacy & brokering
skills as it relates to a human service issue
and/or topic identified by the team/group.
• Students are expected to create an infographic
that provides statistics and/or facts on a
chosen social problem as it relates to a
• Additional details provided & discussed during
SW 422: Social Work Practice II at UAB
• Infographics topics:
• Non-profit Agency
• Community Assets
• Sharing on Twitter & Service
SWK 317: Social Work Research at UND
• Infographics topic:
• Find a research paper to turn in to
• Include the research question,
population, main data points,
• Include APA citation
• Peer-reviews to assure purpose,
visualization, reference, and writing
goals are achieved
Our Research Collaboration
Created a master infographic
Designed our SOTL study
Data on student
Our Research Questions
Can the use of infographics contribute to
student learning about technology and
about social work? If so, How?
What factors have a positive and/or
negative effect on the implementation of an
What differences do students perceive
between an infographic assignment and a
Approved by IRB at UND
In non-technical language describe the purpose of the study and state the
rationale for this research.
This study will investigate the experience of undergraduate students in completing infographic
assignments in social work courses across the curriculum and in multiple program across the US.
The assignment involves students creating a visual product with text and images about a topic
relevant to a social work course. A copy of this assignment is attached. We will assess both the
process and the outcome of the assignment, gathering data that are informative for faculty and
others who are engaging in similar instructive activities as well as the impact of the project on the
student participants. Findings will include student-identified outcomes; successes and challenges of
the implementation of the assignment; and empirically-supported suggestions for pedagogical best
practices. The overall research question for this project is:
Can the use of infographics contribute to student learning about technology and about social work?
In non-technical language, please describe the study.
Students will complete the assignment as part of a course requirement as well as a required post-
assignment assessment survey (see attached). Our research involves analyzing the anonymous
results of the required survey. No student names will be used during analysis and identifiers will
not be recorded on a master list. Students may not opt out of the assignment or post-survey, but
the decision to let researchers analyze their data is voluntary. Students will receive information
about the study along with the survey and may opt out of the study by checking a box at top of the
Student Demographics (N = 59)
UND (n = 15) UAB (n =20) TSU (n=24) Total (N= 59)
24.5 years 25 years 33 years 28 years
13 (86%) 18 (90%) 18 (75%) 53 (90%)
Student 4 (27%) 5 (25%) 18 (75%) 27 (36%)
UND = University of North Dakota
UAB = University of Alabama at Birmingham
TSU = Tarleton State University
How comfortable are you with technology? (n = 59)
are you with
How comfortable were
you with creating
infographics prior to this
Extremely comfortable 22 (37.3%) 2 (3.3%)
Moderately comfortable 26 (44.1%) 7 (11.8%)
Slightly comfortable 8(13.6%) 9 (15.3%)
Neither comfortable nor
uncomfortable 2 (3.4%) 14 (23.7%)
Slightly uncomfortable 1 (1.7%) 10 (17.0%)
Moderately uncomfortable 0 (0.0%) 7 (11.8%)
Extremely uncomfortable 0 (0.0%) 10 (17.0%)
How valuable was this assignment to your learning
about…. (n= 56)?
How valuable was this
assignment in teaching….
only a little
...how to interpret and
communicate about a social
work topic? 30 (54%) 18 (32%) 5 (9%) 1 (2%) 2 (5%)
resources and other data? 31 (55%) 14 (25%) 8 (14%) 0 (0%) 3 (5%)
...communication and advocacy
skills ? 34 (61%) 13 (23%) 6 (11%) 1 (2%) 2 (5%)
Very easy to use!
“I found it easy to complete, the professor did a
great job at giving resources for the project.”
“Some app-related issues; switched to a different
“Was a slow website to use on my tablet and glitches a
lot so I went to a campus computer lab to finish it.”
“I loved this assignment. I would much rather
create an infographic rather than writing a
“I would have rather done the infographic than
write a paper. I feel like, with the infographic you
have to research a topic and write what you think
is most relevant to share with others.”
“It did not have an impact of learning in this
assignment in comparison to other assignments in
“This assignment was kind of difficult to me
because I am not majoring in social work.”
“Having something tangible that uses the skills
and advocates for the cause you are supporting
couldn't be matched in a paper or a PowerPoint.”
“An infographic grabs the reader's attention
faster than viewing a written paper or taking the
time to view a PowerPoint presentation.
Infographics are compact and the data is clearly
“To be honest, I would have written a paper
instead, because of how time consuming it was. I
am glad that I know how to create one though.”
“It was more time consuming because you spend
most of your time formatting and making it look
pretty then actually doing the research.”
• Provide additional tech
support during class.
• Additional class discussion on
• Combine steps that seem to
be somewhat simple.
• Explain each step prior to the
due date to ensure clarity.
• Start early- this
assignment has lots of
• Provide in-class time for
practice, group work, in-
• Shorten videos/use
videos outside of class.
• Connect assignment
with digital literacy
• Review an infographic
before creating one
• Connect assignment to
Nathalie P. Jones, PhD, MSW
Tarleton State University
Laurel Iverson Hitchcock, PhD, MPH, LICSW, PIP
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
Melanie Sage, PhD, LICSW
University of North Dakota
Access slides and other info from this presentation:
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. (n.d.). Infographics. Retrieved May 21, 2016, from
Council on Social Work Education. (2015). Educational Policy and Accreditation
Standards. Washington, DC: Author.
Dyjur, P., & Li, L. (2015). Learning 21st Century Skills by Engaging in an Infographics Assessment. In Proceedings of
the IDEAS: Designing Responsive Pedagogy (pp. 62–71). University of Calgary. Retrieved from
Joosten, T. (2012). Social media for educators: strategies and best practices. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Kos, B. A., & Sims, E. (2014). Infographics: The New 5-Paragraph Essay. In 2014 Rocky Mountain Celebration of
Women in Computing. Laramie, WY, USA. Retrieved from
Martix, S., & Hodson, J. (2014). Teaching with infographics: practicing new digital competencies and visual
literacies. Journal of pedagogic development, 4 (2). Retrieved from: http://www.beds.ac.uk/jpd/volume-4-issue-