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Overview:

Visual representations are a common way to communicate complex information in a compact form. More and more, authors and publishing companies are incorporating visual materials into textbooks. However, many students do not possess strategies for reading and interpreting these visuals and/or do not take the time to understand them fully--if they look at them at all. To save time, many students skip visuals as they read through their textbook assignments. 

Additionally, as faculty we often neglect to address the textbook visuals in class discussion. However, reading visuals can be a fairly complex process. Therefore, class discussion of the information provided by visuals—including how they complement the text and the text complements them—can be invaluable to further overall student comprehension of a reading.  Providing guidelines for analyzing visuals, such as those in this module, can also help further students' overall comprehension.