Elizabeth Giuliani

  • Infographic Evaluation
  • Elizabeth Giuliani
  • Fall 2014

The Assignment

 On the Sonoma State University (SSU) campus, teaching a general elective (G.E.) mathematics course means that your student population is made up of students that have and interests from all the disciplines, majors and minors concentrations and those who are still undecided on what they will be pursuing professionally. The students also come to a mathematics class with preconceived ideas, but usually with a hopefulness of something different than what they’ve experienced, something that they feel they can take away to other coursework and to their professional life. 

 With this wide and varied interest and skill foundation in mind I thought that doing an infographic poster project would be a wonderful addition to the Introduction to Finite Mathematics course. To broach the subject I asked my students their knowledge of data and how it was presented. This in turn led to a discussion of specific ways in which to inform and provide knowledge to those who were interested but in a hurry. We all agreed that with technology and media there was so much information but not enough time to take it all in. 

I created and then presented a short Power Point presentation on Infographics. I also went online in class so that the students could look at different sites that had Infographics. I then went to different websites where students could sign up (for free!). I gave the students the choice on what they wanted to choose as their topic and theme. This was very important as I was confident that my students would feel a sense of ownership for the project. It also gave them a creative outlet on the mathematics topic they chose. I scheduled the project for approximately four weeks from the time that I gave them a worksheet to choose a topic from the course textbook. I took time to meet with small groups of students to check in for face-to-face questions for Excel questions and perhaps online computer research time. I was consistent in emailing the students prompting for questions to unforeseen issues. I also encouraged students to check in with each other and share any information that they may have found that would be helpful to others. 

My Evaluation

By taking these precautions I believe the students did very well. Overall the students felt it was a worthwhile project for a mathematics class. The foundation of their topic was after all a mathematics topic of their own choosing and each was able to individualize their perception of it. More than one student told me that they never expected to do anything like this project in a mathematics class. The student’s verbal presentations that accompanied their visual Infographics were seen as a chance to communicate mathematical ideas with their classmates. Again overall most students found it to be a project that they could use in other coursework and in a professional context, whether by creating one or by reading one. All students deemed the experience a positive one for their education and within their mathematics-learning environment. 

In conclusion, I myself found the experience one in which there were no negatives. It provided me with a venue to reach out and engage students who might otherwise would not have a chance to be creative mathematically. So I’m doing it again this semester!