Developing Cognitive Skills: Infographics for CAVES!

The video embedded below was prepared as a Discovery Session opportunity for the Ashford University Teaching and Learning Conference in November 2015. You are encouraged to post a comment here or contact me individually to discuss infographics and to share your infographics.

View on YouTube:

Example citations for this session to use are:

Johnson, L. (2015). Developing cognitive skills: Infographics for CAVES! [Video file]. Retrieved from

Johnson, L. (2015). Developing cognitive skills: Infographics for CAVES! [Weblog post]. Retrieved from

Session Outcomes

1. Distinguish infographics from other graphic formats

2. Recognize the characteristics of an effective infographic

3. Recognize instructional strategies for using infographics

4. Locate existing infographics for use in instructional designs

5. Recall technologies for creating effective infographics

6. Plan use of familiar technologies to create infographics


Criteria for Evaluating Infographics

These criteria are meant to be a starting set of considerations for anyone creating a rubric or other evaluation tool for assessing infographics you create or learners create in coursework.

  • Has a (main) point
  • Is Data driven
  • Includes references
  • Includes high impact visuals
  • Designed with high contrast colors
  • Utilizes consistent color scheme
  • Is accessible… i.e., minimal text describing visuals

Remember, when creating infographics, you and your learners are employing and sharpening higher-order cognitive skills – remember these verbs as you write outcomes and objectives for infographics – CAVES:

  • Creating
  • Aggregating
  • Visualizing
  • Evaluating
  • Synthesizing

Session Resources

Below are several of the resources shared in the video. If you know of other resources about infographics you would like to share, please post in a comment to this post!

Books About Infographics

Krum, R. (2013). Cool infographics: Effective communication with data visualization. Wiley. ISBN-13: 978-1118582305.

Meyer, E. K. (1997). Designing infographics. Hayden Books. ISBN-13: 978-1568303390.

Beegel, J. (2014). Infographics for dummies. For Dummies. ISBN-13: 978-1118792384.

Websites About Infographics

Ross,  A. (2009, June 7). Infographic designs: Overview, examples, and best practices. Retrieved from

Schrock, K. (2010-2014). Infographics as creative assessment. Retrieved from

Resources for Finding Existing Infographics

Google Images:


Web-Based Infographic Creation Tools*

*Remember, though, for non-technology intensive courses or to avoid issues with requiring 3rd party / web-based tools as part of your instructional designs, consider using familiar and common technologies such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Word, or possible, Google Slides and Docs.


2 thoughts on “Developing Cognitive Skills: Infographics for CAVES!

  1. Hi Dr. Johnson,

    The inforgraphics presentation is captivating. The explanation of the higher level of learning involved is encouraging. I think I will try using the “” as an assignment for students. Do you think it is feasible to ask Freshmen to create a flyer for their presentation?


    Larry Baker

    • Yes, Larry, certainly I do. The key with determining the degree of performance (level of mastery) for your learner group is to analyze their capacity individually. You may have some “freshmen” (whether its college 1st year or high school Grade 9) who are skilled at visualization and consumers of infographics on a regular basis and others who are not. One way to gauge students’ abilities and preferences for this type of activity is to choose some existing infographics and present those in a 5-10 minute presentation asking students to evaluate both design (visual appeal and effectiveness) and accuracy of the infographics using, perhaps, a rubric you develop for that purpose (tip: you could use a polling tool, survey tool, or do this live even in a webinar or place-based synchronous classroom). You could even ask students “how would you create this” and gather data about their ideas for actual visual design and preferred technologies. Then, you could assign the task and offer students to work in support-dyads or triads so students can offer technical support to less tech savvy students and other support, such as design effectiveness of drafts they create and so on. I.e., it could be collaborative and you can use the zones of proximal development of your class to ensure everyone learns something (even if by teaching others) and achieves the outcome. Thank you for asking the question and awaiting my reply! ~ Dr. Lisa Johnson

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