Dual-Coding Theory and Visual Literacy

What is Dual-Coding Theory?

Dual-Coding Theory explores the two codes primarily used in learning material – these two codes are verbal and visual. This concept was postulated by Allan Paivio (professor of Psychology at the University of Western Ontario) in 1971. According to this theory, the brain processes verbal and visual communication differently – this suggests that a combination of both verbal and visual aids can activate a greater area of the brain. This theory states that when a person recalls information, it can be mentally retrieved as either words or pictures – or possibly both! There is some controversy, however, regarding the concept of Dual-Coding Theory as it does not take into account learning via other senses – hearing, taste, touch and smell.

What is Common Code Theory?

This alternative idea is explored further under the Common Code Theory, which suggests that the different methods of perceiving communication and information are all linked via a common code. Nonetheless, the combination of visual and verbal aids in the material produced by Learn In Thirty is aimed to maximize the user’s ability to recall information. An educational picture accompanied with text provides a strong summary of content compared to images only or text only.

What is Visual Literacy?

Further investigation into learning via images is summarized by the study of Visual Literacy. Humans have communicated through pictures before the creation of the English language – think about caveman drawings. Throughout history society has told stories through simple illustrations – from hieroglyphics to paintings in the Sistine Chapel to movie posters. The impact of visual literacy is explored through the picture superiority effect, which states that images are easier to remember than words – a picture is worth a thousand words. Learn In Thirty creates educational material aimed at maximizing learning efficiency, supported by the concepts within the dual-coding theory and visual literacy. Learn In Thirty is a strong advocate of education research and encourages innovative techniques to teach people of all ages.

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