An illustration of a young Black person wearing headphones and sitting at a desk in front of a monitor. They appear to be interacting with digital content with a stylus (digital pen) and keyboard. The monitor shows many hexagons each with a different icon, including a location pin, a light bulb, and the RDEISE logo, which is a circle of hands of different skin tones holding each other

Interactive Infographics: A New Way to Learn About Race and Science

LabXchange has been at the cutting edge of online education technology and a leader in interactive learning content since our inception in 2019. With the release of the first Racial Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Science Education (RDEISE) learning cluster “Racism as a Public Health Crisis'' in November 2023, we debuted a new interactive tool for teaching and learning available on LabXchange: the interactive infographic.

What is an interactive infographic?

Interactive infographics build learning content into simulated environments that learners can explore at their own pace, interacting with clickable hotspots to unlock new scenes, questions, and thought prompts. RDEISE learning designer Candice Gerber spoke to us about the benefits of interactive infographics as a learning device and how they help connect learners to the RDEISE content.

“The great thing about interactive infographics is they create a space in eLearning for learner-driven discovery learning, which is often very difficult in the eLearning format to do,” says Gerber, who brings her extensive experience and training in education and EdTech to her role. 

Caption: Video Description: In this screen recording of the interactive infographic “Race-Conscious Alternatives to Racialized Medicine,” a learner clicks through different hotspots as a doctor, Dr. C, reviews some terminology related to race and medicine, such as ancestry. Then, she consults with a Black patient worried about developing heart problems later in life. Both of Dr. C’s speech bubbles are hotspots. How will she respond? 

Discovery learning, a learning design theory championed by foundational psychologists Jerome Bruner and John Dewy, encourages learning through imagination, intuition, creativity, and the search for new information. This empowers learners to construct their own knowledge as they discover facts and make new connections.

“In an interactive infographic, the learner is presented with a journey, and they're in full control of the narrative of that journey, where they go and what they do next,” Gerber explains. “This creates the experience of, I'm in a game, I'm in the scenario, I'm part of it. Which, at the end of the day, makes learning more effective.”

How can educators use interactive infographics in the classroom?

“In the classroom, interactive infographics are really useful,” says Gerber. “It's all about linking the content to a real world scenario, to give students an idea of how this theory takes place in the real world, where it comes up, what it's doing, and how it's affecting people.”

Learners studying environmental science, for example, could explore the RDEISE interactive infographic “Who Does Pollution Affect the Most?” to link the science of different types of pollution to its real-life consequences: disproportionate impact on racially marginalized communities in the US. Biology students could explore the spread of genetic diversity across different populations around the world in the interactive infographic “The Geographical Distribution of Human Genetic Variation” 

A quote from RDEISE learning designer Candice Gerber reads: “Interactive infographics bring theory to life. Taking learners on a journey and them being able to go on that journey and explore it themselves and see the real world consequences is very beneficial.” In a screengrab from an interactive infographic, a health-care professional, an Asian woman, stands in front of a heart monitor. Each of her two speech bubbles are hotspots.

Gerber also shared that interactive infographics are especially beneficial when it comes to differentiation, a learning design theory that focuses on teaching in a way that meets the different needs and interests of students using varied course content and activities. For example, learners that work better alone can explore an interactive infographic on their own with minimal input from educators.

Interactive Infographics and RDEISE

Interactive infographics provide an engaging way to teach critical thinking skills. Learners can unfold a narrative, witness theory playing out in real world environments, break down large concepts, trace a timeline, or experience different sides of a situation.

“Specifically in the RDEISE content, we're dealing with concepts that can be difficult to explain in a piece of writing in a way that learners can find accessible,” says Gerber. “Interactive infographics bring that theory to life. Taking learners on a journey and them being able to go on that journey and explore it themselves and see the real world consequences is very beneficial.”

In “Race-Conscious Alternatives to Racialized Medicine,” learners explore a health-care clinic, following primary care physician Dr. C as she does a round of consultations with different patients. Gerber says that seeing how medical treatment can actually be affected by the way healthcare workers position their patients can help get across concepts such as the importance of culturally competent care, inclusive language, and doctors being educated on the differences between race and ancestry.

“When we're dealing with the kind of questions we tackle in RDEISE, it's useful for learners to be able to watch an animation or read a text, but often this doesn't communicate the real world as well as something like an interactive infographic would.”

Under the heading “RDEISE interactive infographics'' are three screengrabs from interactive infographics. 1. The main entrance of a hospital has a hotspot. 2. There is a hotspot among a scene of students outside a school building. 3. A section of a world map, focused on North and South America, both marked with groups of generic human figures. One of these groups has a hotspot.

RDEISE Interactive Infographics in the LabXchange Library

1. Race-Conscious Alternatives to Racialized Medicine: Explore a health care clinic and follow primary care physician Dr. C as she does a round of consultations with different patients.

2. How to Combat Health Disparities: Browse a supermarket, wander down the street, visit a hospital, take a jog in a park or more in this interactive neighborhood to discover ways that governments and policymakers can address social and environmental determinants of health to improve health outcomes for all and reduce health disparities. 

3. Who Does Pollution Affect The Most?: Learn about the different types of pollution, who they affect the most, how, and why as you follow a health assessor through a neighborhood and meet the people who live and work there.

4. The Geographical Distribution of Human Genetic Variation: What is polymorphism and what does it have to do with human genetic diversity and race? Answer these questions and more on a global journey through Europe and Africa.

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Written by
LabXchange RDEISE team

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