Thank you for all the appreciative comments and tweets about the Course book authors fight back #ELTchat summary. Some of you wanted to know more about creating infographics. It’s actually really simple and you don’t require any special skills. As long as you have an inbuilt sense of visual balance, you should be able to produce fairly compelling results. Professional designers use Adobe Illustrator which lets you work on vector graphics (vectors never lose quality no matter how big or small you make them). However, the application is expensive and quite complicated.
I used PowerPoint to create the visual for the summary. It’s all just basic circles, lines and bloated triangles. PowerPoint can be really versatile and I’ve picked up a host of tricks from The Rapid eLearning Blog to make the most of ordinary shapes and effects. But, creating an infographic in PowerPoint can be slow-going if you don’t already have a design in mind.
Nik Peachey lists some ideas for exploiting infographics on his blog. He looks at incorporating existing infographics into a lesson to replace text based activities or tasks where students make infographics. You could also make your own. I tend to create a lot of “takeaway” sheets because my learners want a record of key concepts from a course. I think infographics could be a good substitute for these sorts of handouts. Additionally, the flexibility of creating your own can give you the freedom to adapt existing lessons, choose topics that don’t have infographics and avoid copyright issues.
I took about 20 minutes to plan this infographic on a sheet of paper and then about 45 minutes creating it on the tool. It was my first time on Piktochart so I reckon if you have the content ready in some form and choose canned templates without fiddling around with the layout and colours, you should be able to create a decent infographic within 30 minutes. The other infographic creation sites I liked are easel.ly and infogr.am; visual.ly has attractive layouts but their design tool forces you to give access to your Twitter and FB accounts so I didn’t bother exploring it further.