Using Visual Variation to spice up your Teaching Material and Approach A Primer on Variation Theory and its Application in Class for Anyone Teaching Complex Topics Using Visual Variation to spice up your Teaching Material and Approach Speaker Date Time Subject Prof. Dr. Martin Eppler Thursday, March 30, 2023 08.30-12.00 Presentation & Appearance Course Description Making the complex clear in teaching is a challenging endeavor as we all suffer from a curse of knowledge (knowing our own subject too well). Variation theory offers a time-tested and rigorous, yet simple approach to make complex topics (so-called learning objects) accessible to learners. In this interactive and hands-on half-day course you will get to know Marton’s seminal Variation Theory and see its implications for university teaching, as well as a derived visualization approach called Visual Variation. This will enable you to make your teaching approach more systematic, engaging, and memorable. Learning Objectives Understand the key obstacles of learners regarding complex topics. Understand the main elements of Marton’s contemporary Variation Theory for teaching. Be able to evaluate teaching approaches and learning material using the variation approach. Be able to use the five visual variation patterns to make your learning content clearer, more appealing, and more memorable. Remember the key principles for visualizing learning content in a clear and engaging manner. Course Content The Challenge: Making the Complex Clear The Approach: Variation Theory & The object of learning The Method: The Five Visual Variation Patterns The Application: In-class Exercises The Caveats: Risks to keep in mind. The Future: Trends in Variation-based Teaching The Essence: Key take-aways and transfer help Methodology Interactive Lecture Variation clinique: Example-based evaluations In-class design exercises (plenary and in pairs) Additional Information The course book: Eppler, M.J. (2022). An Introduction to Visual Variation. (Can be used as pre-reading for the course or as a follow-up) Target Groups Anyone teaching complex topics, as variation theory has already been successfully applied and evaluated in such diverse fields as economics, chemistry, mathematics, biology, literature, physics, language learning, and law. Instructor Prof. Dr. Martin J. Eppler, (visual-literacy.org) is Full Professor of Communications Management, Prorector of the University of St.Gallen for Academic Affairs and Director of the Institute for Media and Communication Management (MCM). His research focus is on (visual) communication approaches and challenges: Communicating Analytics, Debiasing by Design, Collaborative Creativity, Design Thinking, Interactive Strategising, Knowledge Visualisation, Knowledge Communication, and Information and Data Quality. He has won various teaching and best paper awards and is the winner of the European Innovation Excellence Award 2021 for his Teaching of Research Methodology.