In this weekly video blog, Dr. Rau is translating the lab's research into everyday language for teachers, parents, and students. To stay up to date, subscribe to the lab's youtube channel.

Learn more about the vlog in this interview!

Featured in the UW School of Ed news!

**47 - Visual feedback to direct students’ attention to relevant features** (12/16/2019)

Learn about a new project that examines whether visual feedback enhances students’ learning from intuition activities.

**46 - Collaborative vs. individual learning with visual representations** (12/9/2019)

In this video, I talk about a new study about verbal and nonverbal collaboration with visuals. We are testing whether students learn better from explanation activities and intuition activities when they work with a partner or alone.

**45 - New project on individual and collaborative learning with visuals in engineering** (8/12/2019)

In this video, I give an overview of a new project in which we will investigate how to use visuals in engineering so that students can learn to mentally visualize concepts that are normally shown by formulas. We will examine this question both in individual and collaborative learning settings.

**44 - Reflections on graduate school by recent graduate Dr. Sally Wu** (8/4/2019)

In this video, guest speaker Dr. Sally Wu is reflecting on her experience in graduate school. Sally recently received her Ph.D. after working in the Learning, Representations, & Technology lab for five years. She’s now at Northwestern University, working as director of curriculum development.

**43 - Embodied and conceptual affordances of physical and virtual manipulatives** (7/29/2019)

Which is better, physical or virtual manipulatives? In this video, I present results from an experiment where we compared how students’ manipulations of different representation modes affect learning.

**42 - Using machine learning to overcome the expert blind spot in creating instructional sequences** (7/22/2019)

In this video, I describe results from a new study that compared whether chemistry students learn better with a machine-learned sequence of visuals than with an expert-generated sequence.

**41 - Adaptive support for representation skills enhances learning** (7/15/2019)

In this video, I follow up on a previous video that described a new adaptive version of Chem Tutor that determines, based on students’ problem-solving behavior, whether they benefit from explanation activities or intuition activities. I present results from a study that tested if the adaptive version enhances students’ learning.

**40 - Adapting activity sequences to individual students’ representational skills** (9/10/2018)

In this video, I describe a new adaptive version of Chem Tutor that determines, based on students’ problem-solving behavior, whether they benefit from explanation activities or intuition activities.

**39 - Making research accessible** (7/23/2018)

In this video, I describe a research communication project by two of my students about an experiment that tested whether machine learning can help us find effective sequences of visuals.

**38 - Reflections on vlogging** (5/21/2018)

In this video, I reflect on my first year of vlogging and describe my plans for the future with this vlog.

**37 - Sequencing explanation and intuition activities across multiple weeks of instruction** (5/14/2018)

This is the final video in a series on how to combine explanation activities and intuition activities that help students translate between visuals. This time, I discuss results from a follow-up experiment that tested the effects of sequencing explanation and intuition activities over multiple weeks as students progress from low to high knowledge levels.

**36 - Sequencing explanation and intuition activities for students with different levels of prior knowledge** (5/7/2018)

This is the sixth video in a series on how to combine explanation activities and intuition activities that help students translate between visuals. This time, I’ll discuss how I interpret the results for students with low, medium, and high prior knowledge that I covered in the past videos.

**35 - Sequencing explanation and intuition activities for students with high prior knowledge** (4/30/2018)

This is the fifth video in a series on how to combine explanation activities and intuition activities that help students translate between visuals. This time, I’ll zoom in on results for students with high prior knowledge.

**34 - Sequencing explanation and intuition activities for students with medium prior knowledge** (4/23/2018)

This is the fourth video in a series on how to combine explanation activities and intuition activities that help students translate between visuals. This time, I’ll zoom in on results for students with medium prior knowledge.

**33 - Sequencing explanation and intuition activities for students with low prior knowledge** (4/16/2018)

This is the third video in a series on how to combine explanation activities and intuition activities that help students translate between visuals. This time, I’ll zoom in on results for students with low prior knowledge.

**32 - Sequencing explanation activities and intuition activities** (4/9/2018)

This is the second video in a series on how to combine explanation activities and intuition activities that help students translate between visuals. This time, I’ll focus on how to sequence these different types of activities.

**31 - Combining explanation activities and intuition activities** (4/2/2018)

This is the first video in a series on how to combine explanation activities and intuition activities that help students translate between visuals. In this video, I ask: should we combine them in the first place?

**30 - How can we help students collaboratively explain visuals?** (3/19/2018)

Students can help each other interpret visuals when they work collaboratively. In this video, I describe a study that tested how best to help students help each other when collaborating with visual models of chemical molecules.

**29 - Does collaboration help students learn perceptual intuitions?** (3/12/2018)

In this video, you’ll learn about some new results about nonverbal collaboration that seems to help students develop intuitions about visuals!

**28 - Physical and virtual manipulatives** (2/26/2018)

Which is better, physical or virtual manipulatives? We have some hypotheses about this that we are about to start testing in a new experiment. In this video, I will illustrate some of them.

**27 - Update - Machine beats human in finding an effective sequence of visuals** (3/5/2018)

In this video, I am updating you on results from an experiment I talked about a few weeks ago, where we tested whether machine learning can help us find effective sequences of visuals.

**26 - Do you need special furniture for collaborative learning?** (2/19/2018)

Does classroom furniture have an effect on students’ learning from collaborative activities? That’s a question my chemistry collaborators asked me to help them with by analyzing data from their chemistry courses. In this video, I share results and lessons learned from this analysis.

**25 - My research and tango dancing: Training intuitions** (2/12/2018)

In this video, I talk about an example from my personal life: how training intuitive knowledge helped me learn a tango step.

**24 - For prospective graduate students** (2/5/2018)

This video answers some questions I typically get asked by prospective graduate students.

**23 - Image recognition to integrate physical models into educational technologies** (1/29/2018)

In this video, I discuss how image recognition, a subfield of computer science, plays into our research on learning with visuals.

**22 - Using machine learning to find out how to sequence visuals** (1/22/2018)

In this video, I describe another way in which machine learning, a subfield of computer science, plays a role in my research on learning with visuals.

**21 - Measuring intuitive knowledge about visuals** (1/15/2018)

In this video, I explain how machine learning can help us understand how humans learn. I show an example from my research where we used this approach to assess students’ intuitive knowledge about visuals.

**20 - Usability of educational technologies** (1/8/2018)

Designing educational technologies requires attention to usability - making tools easy to use - but also to creating opportunities to learn - by making tasks appropriately difficult. In this video, I talk about design considerations that take the needs of students and teachers into account.

**19 - Research in different educational contexts** (12/18/2017)

In this video, I discuss how the question I’m interest affects what I measure and in which context I conduct studies.

**18 - Involving students from multiple disciplines in my research** (12/11/2017)

In this video, I am discussing how students from a variety of disciplines contribute to my research.

**17 - New interactive visuals for Chem Tutor** (12/04/2017)

In this video, I am honoring the work by my programmers Ying Zhang and Will Keesler by showing the interactive visualization tools for Lewis structures, wedge-dash structures, and ball-and-stick models they built for Chem Tutor.

**16 - What is it that we don’t know about teaching and learning?** (11/27/2017)

In this video, I am raising just some of my open questions about learning with visuals, which I hope to address in future work. What are your questions about learning with visuals?

**15 - Which activities should students do individually or collaboratively?** (11/20/2017)

Is collaboration always effective? In this video, I talk about some open questions about my (yet to be tested) hypothesis that explanation activities should be done collaboratively, but that intuition activities may best be done individually.

**14 - Collaborative activities and flipped classrooms** (11/13/2017)

In this video, I describe one of our studies, which shows that combining flipped classrooms with in-class collaboration support is more effective than traditional lecture-centric instruction.

**13 - Helping students collaborate with visuals** (11/06/2017)

Students often help each other understand visuals. In this video, I discuss how educational technologies can support student collaboration via adaptive collaboration scripts.

**12 - Teachers matter! Students need their help to understand visuals** (10/30/2017)

In this video, you'll learn about one of our studies that suggests that students heavily rely on help from their instructors when they make sense of visuals, even if they receive help from an educational technology.

**11 - How to make technology-based activities that train intuitions about visuals** (10/23/2017)

In this video, you'll learn to create technology-based activities that help students learn to intuitively translate among visuals. A write-up of step-by-step directions and template files that you can modify to fit your own needs can be found here

**10 - How to help students train intuitions about multiple visuals** (10/16/2017)

How can we help students train their intuitions about visuals? In this video, you'll learn about a type of problems that students get right only if they pay attention to visual features that carry important information.

**9 - Technology-based activities that help students translate among visuals by explaining** (10/09/2017)

In this video, you'll learn to create technology-based activities that help students translate among visuals by prompting them to explain. You’ll learn how to make activities with a dynamic interface, error-specific feedback, and a series of hints that give additional information if students need it. A write-up of step-by-step directions and template files that you can modify to fit your own needs can be found here.

**8 - How to help students translate among visuals by explaining** (10/02/2017)

How can we help students explain how to translate between different visuals? This video suggests prompting students to reflect on which visual features show important concepts. This can be done in classroom discussions, small-group discussions, or individual work.

**7 - Technology based activities that help students understand visuals** (09/25/2017)

Ever wanted to create your own technology-based activities? In this video, you'll learn how to create your own activities that help students understand how visuals show information. You’ll learn how to make activities with dynamic visuals, error-specific feedback, and a series of hints that give additional information if students need it. A write-up of step-by-step directions and template files that you can modify to fit your own needs can be found here.

**6 - How to help students understand visuals** (09/18/2017)

How can we help students understand how a given visual shows information? You can prompt students to reflect on which visual features show important concepts. This can be done in classroom discussions, small-group discussions, or individual work.

**5 - Explaining by drawing** (09/11/2017)

What are tangible strategies for helping students understand visuals that can be easily implemented in classrooms or used for studying? Drawing can help students learn from conventional visuals.

**4 - From fractions to chemistry** (09/04/2017)

Martina Rau talks about how she realized that visuals can confuse students and how that sparked her interest in research that supports students in learning with visuals.

**3 - Order of explanation activities and intuition activities** (08/28/2017)

Students need to learn to explain how visuals show information and they need to develop intuitions about what visuals show. In what order should they learn about explanations and intuitions? Our research shows the right order can make a difference of up to a full letter grade.

**2 - Learning with visuals by explaining and by training intuitions** (08/21/2017)

What skills do students need to learn with visuals? Our research suggests that we need to help students understand visuals by explaining and by training their intuitive knowledge.

**1 - Learning with visuals - Translating research into everyday language** (08/21/2017)

In this introduction to her Vlog on Learning with Visuals, Dr. Rau explains why she is looking for new ways to make her research accessible to non-scientists, such as teachers, parents, and students.