Monday, March 24, 2014

The power of infographics for learning

I made my first infographic! It took my about 3 hours, including reading - and I'm very enthousiastic about the power of making an infographic for learning.

Knowledge sharing/ social learning within organization in the Netherlands

Let me first talk about the content and then explain how I did it. I was curious to see how organisations are using online social interactions, particularly for learning and collaborating within the organisation. I see a discrepancy between how people use social media at home and within the company. Here's the infographic (in Dutch) and it basically confirmed my gut feelings. 70% of people use social media in the Netherlands (source: CBS central bureau of statistics), almost regardless of educational levels. However, within organisations the marketing department is leading in innovating with social media. In 68% of the companies marketing is using social media. Only in 34% of the companies it is used for internal knowledge sharing. If organizations are investing in internal knowledge sharing tools, it is shocking to see that only 1 in 3 invests in community management and facilitation. It is as if social exchange should be spontaneous and would not need any attention. 36% of the organizations have nobody for community management and 24% rely on volunteers. This was quite a shock, but also not a shock because it actually confirms what I observe around me.


  • Het aantal bedrijven dat gebruik maakt van sociale media van het CBS komt dit rapport van het CBS, Sociale media en bedrijven, 2013
  • Interne sociale media in Nederland, de stand van zaken. Evolve, februari 2014

  • How I made the infographic

    I used piktochart to make the infographic and was pleasantly surprised how easy it was. It had been on my wishlist for long to make an infographic but I have been postponing it for long. What I did is think of a topic of interest to me and write it down on paper (social learning/ internal knowledge sharing in organizations in the Netherlands). I then searched for reports using google and my bookmarks. I always bookmark figures with the keyword statistics, which was now very useful. I found two reports and decided that would be enough as a basis. I read the report and jotted down the interesting statistics (about 6-7 graphs). Then I started playing around with piktochart and chose a theme. The theme I chose had 3 subsections and that helped me to focus. I looked at my figures and chose the 3 most compelling ones telling a story. For me the story was that people use social media at home, few organizations invest in social media for internal knowledge sharing and if they do, they ignore the important role of community management. I also noticed that both reports had different figures but decided to rely on the central bureau of statistics more. Piktochart allows you to start with a theme and adapt it easily, for instance change the background colour. After finishing you can copy the html code to embed it and download the graph.

    Ideas to use infographics for learning in (online) courses and learning trajectories

    Why I learned a lot is because I had to read both reports and be selective in what figures to use and make a story out of it. Condensing the story and summarizing it made me memorize it and draw my firm conclusions. If you'd wake me up at night I could tell you the exact figures of investment in internal knowledge sharing :). Normally when I read blogs and papers online I have a hard time remembering what it was that I read exactly. So how to use infographics? (some ideas but please add your ideas in the comments!)

    • Divide participants in a learning course in small groups per topic and ask each group to develop an infographic and present it in a blog or meeting
    • You might ask participants for an infographic as assignment for their portfolio
    • You could also ask one group to come up with good literature and another group to make the infographic based upon the literature
    • Ask each participant to make an infographic on the same topic and compare within the group

    Want some more tips to make a high quality infographic? Have a look at the 18 infographic design tips

    1 comment:

    Ben Hoogendam said...

    Mooi, helder en duidelijk Joitske!