Graphic Organizers Research Paper

I would like to start by saying that prior to speaking about the importance of structural content one should note that graphic organizers are represented by the flow charts, Venn diagrams, pictures, maps, charts and other visual aids used in class to convey the message to the students. In the following essay I will speak about the graphic organizers as well as the structured content as used in class by professors around the world.

The reason why it is important to structure content is multidimensional. First of all, by structuring content, one is able to easily present the material in a convenient way understandable by the audience (students in our case). Thus, by structuring the content from the simplest to the hardest, the professor can rest assured that students will have a chance to learn something that he wants them to learn.

Another reason why it is important to structure content is because it creates a pathway for learning. The structured content can be easily followed by both the students and the teaching staff. At any time students can know what they study, and what they should study at what time period. The structured material can be easily followed by the new teachers should the old professor become unable to continue teaching. Unstructured content is professor-specific, i.e. it would be extremely hard for a substitute to follow the material correctly without knowing what needs to be studied and what structure the study should follow.

Graphic organizers closely follow the proverb “a picture is worth a million words” implying that visually one can convey more message than via verbal lectures and statements. Graphic organizers should be used in most classes possible and I would surely use graphic organizers to help students identify, organize, and assimilate key concepts and related details. I would personally use graphic organizers as another mean of conveying the information studied in class to better illustrate the topic. For instance, I would use graphic organizers to point out the major rules, theorems and axioms that students should be aware as well as any other concept that can be effectively presented visually.

In order to show students how to use graphic organizers I would first of all select the learning objective. In this case I would pick Plotting the function objective in order to grasp the effective use of graphic organizer by students. The objective is to understand how one can effectively use the organizer to understand the function and its behavior as the input number changes. For this example I will use the a=X^2 (typical square function).

The student will be provided the following instructions:

  1. Write down the appropriate formula that one would use for plotting something with graphic organizer.
  2. Allocate the fields for the input figures and the output figures that one would feed the graphic organizer to plot a function.
  3. Use the plot graph function provided in the MS-Excel® software package and feed in the output and input figures generated previously in steps 1 and 2.
  4. Click OK and view the function plotted.

As one can see initially students will be provided very detailed instructions so that they know how exactly to do something with the graphic organizer to achieve the stated purpose.

I will use MS-Excel® software which is a part of the MS-Office ® to effectively plot the function. The reason why I chose Excel® is because it is extremely popular around the world and is present on virtually any personal computer with the Intel® platform. This software can effectively do many jobs so using it as a graphic organizer will be possible.

The students would be given instructions of how to read the give diagram or the chart in order to make the chart understandable to everyone who needs to see it. I would probably use the graphic organizer similar to the one illustrated below as an example.

The graph above shows graphically the function a=x^2 for the values from -40 to +40. The graphic organizer as depicted in the example above effectively shows the students in class the inverted bell shape of the function, something that would take a lot of time to explain verbally. The given graphic organizer shows students the utility of the graphic organizers as used in the process of structuring content.

Source References:

Slavin, R. E. (2003). Educational psychology: Theory and practice (7th ed.) (pp 198-211). Boston: Allyn and Bacon


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