One visual artifact that every degree seeking student is highly familiarly with is the curriculum flowchart. These flowcharts are instrumental tools in the attempt to explain the requirements, and course prerequisites of a degree program. However, these visual documents have a greater effect on the student, than just clarification. It effects how the students think, and encourages them to finish their degree program. The designs of these curriculum flowcharts contains the principles discussed in Weinschenk’s “How People Think”.
Weinschenk’s principle of “People are Motivated by Progress, Mastery, and Control” is evident the in the visual design of the flowchart. The flowchart shows small incremental signs of progress towards the degree completion.The purpose of these small incremental changes is to serve as a motivator for students. This is particularly useful in this application, because of the extended period that is required to earn a degree, and the many challenges the student will face along the way. It is imperative to provided motivation and encouragement to the students.
Further principles of Weinschenk found in the visual artifact is “Attention is selective”. The purpose of this visual artifact is to provide the student, or prospective student with the most vital information in the respect to their degree program. Therefore, the visual design of the flowchart generates emphasis on the important information about curriculum by writing the names of the required courses in large bold print. In addition, the flowchart makes use of color to highlight the different categories of the courses. These methods are all techniques used by the designer in order the manipulate the viewer’s selecting attention to grab the most important information.
In closing the flowchart is an excellent example of the principles of Weinschenk in use in a real-world application. The purpose of the flowcharts have a much grander, and philanthropic purpose than just explanation. The visual design of these flowcharts is a tool employed by the University to help motivate the students to complete their respective programs.