THE ROLE OF WHITESPACE IN NOTICING IN SCIENTIFIC DIAGRAMS

John Oversby

Abstract


Scientic diagrams are one of the tools of explanation, alongside text. The paper is a part of research on the role of diagrams in learning, here focusing on what is known as whitespace. Whitespace, which is not always white, is often seen as empty space, that is space without content. However, many diagrams have active whitespace, such the green background in safety diagrams which indicates action to be taken, and is a positive colour. Some have red 'whitespace' indicating the danger of undertaking an action. These all promote 'noticing', that is, drawing features to the observers' attention as part of the diagram purpose. The paper explores two clear examples on safety diagrams (signs) and one where observers were unclear about what was whitespace and what was active content.

Keywords


scientic diagrams; whitespace; empty space

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References


Topsakal, ÜU., Oversby, J., (2012a) Turkish Student Teachers’ Ideas About Diagrams of a Flower and a Plant Cell, Journal of Biological Education, Vol. 46, Issue 2, pp. 81-92,

Topsakal UU & Oversby J (2012b) Chromosome, DNA and Gene Diagrams According to the Turkish Student Teachers Cypriot Journal of Educational Sciences 7 (4) 378-383

Topsakal, ÜU., Oversby, J., (2013) What do scientist and non-scientist teachers notice about biology diagrams?, Journal of Biological Education, Vol. 47, Issue 1, pp. 21-28

Food and Agriculture Organisation of The United Nations (2007) Food-based dietary guidelines – China accessed at http://www.fao.org/nutrition/ed-ucation/food-based-dietary-guidelines/re-gions/countries/china/en/ 09 December 2016.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.20903/csnmbs.masa.2017.38.1.106

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