ERIC Number: ED226695
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Understanding Network Diagrams.
A survey of a range of introductory university level textbooks in the social sciences found little use of network diagrams (NDs), i.e., graphic representations of processes, organizations, systems, and mechanisms. NDs can be viewed as a text/picture hybrid medium with titles and captions serving to qualify and identify the meaning and status of symbolic forms plus a spatial dimension not present in linear prose; most fall somewhere in the middle between strict notational systems and visual metaphors or symbolic diagram construction or the problems involved in their comprehension. The cognitive and linguistic problems of diagram construction and interpretation are the subject of a number of exploratory studies designed to identify the major factors for future, more detailed studies. One such preliminary study involved the production and identification of diagrams by nine Open University employeees to communicate specific sentences. Results indicated, that there was little significant consistency in the subjects' choice of graphic devices in the production experiment. In a related identification experiment, however, sentences were signficantly easier to identify. This report includes 16 references and an appendix containing the repertoire of graphics and sentences to be displayed together with the diagrams produced by four subjects. (LMM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Visual Representation
Note: Paper presented at the Annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Los Angeles, CA, April 1981).