Color, Depth, and Space

This was this week’s assignment:

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How does one use color when explaining grammar? What is an effective use of color that adds to the explanation—not just color because it’s pretty or bright, but to add to understanding?


Who are my users and what assumptions do I make about them?

Just like the last few weeks, I would be presenting this resource to my own students, so it’s a group that I am intimately familiar with. My students in this class would be sophomores, between the ages of 13 and 17, with medium-low to medium English writing, reading & grammar skills. They should have a basic understanding of the parts of speech in English, as they would have been taught parts of speech at least once, in their freshman year, but most likely, they’ve forgotten the names and roles of the different parts of speech and are “due” for a reminder.

Why do you think your solution will work?

On page 266, Lohr gave 3 reasons for using color and 3 reasons not to use color:

Might be necessary to be accurate Might not be necessary to be accurate
Color enhances learning Possibly distracting
Learners prefer color Might not have access to color-recognizing tech

To me, I’m nervous about color not being necessarily necessary to make the image work. I’m also worried that the color might be distracting to viewers. However, on the other side, I agree that learners prefer colors, and up to this point, all my images have been grayscale, so it might be ok after all.

One of the instructional purposes of color, on 265, is to “label or differentiate information.” By matching the red, blue, and green words to each other, I’m trying to visually show the connection between the pronouns and the words they’re replacing.

What did you learn from a “user-test”?

All my user-test subjects seemed to agree with me that it’s tough to use  color in a grammar setting, but using the red, blue, and green connect the noun to its corresponding pronoun.The only complaints that I got about this image was to maybe make the example sentences smaller and the subheading larger; however, a couple of my complaints said the exact opposite idea (to make the sentences larger and the subheading smaller). I guess I”ll live by the theory of “whatever makes the most amount of people least happy”!



Lohr, Linda, L. (2008). Creating Graphics for Learning and Performance, Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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