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How Do Relationships and Imagination Work?

Relationships are created when two elements are placed on the same screen. As Albert Einstein stated in the law of relativity, things only exist in relationship to each other. So even if there is only one word on the screen, you have created a relationship between it and the space around it—the white space. It is extremely important that you understand how the brain establishes relationships and how you can use them to facilitate learning. We will discuss four very important relationships later; these are contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. Some other relationships to keep in mind, though, are balance, rhythm, hierarchy, focus and unity.

Because images affect learners in different ways each perception of the image is unique to each and every learner’s perceptual field. There are certain relationships that are established with most learners because of the environment in which they have grown up and the culture and society in which they live. For example, in Western cultures you might create a feedback response for incorrect items in red to indicate a stop sign: “Hold it! Stop! You want to review this and try again.” But in Chinese culture where red has an entirely different meaning, you would want to create the positive feedback response in red in order to express the sentiments of: “Congratulations. Great job. You answered this correctly.”

The final tenet is by far the most important. There is nothing as powerful as the imagination. Imagination is what takes the visual components and relationships and turns them into something that is internalized by the learner. Imagination is what makes words and lines and screens into real concepts and knowledge.