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Visual Explanation: Academic Probation at Laurier University

July 4, 2013
‘Academic Probation’ visual explanation by KAP Design.

‘Academic Probation’ visual explanation by KAP Design. Click image to view larger.

Case Study Brief: The Dean of Arts Office at Wilfrid Laurier University offers a wealth of academic advising resources to students. The challenge is to make students aware of the resources and the often complex procedures faced when dealing with challenges such as academic probation. As the first of five information graphics KAP is creating for Laurier, the goal of this visual explanation is to engage students, parents and faculty and communicate (1) the seriousness of academic probation and (2) how to succeed as a student faced with probation.

Design Solution: KAP conducted a discovery meeting with the Associate Deans and Academic Advisors to understand the questions students are asking and procedure they must follow. The solution was to give priority to explaining the step-by-step process required to continue studying at Laurier.

A side panel is devoted to explaining how to calculate a Grade Point Average (GPA) because academic probation is based on a student’s GPA. To answer the question, “how does this affect my career at Laurier?”, five scenarios are depicted with clean timeline graphics. The timeline solution for demystifying the future surfaced during the early conceptual development phase of the project (see the concept sketch below). The friendly faces of the academic advisors is provided to reduce student anxiety.

Results: Whether the visual assets are viewed on the university website, downloaded, or printed, the series of visual explanations increases access to information to improve the academic success rate of students. For the academic advisors, the efficient communication allows them to help more students.

'WLU Academic Probation' sketch by KAP Design

Early conceptual sketch for ‘Academic Probation’ information graphic by KAP Design.

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