A graphic organizer is a graphic representation of information; examples of graphic organizers include tables and sequence chains. There are advantages and disadvantages to using this teaching tool to supplement lectures and presentations.

Comprehension

Graphic organizers can help students to understand the relationship between various pieces of information that they may have otherwise failed to identify. Such organizers are particularly useful in helping students grasp abstract concepts.

Knowledge Evaluation

Asking students to complete graphic organizers allows instructors to evaluate the student's prior knowledge of a subject. As a result, teachers can make strategic decisions regarding how to most effectively present to students additional information relating to the subject at hand.

Motivation

Graphic organizers represent information in pattern and graphic form, which can enhance learning by stimulating a student's interest and retaining his attention.

Impact on Notetaking

In some cases, notetaking decreases when students learn material with the help of graphic representations. As a result, the lack of a comprehensive guide that students can refer to when revising material may affect their performance.

Impact on Feedback

Some instructors find creating an answer key for a graphic organizer to be time-consuming. They use organizers to encourage discussion but do not correct each student's organizer upon completion; as a result, students may miss out on receiving valuable feedback.