How I Used Sketching to Get Students to Show Up, Pay Attention and Learn During the Lecture

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipients: Susan Clements-Vivian, SIAT

Project team: Aynur Kadeer, research assistant, and Jason Toal, Teaching and Learning Centre

Timeframe: March 2017 to May 2018

Funding: $10,000

Course addressed: IAT 208 – Drawing as Inquiry

Final report: View Susan Clements-Vivian's final report (PDF)

Description: The intention of this research project is to replace a more traditional lecture model with sketching as a participatory activity. This participatory sketching model will assist students in linking material to practice, which will in turn make information more encompassing and richer. In this research project, lecture slides will be replaced with sketches. Students will be expected to use sketched notes to complete both work in lab and for homework assignments. Much of the course content will only be captured in these student notes. A key component of this research will be using on-line tools, such as a blog, to capture and share key course concepts, to use material generated in the course to support a community of learning.

Questions addressed:

  • Do students perceive that sketching in lecture assists them in linking course material to their own drawing practice, both in lab and in assignments?
  • Do students understand lecture concepts conveyed through sketching?
  • Does the instructor perceive that sketching assists students in linking course material to their own drawing practice, both in lab and in assignments?  
  • Does sketching in lecture make the material more encompassing and richer to both students and instructor?
  • Do students think that a WordPress blog was an effective tool for presenting and sharing work?
  • What were the operational advantages and disadvantages of working with a blogging platform from the perspective of both students and instructor?
  • How important do students think their ability to capture lecture material with accurately rendered drawings is in terms of value to their learning?
  • How much do students value instructor sketching in lecture?
  • Do students and instructor believe that the use of a high-resolution tablet, that is designed for drawing (such as an Ipad Pro or Wacom tablet), ease and deepen the use of visual thinking as presentation method? 

Knowledge sharing:

Clements-Vivian, S. (2018, June). How I used sketching to get students to show up, pay attention and learn during the lecture. Paper presented at the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE) Annual Conference, Sherbrooke, QC.

Keywords: sketching; tablets; comparison condition; iterative implementation; survey; reflective journal; Scholarly Personal Narrative; student work; exams; participatory; drawing; visual thinking; blog; sketch notes