Sketchnoting for Comprehension

Have you guys heard of Sketchnoting? It’s visual note-taking. So taking notes, but instead of recording lines and lines of text, you draw, or sketch, what you feel are the most important key concepts from the class, meeting, or event you are attending. 

What is the point of Sketchnoting? Well first of all, it’s a lot more FUN than regular note-taking. Drawing and doodling are something we all did as kids, but many of us stopped somewhere along the way. Why? Maybe because we thought we weren’t good enough. Maybe because our doodles made it look like we weren’t paying attention or working hard. Or maybe some teacher just told us to stop and focus or writing, or math. But there is actual research out there that states then when the mind and body are working together towards the same goal, the brain’s ability to comprehend and retain information is increased. It turns out that drawing is one of the best ways to learn!

These articles explain it way better then I ever could:

Planning on taking notes via Sketchnoting enables you to do a few key things during your event:

  • focus more on the speaker, and less on writing
  • visualize the information that is being presented
  • identify the most important concepts
  • engage your mind and body in the material being covered
  • document your learning in a visual representation that makes sense to you
  • identify patterns and make connections
  • create an artifact you are proud of
  • relax
  • have FUN!

I am actually taking an online course right now called Sketchnotes for Comprehension from Fresno Pacific University. I’m having so much fun with it! For this course, we are using a “textbook”, but really a book of Sketchnotes (awesome!) called The Sketchnote Handbook by Mike Rohde. I highly recommend this 2-grad-credit course, as well as picking up a copy of this book. This is one of the most enjoyable grad courses I have taken so far. The book we use is fun, and the doodling is so relaxing for me! Here is one of the first intentional Sketchnotes I created, with some helpful tips on Sketchnoting:

You don’t have to be an artist, at all, to be able to Sketchnote. Anyone can do it. If you haven’t looked into Sketchnoting yet, I really think it’s worth considering for yourself as well as your students. I can’t wait to start teaching this process to my middle- and high-school kids when we go back in the fall. I think they’re going to love it!


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