#LTHEchat 168: What can visual thinking do for you and your students?

Welcome to this weeks chat with Professor Peter Hartley @profpeterbrad, Dr Chris Headleand @ChrisHeadleand and Dr Dawne Irving-Bell @belld17

What can visual thinking do for you and your students?

Our interest in exploring and comparing different approaches to what we call visual thinking came from a conversation where we compared completely different approaches to note taking and communication.

Our Background

Dawne is the Centre for Learning and Teaching Projects Lead and a Senior Lecturer in Teaching and Learning Development at Edge Hill University.

She can draw a bit and uses sketchnoting as a personal tool to organize her thoughts. In her teaching, she uses ‘sketchnotes’ both to communicate her perspective and help students develop techniques for their own use.

Peter is Visiting Professor at Edge Hill, National Teaching Fellow, and freelance educational consultant, previously Professor of Education Development at University of Bradford and Professor of Communication at Sheffield Hallam.

He cannot draw to save his life; he uses concept mapping. Having graduated from hand-scribbled (and badly drawn) mind and concept maps, he now uses Cmap for concept mapping as a personal tool and for presentations and workshops, always encouraging other staff and students to do it for themselves, both individually and in groups.

… and we are delighted that also joining us for this evenings chat is Dr Chris Headleand, Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Computer Science at the University of Lincoln.

We discovered one very important shared principle (and this is supported by research evidence and by our considerable practical experience in teaching): using visual methods to represent concepts and their relationships can develop insights and understanding which are more difficult to achieve as effectively through linear written text. We also share the feeling that these visual methods are both under-used and under-appreciated across further and higher education.

We are exploring this area in an investigation, partly supported by a grant from ALDinHE, where we are:

  • investigating current notetaking practices/preferences in HE.
    Most of the research on student notetaking which we have found to date is quite old and examines practices which predate the use of technologies which are now commonplace across HE and FE. There is also some more recent research which can be challenged, e.g. the widely publicised study recommending that we abandon laptops in favour of handwritten notes in the classroom.
  • piloting a structured intervention to introduce different visual notetaking methods.
    We are offering groups of students (and staff) a choice of sketchnoting and concept mapping as these exemplify different approaches which will appeal to different students and may have different applications in different disciplines. Again, there seems to be relatively little research on which tools work best for different students.
  • producing/disseminating tools and approaches which can be further developed for longer-term investigation and applied/adapted by colleagues elsewhere.

This #tweetchat will allow us to explore different perspectives and practical approaches to visual thinking.

Missed the chat?

Follow the conversation here

 Dawne is the Centre for Learning and Teaching Projects Lead and a Senior Lecturer in Teaching and Learning Development at Edge Hill University.

Dawne can be found on Twitter at @belld17

 

Peter is Visiting Professor at Edge Hill, National Teaching Fellow, and freelance educational consultant, previously Professor of Education Development at University of Bradford and Professor of Communication at Sheffield Hallam.

Peter can be found on Twitter  @profpeterbrad

 

Chris is the Director of Teaching and Learning in the School of Computer Science, and member of the LALT academy board at the University of Lincoln. He holds a PhD in Artificial Intelligence and Ethics having completed and a Masters in Computer Systems. An innovation evangelist, having come from a creative background Chris applies design thinking to computer science, providing novel solutions to technical problems and specialises in improving student engagement.

Chris can be found on Twitter @ChrisHeadleand

Follow the chat on Wakelet to catch up

https://wke.lt/w/s/ltRoME

 

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