Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Visual Note-Taking Increases Comprehension

All students need to develop skills in visual communication. Students should have opportunities to learn how adding visuals to note-taking can help increase understanding and reveal connections that might otherwise not be apparent.

Visual note-taking (right) includes:
Differentiating text with headings, subheadings, changing font sizes, and using bold-face and italics when appropriate.
Using bullets to identify lists of materials. Bullets can include dots, circles, squares, triangles, stars or any visual device you like.
Making connections by using arrows, lines, dotted lines, dashed lines or any other connecting symbol you like.
Framing special material to separate it from the rest. Frames can be rectangles, ovals, speech balloons, thought balloons or any other framing device.
Graphic techniques such as alignment, justification, shadows, overlapping and any other technique to create visual interest and clarity.
Sketches include quick drawings of people, places or things that may be metaphoric or represent things mentioned in the presentation.
(Click on the photo on the right to examine the note-taking process.)

Click on the heading above to see an amazing example of visual note-taking of a speech given by Sir Ken Robinson (left) to the RSA (Royal Society for the Arts) in London. It is a bit small to see in the video but at the end, when the camera pulls back to reveal the entire drawing, you see how the non-linear nature of visual note-taking allows one to review the entire presentation in a glance.

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