video overview

IIr Associates, Inc.
Publisher of The Virginia Engineer

Print-Publishing Services
Web Site Design-Coding-Hosting
Business Consulting

Phone: (804) 779-3527

A Different Way Of Studying With Sketchnoting
December 6, 2018

Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, assistant professor of industrial design at Iowa State University, is teaching students sketchnoting to research how this style of note-taking affects learning, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. Sketchnoting is an alternative to traditional note-taking, a process of adding visuals to notes in order to cement what students learned and push them to think about the material in a new way.

Iowa State students learn how to develop their sketchnoting skills from Verena Paepcke-Hjeltness, assistant professor of industrial design. Credit: Christopher Gannon, Iowa State University.

Prof. Paepcke-Hjeltness, along with Ann Russell, adjunct associate professor of natural resource ecology and management; and Ann Gansemer-Topf, associate professor in the School of Education; received a grant through Iowa State’s Miller Faculty Fellowship Program as part of its mission to “develop innovative approaches to enhance student learning.”

“The idea of dual coding comes into play – that if you combine a visual with words, you’re using the entire brain and not just memorizing,” Prof. Paepcke-Hjeltness said. “The information manifests itself differently.”

Prof. Paepcke-Hjeltness researches sketchnoting as a methodology, taking it around campus to teach faculty in workshops and students in class how to use sketchnoting to improve their lessons and study habits.

Sketchnoting forces a person to fully understand a lesson before they can begin sketching and organizing it on a page. Sketching a topic forces a person to break down the lesson in a different way; seeing it drawn in front of them often leads to visual connections between topics that they otherwise may not have seen.

Prof. Paepcke-Hjeltness says it’s important to remember one thing about sketchnoting: “It’s not about being an artist.”

“Don’t try to make it look beautiful,” she told industrial design students recently. “Make it meaningful.”

According to information, Prof. Paepcke-Hjeltness is particularly interested in bringing sketchnoting to STEM courses such as electrical engineering. While sketchnoting “live” proved difficult due to the fast-paced lectures and complex material, she says the engineering students were able to use sketchnoting in their study notes, which improved comprehension.

“They told me sketchnoting helps them better understand concepts because it requires them to think about how to visualize them instead of just memorizing,” she said.

“We often talk about needing more people in STEM fields,” Prof. Gansemer-Topf said. “By incorporating new and effective strategies to understand STEM disciplines, we may also attract a broader range of students who might be interested in STEM.”

  ------   News Item Archive  -----  
The Virginia Engineer MobileOur Mobile site
The Virginia Engineer on facebook
The Virginia Engineer RSS Feed