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Sketchnoting to Support Memory Recall and Social Sharing of Knowledge

Listen and learn

Listen and learn : Research paper
Roundtable presentation

Monday, November 30, 12:30–1:15 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)
Presentation 2 of 2
Other presentations:
HyperDocs in the Classroom: Worth the Hype?

Mat Pullen  
This session looks at the theory behind the use of sketchnoting to support students in the classroom and beyond to better recall knowledge shared in lectures and presentations. Participants will explore the theory behind the practice and gain support and ideas into starting out with the practice themselves

Audience: Teachers, Teacher education/higher ed faculty, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Any drawing apps are appropriate but the following are examples that can be used.
Paper 53
Topic: Teacher education
Grade level: Community college/university
Subject area: Higher education, Preservice teacher education
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Model for colleagues the identification, exploration, evaluation, curation and adoption of new digital resources and tools for learning.
  • Stay current with research that supports improved student learning outcomes, including findings from the learning sciences.
For Students:
Creative Communicator
  • Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand

Proposal summary


The study intends to explore the use of dual coding and the picture superiority effect of educators as they use a sketch noting approach to note taking. In order to achieve this, it will be important to develop a deeper understanding of the theories and how they relate to the sketch noting methods used. Samples of sketch notes will be explored that have been shared by educators on social media and these will be compared and contrasted as well as exploring the links that these sketch notes have to the theories themselves. The mode of study used will be a literature review study utilising secondary research in the form of the educators sketch notes as well as a review of the previous research into the use of imagery in note taking.


To be able to compare and contrast what is being created by educators, several individuals will be contacted to ask permission for their sketch notes to be used as part of the research. These will be sketches that have been shared publicly on social media and will be used to look at the similarities and differences in approaches.

The potential bias in this approach will be noted, as a user of social media, the researcher is a follower of the creators of the sketchnotes, though it should be noted that this study is not looking tat the sketch notes as a way of measuring impact on recall but simply as a way of contrasting approaches used by educators in different fields.

As noted the work of the educators will be linked to the theory around dual coding and the picture superiority effect

Further study is aimed at understanding approaches used by students in Higher Education in University of South Wales and how alternate approaches are perceived.


Initial literature review results demonstrate that the approach is effective in supporting memory recall in students and that it offers an alternate approach for understanding new vocabulary. Expectations on additional study would be that more students find the approach to be more engaging due to the nature of heightened focus but a concern around artistic ability in order to use the method


Students attending university expect learning to follow the same pattern as their secondary education, this entails being provided with a lot of the information they will need in order to pass the test at the end of the course. In university there is more emphasis on self study. This approach supports higher levels of focus and engagement in session in university and a personalised approach to note taking.


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Mat Pullen, Jamf

Mat is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of South Wales. He leads on developing students skills in digital technology to enhance learning and teaching and is transforming how future teachers approach their approach to what education looks like.

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