Creating a Web Comic to Help Advisees

As you know if you read this blog much, I’m a strong believer in combining both the verbal and the visual to students in their learning.

I think practices like sketchnoting help students synthesis, evaluate, understand and retain material in important ways.   Whether I create visual/verbal learning materials for them, or whether they create them for me as notes or quiz alternatives, or as part of written projects, such works seems to have sparks of liveliness and individuality–as well as the intellectual content–that “same old, same old” projects don’t have.

Anyhow with this in mind, I decided to try something new.  Using a visual/verbal creation to communicate with my advisees.

I don’t know about you all, but my advisees often to do not read (and therefore, do not follow) the instructions I give them to best prepare for our pre-registration advising sessions.  If them arrive unprepared, I can’t help them.  They have to leave, prepare, then find another time to see me, which often is after their assigned registration time.  This causes all sorts of kerfuffle as they run a higher risk of missing out on spots in their preferred classes the later they register.

So this year I took my long and detailed email of instructions and distilled it down to its main points, added a narrative shell, and wrote a comic.

I test drove pencil sketch versions of it on some colleagues and some advisees who helped me through the editing process.

Then I produced it as an 8 page mini-comic, which I produced on paper and mailed to all of my advisees.

Then using Piktochart (my favorite infographic program), I created it as a scrollabe website, which you can find here.

Finally, using Piktochart’s export function, I created it as a .png file, which I have embedded below.  I will be emailing this to my advisees as well.

This .png could also be taken to the college print services office and made into a poster if I wanted (and I might!  I’m curious about it.)

This was a project brought about by a situation where communication failed too often between and my students, frequently to their consternation.  So, I’m trying something different, which I can use to communicate with them on paper and online.

Now that I know how to do all of this (having walked through it in the steps I’ve mentioned above–and all without expensive Adobe products, which I use, but which I also realize not everyone has access to), I’m really interested in playing with more ways the visual and verbal combinations (especially comics) can be used to enhance teaching and learning–particularly online.

I’ll let you know how my advisees respond to this after our next registration period in early April.

In the meantime, I give you:

A comic about what you need to do to prepare to meet your advisor



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