Using sketchnoting as a revision aid with forensic students

Helen Tidy, Rachel Burnham, Samuel Elkington

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The concept of Sketchnoting was first introduced by Mike Rhode as a means of capturing information in a visual form using a combination of the visual and words. Within Higher Education a Sketchnote can be used to record or summarise key points from a body of information using a combination of words, simple pictures, layout and graphics. Creating a Sketchnote allows a student to be able summarise key facts from a presentation, journal article, book or practical session in a visual manner that is easier to recall at a later time.

This research looks at the use of Sketchnoting as a form of interactive revision during class time. Students undertaking a 1st Year Forensic Science module at (Teesside University) University were asked to Sketchnote their learning after each hour of lecture time to form a visual representation of the lecture content in order to create a visual revision aid for their upcoming examination. The process of Sketchnoting combines both verbal and visual information for improved recall – the students are listening to the lecture then visually representing what they learn.

The resulting Sketchnotes were shared each week via a class Padlet, this also allowed the academic to add formative feedback in the form of further information about the evidence type represented. The students were also able to keep their individual Sketchnotes and form a revision “book” from them. Students described the task as “Helpful”, “Refreshing” and “Creative” with approximately half the class stating they would be using this as a future revision process for exams. A preliminary analysis of the exam results demonstrated a marked increase in the lower grade boundaries for the group of students who undertook the Sketchnoting exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-826
Number of pages5
JournalScience and Justice
Issue number6
Early online date26 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

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