Why does drawing matter?
Drawing and other visual methods such as collage have an important role to play in every discipline, not just those such as art and design with which they are usually associated, but in science, social sciences, clinical education and many other subjects.
Some of the most common potential functions of drawing include:
- Observational drawing – to sharpen perception and make rapid and accurate records of key data in almost any situation.
- Conceptual drawing and diagramming – helps students visualise ideas and processes, compare their understanding and develop critical thinking skills and revise and reinforce their learning
- Collaborative drawing and image making activities – can develop communication skills, encourage reflection on experience, professional and personal development planning.
These resources build on award-winning projects and research carried out at the University of Brighton, and offer a range of ideas from staff and students for using visual approaches to support your learning whatever your programme of study, Creative activities can also contribute to general well being So even if you think you can’t draw, or that it’s irrelevant to your subject, do have a go. For instance, you could try keeping a visual diary, make sketch notes or mini-zines to help capture key ideas or just take 5 minutes a day to focus on something new. To view all posts in this category click the link below.
Drawing to Learn Booklets
These booklets were written to encourage academic staff to make use of visual approaches in their teaching. Each title is addressed to a broad cluster of disciplines and offers a brief introduction to the ways in which drawing and other visual methods may be used to support undergraduate and postgraduate learning and research.
You can download the booklets via the links below.
- Drawing to Learn: Arts & Humanities
- Drawing to Learn: Business, Education, Law, Management & Social Science
- Drawing to Learn: Clinical Education, Health and Social Care
- Drawing to Learn: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics
We hope the ideas and examples will encourage lecturers and supervisors to explore the possibilities in their own teaching. Please contact Pauline Ridley firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss this in more detail.
- Drawing Together Drawing to Learn BelongatBrighton – a resource for teaching staff, produced as part of the Belong at Brighton initiative, with some simple short drawing activities to be used with groups of new students during the transition to university studies.
- Frankel, F.C. Picturing science and engineering. MRS Bulletin 45, 994–998 (2020) reflects on several aspects of visual communication in science. Scroll down to the section on “Undergraduate Education” for a brief discussion of the Picturing to Learn project with science students and faculty from Harvard, MIT, Duke University and Roxbury Community College. Assessment tasks enabled undergraduate students to clarify their own understanding of scientific concepts and processes by making freehand drawings to explain these concepts to non-experts.
- Lots of drawing ideas, exercises and techniques at the AccessArt website
- Field sketches and how to draw them
- Techniques for drawing botanical subjects under the microscope
- Mida, I The Curators Sketchbook Reflections on Learning to See