The Benefits of Visual Facilitation in the Classroom

This post originally appeared on www.trainingindustry.com on March 1, 2013

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. This is true in a corporate learning classroom as much as anywhere else.

To help learners really grasp a concept, consider incorporating drawings into your corporate trainings to visually represent the different theories, topics and areas of learning that are taught. Using visual facilitation and pre-drawn flip charts not only helps draw in learners (so to speak), but makes it easier for them to remember the concepts they’ve just learned. The simple pictures and the words about the topic offer an easy way for people to link the concept to the picture.

Here’s how it works:

From the moment learners enter a training space, “show” them what they will be learning. Post welcome signs with everyone’s name on them. Outline key concepts in a cloud or perhaps with a landscape design that represents a learning module. For example, draw a mountain with flags on its peaks to outline each module learners will go through.

Using simple visual graphics is a great way to illustrate the major topics that will be taught. This visual aid helps the learners “see” what they are learning. If offering leadership training, for example, draw a person standing before a crowd of people. For the agenda overview, use a helicopter icon. This is not clip art; but is actually drawn by each of our training facilitators.

Large, 2 x 3-foot flip charts show up well and Neuland markers won’t bleed and the ink doesn’t smell.

After learners discuss a topic, post the flip charts around the room in the order that the learning occurred.  Learners can then “walk the walls” to review and discuss what they learned in different training sections. It’s a way to visually remind them of the key concepts and to reinforce what they learned so it sticks.

Giving learners workbooks allows them to take notes during the training sessions. Encourage them to draw if it will help them recall the concepts. Some learners report that they were able to recall the visuals as opposed to the notes. When we do this in our trainings we get plenty of positive feedback from people who say, “I still remember the picture related to x and what I learned about it.” Learners say the visual pieces around the room help them remember key concepts.

Visuals offer another way for people to learn. If people do the drawings themselves, it is a kinesthetic way of learning because learners are putting pen to paper.

Using these visuals in a classroom doesn’t require trainers to be naturally born artists. For many of us, our natural drawing skills have not evolved much further than preschool finger painting. However, everyone can learn to draw. Our company uses The Grove, which trained us to draw people, special representations, how to use the right color and the right letters, and even how to draw an effective straight line.

Visual learning often rates higher than audio or kinesthetic learning for many people. We have found that when setting up the corporate classroom, using drawings truly does help people learn.

Juliana Stancampiano is chief executive officer of Oxygen Learning, a Seattle company that provides an immersive, interactive and innovative approach to corporate training. Reach her at juliana@oxygenlearning.com. 

By | 2017-06-08T13:33:59+00:00 March 1st, 2013|Training Industry|