During my investigations of humour and the use of cartoons in the educational setting, I came across this intriguing idea of having students draw cartoons to facilitate a deeper understanding of the material.
Here is a short video that describes the basic concepts.
Benefits of this learning activity are (Isham and Williams, n.d.):
- Help students to synthesize information;
- Help students to retain information;
- Engages students.
I figured there was no one better to try this out on than me. Here is my cartoon.
To analyse the effectiveness of the exercise I took a look at Bloom’s taxonomy to see if it did engage higher cognitive functions.
Remembering/Understanding: Obviously I had to remember and understand what the concept of a self-determined learner was.
Then it got interesting. I had to think how I could apply the concept and have it make sense in a conceptual way. I went through aspects of my life where self-determination would or could be of critical importance. Then I expanded it outwards. Did this also apply to others? Was there an event in history or in fable that could apply? Then, I hit on the idea of Adam and Eve and the garden of Eden and off I went to level 6 – Creating.
Over all the experience was quite fun. With students it would be necessary to reinforce that the drawing part doesn’t matter as the focus is on learning. I really liked how the process had me engage with the information in a new and novel way. I think it would be a fun activity to incorporate into an online course.
What do you think? Would you be willing to try it? I would love to see your cartoon!
Isham and Williams (n.d.) The University of Iowa, The Extraodinary Teaching Project: Teaching with Cartoons Retrieved from: http://teach.its.uiowa.edu/resources/extraordinary-teaching-project/teaching-cartoons