June 30, 2022

To introduce the concept of graphic facilitation, what better way than to present it to you in images and video?

Some say that graphic facilitation could be the oldest profession. Why?  Imagine that humans, once they knew how to stand up straight and started making tools to hunt, wondered how to communicate their strategies to the tribe during their travels. So, they began to draw to convey information on cave walls.

Today, graphic facilitators convey a complex message in a simpler form by drawing or using symbols and images.

Graphic work helps people to understand and see what they “mean” and then to convey what they have in mind easily and effectively.

Reasons for using graphic facilitation for learning support

One of the biggest reasons for using drawing and graphic facilitation for learning is to ensure we are touching the needs of the wide range of learners we meet.

It can be a social inclusion tool for engaging those who are visual learners and a valuable tool when working in the non-formal learning world as it feels accessible for nearly everyone.

During the implementation of specific activities of the project, the partners met Estelle CROCHU who has been a visual facilitator in France for 10 years and who practices this method with different types of audiences:

“After an experience, whether it is learning/training or debate/exchange with others, we need to take some distance to be able to conceptualize what we have discussed and thus learn from the experience.
Visual and graphic facilitation is a method of working that can do this.
I often use visual facilitation in training sessions with people of different nationalities and languages (arrival seminars for European volunteers): images are a universal language that everyone understands, and drawings help us to understand better. “

We all have some element of learning visually within us. Some of us more than others.

The visual learner prefers to learn through symbols, images and pictures and likes to use maps and visual timelines to organize information.

A visual learner can easily imagine objects and plans, they can read something and visualize this quickly in their minds.  They usually have a good sense of direction and spatial awareness. As a facilitator of learning the whiteboard and flipchart is their best friend and they can quickly present models and document a process in a creative way.

Maybe they are the ones naturally doodling, making notes using scribbles, images, pictures and symbols as part of their notes.

Below is a little glossary to give a basic understanding of how we understand a few of the terms used in the world of drawing for recording and transmitting messages. Of course, there are others, but these will help you to get started.

Using drawing, words and visual tools to present, facilitate or document a process such as a training course, exchange or seminar. It can also be used to describe the overall activity.

Using drawing and images to document a process and the outcomes of a meeting, training, or conference for example. One version of this is sometimes referred to as “Visual Minutes” as they capture the essence of a meeting, what people said and what people have agreed on, as well as the outcomes and agreed actions.

A captured moment of an outcome or process. They can be like taking a photo of what has happened, or a concept, or a result. To use more poetic language: a drop of water representing the ocean!

A map, a poster, a sign. Something which includes drawings and other visual elements like color or shading in order to pass a clear message.

Would you like to learn and test graphic facilitation too?

Stay tuned to find out how this method will be used in “Draw your thoughts” project !