Educator creates a reflection-based portfolio that demonstrates the use of sketchnoting (visual note-taking).
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Educator creates, shares, and explains examples of sketchnotes.

Method Components

What is Sketchnoting?

Sketchnoting (or visual note-taking) is a method and process of learning and note-taking that helps the note-taker/learner focus more on deeper processing of content than quick stenography. Sketchnoting is a mixture of art, text, content, and process that is highly individualized and personal. Having an artistic background is not required.

Components of Sketchnoting

  • Planning – Having the right mindset and materials is key for making a sketch note. This mindset starts with Materials and Practice
    • Materials (notebook, writing utensils, etc.), Space (physical space to spread out and sketch)
    • Practice (basic objects, shapes, maps, brands)
  • Listening – Part of sketchnoting is not just recording what is being said, but listening. Being able to understand, paraphrase, and apply what is heard is crucial. Sketchnoting requires a synthesis of what is being said in a symbolic/pictorial format, so taking the time to practice listening first and then coming up with ideas of what to sketch is a great way to start. Examples of practicing listening include the following:
    • Podcasts, lectures, conferences, video interviews
    • Get quotes! Direct quotes are great to start sketchnoting because they are primary sourced and often have a context that can be symbolically interpreted with relative ease.
  • Processing – Before drawing, ask questions about the point, purpose, and connectivity of what you heard. How might you symbolize words so that those symbols take/make meaning?
    • Take advantage of down time.
    • Pace yourself! Focus on what’s important (to you AND to the presenter). Make the details worth it.
    • Curate. Collect your notes, share them with other sketchnoters, and develop a sense of style.
    • Let it flow! This is not a competition, nor does it require excellent drawing ability. Let your pen/pencil and your mind do the work.
  • Drawing – Learn/practice the multitude of ways to make a sketch come to life. This will help develop your individual style and approach. Examples of components in drawing to consider when making, revising, and improving sketchnotes include:
    • Contrast
    • Repetition
    • Alignment
    • Proximity
    • Consistent type
    • Employ type empathy
    • Creative containers & connectors
    • Ampersands
    • Color & shading

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Pillars, Wendi. “Visual Note-Taking for Educators: A Teacher’s Guide to Student Creativity.”


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

Following are the items you must submit to earn this micro-credential and the criteria by which they will be evaluated. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3, and a rating of “Applying” or better for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview Questions

(500-word limit for the response or 3-minute video/audio limit for response)

  • Sketchnote Collection Description: Briefly describe the sample sketchnotes you submitted, i.e., What are the notes from? Meetings, conferences, TED Talks, podcasts, etc.

Part 2. Work Examples/Artifacts

Educator must submit a portfolio of sketchnotes that demonstrate the following characteristics:

  • Creating meaning visually
  • Use of a variety of drawing techniques
  • Application of practice

Provide sketchnote examples of EACH of these characteristics, as well as a reflection for each example which explains how the example demonstrates the characteristics.

There is no required number of sketchnotes, but there should be enough to demonstrate the characteristic. A single sketchnote may be used as an example for more than one characteristic.

Part 3. Reflection

Provide a reflection on what you learned, using the following questions as guidance (300-word limit or 2-minute video/audio limit):

  • Draw conclusions about the benefits of visual note-taking on deeper learning and retention in yourself and/or others (e.g., your students).
  • How might you provide evidence of how you determined the meaning, importance, value, etc., of what you were hearing?
  • How might you provide evidence of how you visually synthesized your learning?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Sketchnoting
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document