Using Google Drawings to craft learning solutions

A relatively new feature of Google Docs is Google Drawings, which provides a dedicated working space that allows you to draw and share drawings with others.

The technology (or what are my powers?)

You’ll get the same basic drawing tools you always had in Google Docs; the difference is being able to use them in a dedicated drawing space.

Google Drawings toolbar

A particularly fine feature of Google Drawings is the ability to share your drawings with people you invite via email.  Your collaborators can comment on your drawings in a chat window. They also can  make changes directly in your drawing in real-time as well.

Training needs analysis

But you’re not limited to sharing drawings you’ve created using the drawing tools. You can also insert images into your drawing space.
inserting an image in Google Drawings

Though you and your collaborators won’t be able to edit an inserted image, you can use the drawing tools to note changes that should be made (e.g., by drawing arrows or adding text boxes or by using the scribble tool).

If you want to insert an image you’ve been working on into a Google Doc, you can save it to your web clipboard and simply copy it into your document.

save to clipboard

You can also save an image in a number of different formats by selecting “Download as” in the File menu.

Saving images

Instructional strategies

As you might have guessed from the teasers in the images above, you can use Google Drawings to collaborate in real-time on a training needs assessment (TNA), inviting your clients, SME’s, and potential learners, to view and comment on a flow chart defining job processes you’d like to provide training on. (Of course, you should conduct a performance analysis first to determine whether training’s really necessary.)

Training Needs Assessment flow chart

Performing a thorough TNA will allow you to select the most appropriate practice and assessment activities and then determine the supporting knowledge needed to allow workers to succeed at these activities.

You also can use Google Drawings to flesh out the details of particular performances required to meet objectives (and to support business goals). For example, you can use Google Drawings to outline the steps of a procedure.Outline a procedure using Google Drawing

Google Drawing isn’t for creating beautiful images. But it is a great real-time storyboarding and collaboration tool to help you develop training that’s relevant and connected to an organization’s goals.


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