Using group drawings activities to facilitate the understanding of the systemic aspects of projects

João Alberto Arantes do Amaral, Aurélio Hess, Paulo Gonçalves, Vinícius Picanço Rodrigues

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


In this article, we present our findings regarding promoting group drawing activities in order to facilitate the learning of systemic aspects of projects. We discuss the approach we used to engage the students and foster learning in our classes. We used group drawing activities in two project management undergraduate courses. The courses, which involved 41 students, took place during the second semester of 2016 in a public university in Brazil. We conducted qualitative research, using qualitative observation and focus group interviews. In order to gauge the effects of the use of this educational technique, we followed the five-phased qualitative analysis method, combined with a systems analysis of the data obtained from observation. Five recurrent themes emerged: 1) Making drawings in groups helps content retention and facilitates connections between the concepts explained by the professor, 2) Making drawings in groups promotes knowledge sharing among team members; 3) Making drawings in group fosters creativity and communication between students; 4) Drawing in groups reduces the students' boredom, makes the lecture more dynamic and interesting; 5) Drawing in groups reinforces bonds between students. Our systems analysis suggests that group drawing improves student participation in classroom activities, strengthens bonds between students, and enhances learning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-22
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Instruction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • group drawing
  • systems thinking
  • learning project management
  • project-based learning


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