Publish at March 15 2023 Updated March 15 2023

Visual collaboration and group creation

When the drawing joins the collective design


The best mirror is a friend's eye
Gaelic proverb

Definition and issues of visual collaboration

The visual collaboration refers to the practice of working together in real time on visual content, such as diagrams, schematics, graphs, mind maps, illustrations, presentations, mock-ups, infographics, design thinking, visual brainstorming, visual maps, Kanban boards. It sometimes involves the use of online collaborative tools, such as virtual whiteboards, video conferencing tools, real-time drawing software, project management platforms, and, increasingly, augmented reality.

The Challenges of Visual Collaboration

Visual collaboration fosters mutual understanding among team members, using visual media to express complex ideas, clarify abstract concepts, and visualize information. But it also has a design function for the group of co-designers. Used remotely, it facilitates collaboration and coordination of geographically dispersed teams by allowing everyone to work in real time on the same document.

It accelerates decision making and problem solving by facilitating simultaneous collaboration on the same task, discussing different options, proposing alternative solutions, and quickly finding consensus. It fosters creativity and innovation by providing collaborative tools and environments that encourage co-creation and co-design of visual projects. It improves productivity and quality of renderings by allowing team members to work together more effectively, avoid duplication, errors and misunderstandings, and more easily track the progress of the overall project.

How does visual collaboration enable collective learning?

Visual collaboration enables collective learning by providing a way for participants to share information and work together in a synchronized manner. Using collaboration tools, group members can express their ideas clearly and concisely, identify connections between concepts, and visualize the entire learning process. Properly facilitated, it also promotes active participation and engagement by everyone, which can help to increase motivation and involvement in learning.

Here are three examples of instructional processes that use visual collaboration to foster group learning:

  • Collaborative mind maps are diagrams that represent ideas and concepts in a visual way. Learners can use online tools to create collaborative mind maps, allowing all participants to add, edit, or delete ideas in real time. This approach allows learners to build collective knowledge by synthesizing and organizing information visually.

  • Virtual whiteboards are online workspaces where learners can draw, write or add notes to share ideas. They can be used to solve problems, create project plans or organize ideas. Participants can work in sync on the same whiteboard, adding or changing elements to build shared understanding.

  • Venn diagrams are visual tools that allow sets of elements to be compared and contrasted. Learners can use these diagrams to identify similarities and differences between concepts, which can help clarify ideas and strengthen collective understanding. Venn diagrams can be created using online drawing tools or virtual whiteboards to allow for real-time collaboration.

Creating the group

When learners' eyes turn to the same work object, an implicit begins to build between them. Everything happens as if the object of production were an object of links. The collective work plays a mediation function as much in the direction of a nascent knowledge as in favor of a group dynamic where each one gradually finds his place.

The group is produced at the same time as the visual that occupies it. Each one develops his place by the specific angle of view that he has elaborated in the common work. For this dual institution of the work and its collective creator to play its merging role, particular vigilance must be given to the place of each. The facilitator keeps in mind the necessary inclusion of each member to avoid the leadership of one crushing the creativity of the whole emerging collective.

To do this, he or she must create a trusting environment and make sure that all group members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions without fear of judgment. This will work best by establishing clear communication rules and encouraging active listening and constructive feedback.

Defining a clear and shared purpose is the best way to bond the group, so that all members have a common vision of what they are trying to produce and what they hope to achieve by working together. The facilitator will be sure to encourage everyone to bring their ideas and skills to the table and to actively participate in the discussions.

If the visual collaboration takes place remotely, a prerequisite of a mastery of the tools will need to be met. Clear roles and times will help position oneself. Finally, by developing regular reflective times and discussion times about difficulties encountered, new ideas, or even points of improvement, the group will progress in its understanding of its functioning as a group and the visual collaboration it is working on.

The visual collaboration participates in the creation of a collective from its production e and is woven humanly from the colors, intentions, gestures and shapes of each. Drawing/drawing and group take shape at the same time


Charlier, B. (2003). Technology and innovation in pedagogy: innovative training devices for higher education (pp. 43-64). D. Peraya (Ed.). De Boeck Université.

Jiménez, L. M. (2010). An experimental study of collective idea generation using synchronous remote collaboration technologies (Doctoral dissertation, École Polytechnique de Montréal).

Luci. Everyone is talking about it. What is visual collaboration?

Gléonnec, M. (2004). Working together at a distance: a question of trust. Hermès, La Revue, 39, 18-26.

Lucidchart Venn Diagrams - 6 virtual whiteboards for your remote brainstorming

Collaborative Tools -

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