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Teaching and entertaining with online educational comics
In 2020, in order to give university students encouragement during a difficult time while also providing free educational content, a teacher at a university created a series of daily comics that introduced study tips, vocabulary, educational ideas, or just entertainment value. The goal of the series of strips evolved over time, as did the format, as various kinds of comics were explored, such as "yonkoma" comics, single-panel comics, and later a series with a recurring main character. The strips were not used for a specific class, but were available for students to access free on the school's social media, often in both English and often in Japanese. This presentation will explore the design decisions used for the art, the jokes, the educational content, and how those concepts evolved over the course of the year, as well as how text, questions, and tags were used to support the goals of the project. The comics remain free to use online, and the presentation will also explore further directions for the creation of online comics for education.
Nicholas Driscoll is a university teacher in Shimonoseki Japan. He holds a masters degree in applied linguistics from Iowa State University, and enjoys creating educational materials such as a gamebook, novel, and comics for students, as well as other creative projects. He also likes peanut butter very much.