Visual Thinking Workshop 

Visual Thinking for Learning, Problem Solving, and Collaboration

Sketch of conference detailsTuesday, January 8, 2013 | 8:30–4:30
Commons Learning Center, Austin, Texas

Program Overview

Join us for this hands-on workshop to learn how incorporating visuals can enhance communication, launch innovation, and increase collaboration.

Why Visual Thinking? Dynamic, complicated problems often can’t be quickly relayed or understood with only text. Visuals help provide deeper understanding, engagement, and better retention of information. Visual thinking works with any sized audience, and its principles can be applied using the simplest of tools. It can benefit your interactions when brainstorming with a single colleague, presenting to staff, capturing content from a training event, or developing an idea on your own.

There will be lots of drawing and group exercises, primarily using paper and markers. No artistic expertise required! The last hour will be devoted to using iPad or other tablet PC for those who prefer tech tools.

Topics Covered

  • Overview of Visual Thinking and Involved Learning
  • Techniques to engage your audience visually
  • Basics of graphic facilitation
  • Application of visuals for meetings, materials, social media
  • Active listening skills 
  • Visual thinking alphabet, icons, and metaphors
  • Best practices for applying visual language to group dynamics
  • Techniques for organizing information
  • Tools and resources

Who Will Benefit

  • Project Managers/Team Leaders
  • Educators who deliver information to learners of any age
  • Those who lead meetings, brainstorming sessions, and strategic visioning exercises
  • Staff involved in communication and outreach efforts
  • Meeting facilitators
  • Conference organizers seeking fresh methods of engagement
  • E-Learning developers
  • Anyone who wants to improve the quality of their group communications


This workshop is hosted by DIR along with the following sponsors:
  • E-Learning Council
  • Governor’s Center for Management Development
  • SACC Training and Development Subcommittee
  • Society of Government Meeting Professionals (SGMP) - Texas Lone Star Capital Chapter
  • Texas Association of State Systems for Computing and Communications (TASSCC)


Allison Crow, M.Ed, is a professional trainer, facilitator, and coach who specializes in how thinking impacts behavior. She uniquely employs both large-scale and digital visual thinking methods in her work. Allison earned a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. She is the founder of Crow Hill Conversations, a visual thinking company providing group and individual training and facilitation services worldwide.

Location & Parking

Big Tex Auditorium (the large auditorium), Commons Learning Center
10100 Burnet Road, Austin, TX 78758
Southwest corner of Burnet Road and Braker Lane, within the main complex of the J.J. Pickle Research Campus.

The campus now charges $3 for parking. Please see confirmation instructions about payment. Enter at the Burnet Road gate and obtain a permit from the guard. Parking is available in the lots on the north and west sides of the building. Overflow parking is in the two lots on the east side of the building. Vehicles not displaying permits may be ticketed.

Eligibility, Costs, and Registration

This workshop is full with an extensive waitlist. Registration is for wait list only.

This workshop is targeted to Texas state government employees and invited guests of the sponsors.

The cost to attend is normally $390 person. Many of the expenses have been covered by the sponsors; however the following nominal fees apply.

 Registration Type

Early Bird
Register BY 12/21

Register AFTER 12/21 

Employees of Texas STATE Agencies or Institutions of Higher Education 



Other Government Employees (subject to space availability)



Private sector guests invited by one of the sponsors.
(Each sponsor has a limited number of invitations for non-government.)



Note: Depending on demand, it may be necessary to limit the number of attendees from each entity so that the maximum number of organizations can participate.

  • Request a slot in this workshop via the DIR enrollment form. We will confirm registrations by December 14.
  • We have some scholarship funds for state employees if the fee would prevent you from attending.
  • All cancellations must be received IN WRITING by noon Thursday, January 3 via the enrollment site.
  • SGMP will contact all registrants to arrange advance payment of the fees after confirmation.
  • Please notify DIR of any special needs at least one week prior to the program so we may implement an appropriate solution.
  • Substitutions are allowable at any time.

Questions? Contact Joy Hall Bryant