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Annotating and Overlapping Technical Drawings

Key words:

Fashion-design apprentices, Cueing pictures, Picture annotation, Overlapping

Learning objective
Identify defects on a technical drawing
1-2 lesson units (can be done regularly)
Individual, class
Fashion-design apprentices
Picture annotation tool and/or picture editing tool, scanner, projector


In this scenario, apprentices work on identification of errors in technical drawings. Fashion design apprentices are first asked to create a pattern (a profession-specific type of technical drawing) on paper. Afterwards, they scan all their drawings and upload them on Realto as images. The teacher then uses Realto’s overlap function to overlay the correct drawing with the students' ones. While overlapping, the teacher provided corrections using annotations to highlight the errors and saved the image.

Description of the teaching approach

This scenario combines cueing and multimedia learning. The presence of cues added by the teacher directs the attention of the apprentices toward the relevant parts of the image (e.g. errors) and diminishes the students’ cognitive load. This fosters enhanced understanding of the images.
This activity is beneficial for observation skills since apprentices are asked to pay attention to their errors when their drawings and the teacher’s ones are overlapped. The view of both the teacher’s and the apprentices’ drawings on top of each other allows apprentices to detect the differences and commonalities quickly. Also, the teacher focuses the apprentices’ attention by explaining the errors (e.g., wrong placement of lines, wrong text or symbols) and highlighting the correct elements using the annotation tools.




This scenario is originally done using Realto as it has an annotation tool and overlapping tool included. You can simply post the technical drawing and ask your students to annotate the picture. As a teacher, you can see their work and choose which student's annotations to show.

Other photo editing softwares
Other photo editing softwares

You can use any picture editing software (e.g. Photoshop, Photofiltre, Gimp) to do this scenario. Start by opening your own drawing in the software. Then import the drawings of your students as layers on your drawing. You might need to align the drawing, modify the opacity setting, or make the background color (the “paper color”) transparent in order to make the drawing overlap correctly.

Tips and tricks

  • This scenario is highly flexible and could be adapted to any profession that performs correction of technical or non-technical drawings in their curricula. For instance, you can do the same with road plans for civil engineering draftsmen.

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Discuss and exchange

You can discuss and share your experience about the scenarios on the Skillsnet Community network:


  • Mayer, R. E. (2002). Multimedia learning. In Psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 41, pp. 85-139). Academic Press.

  • Caruso, V., Cattaneo, A., & Gurtner, J.-L. (2017). Creating technology-enhanced scenarios to promote observation skills of fashion-design students. Form@re - Open Journal per La Formazione in Rete, 17(1), 4‑17.

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