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Annotating Images and Reflective Writing

Key words:

Cueing pictures, Beauticians

Learning objective
Identify skin anomalies
20 minutes
Individual, class
Picture annotation tool, blog or wiki


In this scenario, apprentices work on the identification of skin anomalies. The activity starts with the teacher showing and explaining images of skin anomalies to apprentices. Then, apprentices have to describe and annotate the images with the goal of guiding the attention of the apprentices. Finally, students are asked to annotate another set of images depicting the same anomalies.

Description of the teaching approach

The focus of this activity is to foster expert-like observation of profession-specific materials. When teachers use cues such as arrows or colours while explaining concepts to apprentices, this allows students to identify the important elements of the image more quickly. This activity diminishes students’ cognitive load as it directs the attention and gaze of the novice to the most important or relevant parts of the content. Further, the use of self-reflective writing allows apprentices to have time to reflect on the procedure that they’ve carried out in the different learning environments.




This is the original software used in the scenario. You can post the pictures in Realto and ask your students to annotate them, and write down the description directly on the picture or by replying to the picture post.

Adobe Reader
Adobe Reader

You can use Adobe Reader to annotate the pictures. You can use the comment feature to write down the descriptions.

Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams

You can use a whiteboard app to annotate the images in Microsoft teams. Create one whiteboard per student and import the image in it. They can then use the whiteboard tools to annotate the image.

Tips and tricks

  • As it is a quick scenario, you can perform it regularly in your classes. It can easily be adapted to any kind of material picture or administrative document (by asking student to look for errors in the document).

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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, 41, 85-139. Academic Press.

  • Coppi, A. E., & Cattaneo, A. (2021). Fostering Apprentice Beauticians’ Visual Expertise Through Annotations: A Design Experiment Using the Platform Realto. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 9(7), 27. doi:10.11114/jets.v9i7.5291

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