How the Academy works

Get the most out of your Academy experience

Welcome to the Graphic Change® Academy!

We’re thrilled to welcome you into the world of working visually. By signing up for a Graphic Change course you clearly want to work differently, so why not learn differently too?

We don’t do mass online courses. We want you to learn practical visual skills you can apply in your work and even home life. The Academy combines the best parts of a flexible online learning platform with treating you as an individual, from support emails to direct guidance and support from an experienced tutor who’s been a visual working practitioner in the real world for over 15 years. We think it’s the best of all worlds.

You want to become a better visual worker, and we want to help you get there by making this a learning experience that enhances your learning, not distracts from it. To get the most out of your Academy experience, here’s an overview of how the Academy platform works…for you.

Learn whenever & wherever suits you

  • The Academy’s always open, so with just pens, paper and a device with internet access, you can learn anywhere
  • Fit in your lessons to suit your workload. You even get to try things out in real life!
  • Your student profile allows you to save progress so you can pick up where you left off…on any device

Be part of a Community Group (longer courses)

  • Our students tell us that they get a lot of value out of going through their course in a peer group
  • Join with visual workers from around the world in a closed, supportive online community
  • Benefit from the feedback and encouragement of your peers going through the same lessons as you

Keep to a schedule

  • Some of our courses run at set times so you can have a schedule. We want you to complete!
  • Whether it’s the 5-day Boot Camp or a multi-week course, we try to keep you on track with your cohort
  • Our student-centred approach means we’ll notice if you’re falling behind, and help support you to get you back on track

Be taught by a visual thinking expert

  • Your tutor built your course and is an experienced real-world practitioner, so our guidance is based on real experience, not theory
  • Each lesson is tried and tested over many years of training, and structured to build up your visual skills in manageable steps
  • Your tutor will respond to your questions and coursework posted, whether in a Community Group or via the Ask the Tutor function in lessons

Icons used in the course

Of course we wouldn’t be visual thinkers if we didn’t use an icon where a hundred words would do, so here’s a rundown of the most common symbols you’ll see:

Visual dictionary

Start a Visual Dictionary of the ICONs you create that you like. Over time this will build into a really useful reference tool.

Exercise time!


Pick up your pens! Exercises improve your muscle memory and get you practising being a visual worker IRL.


Reading gives you the why of your exercises. Reading before doing the exercises puts you in the right frame of focus.


to do a step of an exercise. Don’t read on further until you’ve done that step. Helps avoid spoilers.

Post your work for feedback

  … to your private Community Group. This is the best way to get feedback from your tutor and share your learning experience with your classmates. There’s usually a link in this reminder to take you straight to your Group to check for updates and enjoy posts from your classmates and tutor.

Post your work confidentially

One of the best things about our courses is how you can use our practical tools and techniques in real life… straight away. But we know sometimes your work is confidential. Or perhaps you’re an introvert who doesn’t want to join a Group. We’ve given you our unique Ask the Tutor fields in each lesson to post questions or coursework to your tutor for direct and private feedback

Track your progress

To help you with your personal motivation we’ve created the Academy platform to be a true Learning Management System. So we fill our courses with clear objectives so you can track your progress by ticking simple checkboxes. Here’s how it works:

Watch video checkbox

Videos are included to demonstrate how to do something simply. We know you might not want to watch a video, so they’re optional. To mark your progress, check the box once you’ve finished the video or if you know you don’t want to watch it.

Some videos you do have to watch to complete the exercises (for example when practising Graphic Recording). These are included within the exercise so you don’t have to leave the Academy. We want to make life simple for you.

Exercise checkbox

Once you’ve done an exercise, mark the checkbox. It’s very satisfying. By checking these boxes as you complete exercises, you’ll be able to track your progress in each of the following key pages:

  • a Lesson summary at the end of each lesson (you can tick off)
  • a Module summary on each Module welcome page (auto filled)
  • a full Course summary on the Course welcome page (auto filled)
  • on your sidebar menu – we’ll put a tick next to completed lessons

Community Group posts (longer courses)

We know how important it is to stay motivated when you’re doing a longer online course. Our key tip is to join our private Community Group – it makes this course the ideal blend of being with your peers in a shared, safe space with flexible online individual study. In each lesson we link you back to the Community Group you belong to for your course – so you can post your exercises straight up for tutor review and classmate comments.

On an multi-week course you go through a lot of lessons! To help you post your work to the Community group in some kind of order, we provide Discussion titles for you to post your work under. It means you can work at your own pace, and post your work when you’re ready to have it reviewed. You’ll also then be able to see work on the same exercise from your peers – both inspiring and reassuring!

We’ve tried lots of 3rd party forums over the years, but after feedback from students and our own experience we decided to build our own Community platform. So you can be sure your activity is safe, you’re not tracked and you’re not distracted by piano playing hamsters (#sorrynotsorry).