Colouring Sheridan blue

The cover of The Sheridan Notebook
The cover of The Sheridan Notebook.


First it was Game of Thrones, then it was Vogue, and now Sheridan College has published its own adult colouring book. The book, simply titled, The Sheridan Notebook, was created by Brandon McFarlane, a professor of creativity and creative thinking, and released on Aug 30.

McFarlane came up with the idea while teaching sci-fi literature, when he noticed students who were doodling or colouring still paid attention, and tended to perform better than their peers. “There’s something about the process that helps focus your mind”, says McFarlane. Recalling his own doodle-filled notebooks, he investigated and found studies showed that people who doodled tended to be more engaged.

Brandon Mcfarlane, Professor of Creativity and Creative Thinking.
Brandon Mcfarlane, Professor of Creativity and Creative Thinking.

So last December McFarlane handed out the first pages of what was to become The Sheridan Notebook and got feedback from volunteers, and by working with illustration students Kristine Villeneuve and Devin Murray, he was able to create images for the book.  

 The aim of the book is to help students with their taking notes by using the Cornell technique to take notes, and the colouring pages give them something to focus on. The Cornell technique divides the page into two sections, the note taking column and the key word column. Macfarlane hopes using a colouring book will encourage those who normally don’t sketch or doodle to do so, and be more focused on the lesson.

“With more mobile technology (and laptops) coming into the classroom, if students have something to focus their attention, even if they’re just listening to what’s happening, they’re still processing and thinking about it even though they’re not visually engaged.”

Colouring books have become the latest way for adults to unwind. Amazon has more than 30,000 different options, some are artistic with intricate images of animals, mandalas, and flowers, and some use their title of adult colouring book to depict mature content.

According to a study done by San Francisco State University, people who partake in creative activities such as colouring are better at dealing with stress and perform better at work.

The Sheridan Notebook has been downloaded 467 times and features the Trafalgar Campus as a page and on the cover. The Sheridan Notebook is available to download on the Sheridan College website and is available in hard copy at all campus libraries.

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