Betina Ringby uses Dialoogle to stimulate the reflection and creativity of her students – and to multiply their outcome of themed lessons and courses. She came across Dialoogle at a trade show. She was given a picture card that she really liked – the motive as well as the aesthetics of it. Since then, Betina has been using visual methods to train future physiotherapists at University College Nordjylland.
”The brain perceives pictures 60,000 times faster than words, which makes a picture tool really interesting to a teacher like me,” says Betina.
Recently Betina hosted a workshop for 50 students about innovation and entrepreneurship in healthcare education. And what may that be, you probably ask yourself.
”So did the students. On arrival it was obvious that they were uncertain about what to expect. Such uncertainty has to be addressed right away if everyone is to be able to allow their imagination, emotions and professionalism to unfold.”
Betina had spread her Magnum cards out on the floor, and the very first thing she asked the students was to choose a card that said something about what they were expecting from the workshop.
One of the students chose a picture of a skydiver and said: ”I feel I’m in a free fall – it’s both cool and scary.” Another student chose a picture of a man in a wheel and said that he felt this was a challenge to practise a sport which he was unfamiliar with.”
The brain perceives pictures 60,000 times faster than words, which makes a picture tool really interesting to a teacher like me.
”It’s a good way for the students to start reflecting and sharing their thoughts – and everybody gets a chance to be heard. Expectations are usually very different. They all hear things they had not thought about themselves. The sharing of expectations also makes it easier for the facilitator to set the direction for the workshop.”
Picture tools show their value when large groups of individuals with different backgrounds have to work together. This became evident to Betina when she was teaching an interprofessional course on Motivational Interviewing for students from similar studies in different countries.
”Not only did we have to communicate in English, which was a foreign language to all of us. We also had different views of the role of the health professional. In the Nordic counties health professionals seek to speak to patients on an equal footing while in Eastern Europe they focus more on their expert role.”
When I ask open questions such as What is motivation to you? or What is communication to you? we not only uncover a lot of different professional approaches to the subject. We also discover personal, cultural and national differences that broaden our horizon and pave the way for innovation.