Visual Thinking Strategies: Critical Analysis to Improve Assessment and Observation

Monday, 18 November 2013: 2:40 PM

Margaret "Meg" Moorman, RN, MSN, WHNP-BC
Department for Family Health, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN

Nurse educators are called upon to provide creative, innovative student experiences in order to prepare nurses to work in complex healthcare settings.  As part of this preparation, teaching observational and communication skills is critical for nurses and can directly affect patient outcomes.  Visual thinking strategies (VTS) are a teaching method that has been studied in primary education to develop communication and observational skills. Current research suggests VTS holds the promise to improve these same skills in nursing students (Moorman, 2013).  Therefore, this presentation will explore how faculty can utilize this phenomenological approach with nursing students to transform experiences and see beyond to connect with human experiences. VTS begins with audible reflection about works of art and engages students with each other to help build meaning and scaffold off of each other’s comments. Through these discussions, students begin to frame each other’s comments, providing visual evidence for what they are seeing.  How students learn to articulate their meanings in thorough, detailed ways through open, guided discussions will be shared.  Exemplars of reflections about how one came to an understanding about the meaning are shared and how students are provided with an opportunity to hear how others find meaning and describe or engage with a work of art is explored.  Finally, how this reflective  approach has been used with groups of both nursing and medical students to build meaning or consider other’s perspectives, with no one concept being identified as “right” or “correct” will be shared.