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19 – Illustration and Evidence-Based Teaching to Promote Knowledge Acquisition and Engagement


Jill Jandreau, Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, School of Medicine, UW Seattle


Topic: Visual note-taking was utilized as a learning and teaching tool combined with peer jigsaw teaching in a flipped doctor of physical therapy course.

Context: The classroom was flipped such that students were tasked with becoming an expert on weekly pathophysiology topics. Collaboratively, small groups would create a visual representation of the content, focusing on illustration with minimal words.

During class sessions, reorganized groups participated in jigsaw teaching. In this approach, content experts take turns teaching their peers, piecing together a knowledge jigsaw puzzle. The visual representations created by the expert groups outside of class served as a teaching plan.

Students also worked on a clinical case with faculty support. These face-to-face sessions focused on Bloom’s higher order skills of application through evaluation.

Scholarly basis: The physical act of manipulating content to create a visual representation increases comprehension and retention over typing or highlighting. Images are more memorable, facilitating recall and require a greater level of comprehension to formulate.

Collaborative learning increases knowledge and comprehension. When peers teach each other, they are more deeply engaged and reach a greater depth of comprehension due to accountability.

By flipping the classroom, students were able to work at the level of knowledge acquisition independently and engage in more clinically relevant discussion in class than if that time involved traditional lecture and knowledge translation.

Results: Course feedback completed by faculty moderating small groups largely supported the use of this method for maximizing faculty-student interactions. They reported discussions that reflected more depth of comprehension and noticed greater student engagement during small group interactions. Students enjoyed the collaborative learning and teaching as well as the clinical application.

Application: Courses can be structured to require visual note-taking to promote comprehension and retention. By flipping the classroom, faculty can address higher order skills during class time. Jigsaw is an engaging technique to promote comprehension.