Picmonic in the Classroom: One Educator’s Look at the Impact of Picmonic

Students around the world use Picmonic to help them study and retain what they learn during their chosen medical program, like Nursing, Physician Assistant, Occupational Therapy, Medical School and more. But the programs, professors and teachers educating our next generation of medical professionals are also using Picmonic in the classroom to teach their students.

We have a series of case studies showing how educators integrate Picmonic into their curriculum, the ways students have responded, and the outcomes for individual students and the overall program.

Meet Alycia Engrisch, BSN and RN and a nursing educator who has changed the future for all of her students. For the past two years, Engrisch has been teaching in the Practical Nursing program at Bryant & Stratton College in Virginia. Bryant and Stratton College offers several nursing programs from RN to BSN to Practical Nursing, along with a number of other healthcare degrees.

Nursing is a second career for Engrisch and as a nursing student, she had some initial challenges understanding all of the terminology in the program. She found Picmonic for Nursing and it changed everything for her. She went on to work as a Psychiatric Nurse, a Long-Term Care Nurse and as a Medical-Surgical Nurse before teaching full-time.

Before Picmonic

Many of the students taught by Engrisch may be non-traditional students and the majority are learning healthcare and nursing while English is their second language. Her students would often struggle with some of the concepts because reading, writing and comprehending a second language at the level required for nursing school was a major challenge.

Picmonic changed all of that.

“In my program, once I introduce Picmonic and the visual learning system, it just turns the lights on for my students,” said Engrisch. “They are able to really comprehend everything they are hearing and learning in a complete way. My students would not get anywhere near the same understanding from reading textbooks.”

In her Practical Nursing program, Engrisch typically has more than 80 students each semester and gets to know her students, their challenges, ambitions and their strengths very well. “My students are bright and excited about their nursing career,” she said. “But many of them just struggled with learning everything from textbooks. Now they are understanding, passing exams and proving to themselves that they can succeed.”

Using Picmonic

Picmonic doesn’t just help her students learn and retain information, Engrisch also uses our visual learning system to create her teaching materials.

“Once I started using Picmonic, I didn’t need to spend as much time creating engaging, memorable content for what I was teaching,” she said. “I’ve started using Picmonics for certain topics on my presentation slides so that the visual accompanies the information I am teaching and it will help them understand how Picmonic works.”

When Engrisch introduces Picmonic to her students, it is always the first they are hearing about it. “They embrace Picmonic because it is visual,” she said. “If there isn’t a Picmonic available for a concept or topic my students need to learn, I usually create my own visual for them because it works.”

Engrisch uses Picmonics in her lecture slides as well as sharing the Picmonic for Nursing playlists already available. “My process typically follows a specific pattern,” Engrisch shares. “I begin by teaching and lecturing about the topic. Then, we review the Picmonic together and talk about it. After that, we do the quiz as a class.”

During her time using Picmonic as an educator, Engrisch has found one of the most beneficial subjects to incorporate Picmonic is in Pharmacology. “I use Picmonic heavily in Pharmacology,” she says with relief. Her students aren’t alone in their appreciation of Picmonic for Pharmacology, but it is also one of the areas she has seen her students make the most progress – partly because she always uses Picmonic here, and it pays off in her student’s successes.

Student Successes with Picmonic

The successes Engrisch has seen in her students is both consistent for students and relatively immediate.

“We just started a new semester of classes with new students,” said Engrisch. “Within just the first three weeks my students are already starting to understand and become proficient in certain concepts like delegation.”

The proof is really in the outcomes for students; something Engrisch sees throughout the semester.

“Exam pass rates, graduation rates and student retention have all improved since integrating Picmonic into my classes,” said Engrisch. “When we take exams on paper, students will make notes referencing the Picmonic on their tests, so I know how much their success is tied to this.”

The overall success of students makes a big difference, but it’s the individual stories that paint an even deeper picture. By integrating new learning systems into traditional education processes like lectures and exams, students are able to engage with the material, learn it, retain it and see themselves pass exams and graduate.

“One of my students for whom English is a second language was failing most of her tests,” said Engrisch. “We began to use Picmonic in just Pharmacology at the time she was in my class. The courses that weren’t using Picmonic in conjunction with textbooks and lectures, she couldn’t retain or even really read to comprehend the information. She failed every other test except Pharmacology because we were using Picmonic in that class. Today, this student and I meet one-on-one every week. She is thriving in the program and getting ready to graduate!”

By using Picmonic and opening up the possibilities of our visual learning system, Engrisch’s students have benefited in some additional and surprising ways.

“Another one of my students in her second semester ran out of financial aid,” said Engrisch. “This student really wanted a career in nursing and we were her second attempt; she needed to make it work. Without financial aid, she wouldn’t be able to purchase her textbooks. I was able to get her Picmonic for the semester. She had no money, but with Picmonic, she was able study and do well that semester. She’s still in school, doing well.”

In the End

Before integrating Picmonic into her presentations and introducing the visual learning system, Engrisch’s students struggled mostly because English was their second language. By having a visual element to learn, rather than relying solely on textbooks, Engrisch found it makes a difference to her as a teacher and for her students.

“It’s more than words in a textbook,” Engrisch said of Picmonic for her students. “A former colleague from my nursing days is teaching now and she’s starting to use it in her classes too.”

“The one thing I tell everyone considering using Picmonic for teaching, is to start early,” encourages Engrisch.

Get started today so your students can expand what they are learning and how they are retaining your lectures. Contact us to learn how to work with Picmonic for your entire class.

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