Infographics can Ignite Deeper Learning

The nursing and allied health program college students I teach are routinely asking for interesting ways to visualize complex topics in pathophysiology. The students express that they feel a gap between the level of critical thinking that is being demanded of them and their ability to visualize human diseases with great clarity or deep connection. I began focusing on leading by example to turn the students into creators of visual content. I routinely demonstrate and guide the students to that visualization mindset by sharing sketchnotes, concept maps or infographics.

Then I finally provide them a framework of applications they can use to build the content with their iPads.

  • Keynote, Pages, Notes, Numbers, Procreate (one of my favorites)

There also is a dose of strong encouragement that, yes they are more creative than they believe, even in college, and yes even in the midst of demanding degrees.

Here is a sample of a submission:


Renal pathologies correlated to anatomical locations impacted as well as physiologic alterations.
Renal Pathologies, Student Submission

Here a sample rubric created in Keynote for guidance on required assignment parameters:


Pathophysiology infographic rubric assessed by three main component areas of content, creativity, and clarity.
Pathophysiology Infographic Rubric

All Comments

Posted on March 23, 2023

Very impressive way to use the Apps for visualization (and creativity!). Thank you for the helpful examples.

Posted on March 23, 2023

The students have really made some impressive work that almost feels like it could be posters or art. This particular student was very skilled at using Procreate. Glad you liked it!

Posted on March 23, 2023

Thanks for sharing this work, Heather! I agree; it's so important in higher ed that we encourage students to remember that they are "more creative than they believe," and that creativity can support the rigorous critical thinking they're often asked to do as part of their fields of study. Really love this!!

Posted on March 23, 2023

Sometimes in higher ed, especially in in teaching the sciences and health sciences, it can be tricky to get students to see the value in taking a moment to think or create with innovation. They so often view their future jobs in healthcare to not desire a ‘creative mindset’. However, being a licensed provider myself I can give them real world examples on how a little infographic like this can help even with patient education. Thanks for the feedback!

Posted on March 24, 2023

These are beautiful artifacts and powerful illustrations of the effect of creativity on teaching and learning. I am frequently amazed at the sketch notes my students share.

I teach music, so many of my students are of the creative nature. However, with non-music major courses such as Music Appreciation and World Music, my students used to be more reserved. However, I have noticed an increased level of creativity and willingness to step outside of their comfort zone in their work and with in-class assignments since we have become a 1-to-1 iPad institution. Perhaps the creative nature permitted by our tools is making its way into the personalities of our students? I need to find a way to measure this.

Congratulations on finding a way to reach your students, to provide a solution to their perceived issues, and for their amazing creative artifacts that would never have been realized without your encouragement!

Posted on April 04, 2023

Donald, I do think there is a cultural component for a 1:1 that I have noticed. We deployed devices in fall 2020, so at first I think it took a little bit for that culture to be reset as we are a smaller college. Now though that we are a little ways into the initiative and more faculty are actively creating or utilizing new pedagogy or modifying existing classroom assessments using the iPad there has been a shift in mindset. It would seem the past semester or two more of our college students are willing to embracing doing things outside of just note taking with the devices.

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