Foundations in Biomedical Visualization - Seeing, Listening, Communicating

This course is part of the UBC Certificate in Biomedical Visualization and Communication.

Biomedical concepts can be incredibly complex and difficult to communicate. Yet, our survival depends on at least some of us understanding and conveying the intricacies of how the human body works, how disease spreads or how to perform surgery.

The power of sharing and disseminating information and of storytelling within healthcare is foundational to shaping the patient experience.

In this foundational course, you learn how to communicate biomedical concepts clearly and effectively to a range of diverse audiences, from students to patients to health professionals. Focus on:

  • analyzing how people retain information and learn
  • developing strategies to make information relevant and memorable
  • practising and honing your skills in active, empathetic and respectful listening and communicating
  • cultivating your visual sense for best conveying complex information for a target audience.

Throughout the course, you collaborate with the instructional team to explore:

  • the essential tools of visual biomedical communications for diverse audiences that are culturally appropriate and trauma informed
  • visual modalities for collaborative problem solving in a biomedical setting
  • responsible and meaningful communication and facilitation techniques to build understanding and trust between clients, audience and you
  • retrieving and the appropriate use of source materials, including principles of copyright, in order to create accurate, ethical and accessible visual communication
  • the various needs of diverse communities, including Indigenous, racialized and other groups that face barriers to healthcare information, and develop appropriate and effective materials to meet these needs
  • the paramount need for inclusive, empathetic and anti-racist, anti-oppressive approaches to allow for effective human-centered communication.

This course is available only to students in the UBC Certificate in Biomedical Visualization and Communication program.

Course Outline

Week 1: How People Learn
Week 2: Making Marks: Introduction to Visual Communication
Week 3: Art Fundamentals of Communication
Week 4: History of Biomedical Communication (Past, Present, Future)
Week 5: Listening 1: Sharing Stories
Week 6: Listening 2: Diversity, Stigma, Vulnerability, Empathy
Week 7: Trust and Truthiness 1: Building Trust Through Communication
Week 8: Trust and Truthiness 2: Information Sourcing
Week 9: Ethics in Biomedical Communication
Week 10: Storyboarding and Comics
Week 11: Multimedia: The Medium is the Message
Week 12: Tying it all Together

Course Format

This course is 100% online and instructor supported with real-time classes. Students attend two live, virtual classes a week, and an optional tutorial. All times are in the Pacific (Vancouver) Time Zone.

Mondays 4–6pm - Lecture
Wednesdays 4–6pm - Lecture
Fridays 4–6pm - Optional Tutorial/Workshop

Online modules, released weekly, include recorded lectures, readings, videos, exercises and assignments to supplement virtual classes, for a total of 60 hours of online learning. Each module must be completed in full before progressing to the next module.

Students can expect to spend 5–8 hours or more per week attending online classes, completing the modules and assignments, reflecting on their learning, visual journalling and reflection, and posting in online group discussions.

Available Sessions

Course currently not available for registration.