Improve conversational skills with TrainTool
Name teacher: Yteke Elte
Faculty: Veterinary Medicine
At the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, a team of about 10 teachers teaches the Master Introduction course with 240 students per year, where much of the emphasis is on life skills, such as interview techniques. Teacher Yteke Elte wanted to make her students aware of conversation techniques and help them improve them. To do this, she used, among other things, the online tool TrainTool.
Practicing communication skills with TrainTool is part of a larger assignment related to conversation techniques with the aim of better preparing students for their upcoming clinical internships and their later professional practice. In this assignment, students first go through two scenarios in another tool: DialogueTrainer. Then they observe two (professional) conversations and assess them using an observation form. Then Traintool is used, where the students are presented with a situation in a short video. They can respond to this by making a video recording of themselves using their computer, tablet or cell phone. When the student is satisfied, the recording can be shared with fellow students and teachers so they can provide feedback. Finally, students practice with a fictional consultation. In this way, everything is well connected and the level of difficulty increases for students.
"I think my students have found the tool to be a positive experience," Yteke says. "They found it easy to use and instructive, but also a bit uncomfortable to record a video. The advantage of TrainTool is also that the students can provide each other with feedback. This way they learn not only from their own talk but also from each other. I was pleasantly surprised how seriously the students did this and provided each other with useful feedback."
"Traintool works well, so we will continue to use this online tool in the course in the next block. We also want to keep using it next year, for that I would like to (have) new scenarios created," Yteke said. "I find TrainTool very applicable for education where practicing certain conversation techniques is central. It does require thorough preparation, such as thinking about and writing and recording scenarios. That all works easily, but has to be done. Once it is set up, it is easy to use".