A Conversation Map educational session uses several components to support the learning process. They include:
- The Conversation Map Visual— The map creates a common mental model or picture for all participants to learn from and discuss. It’s a 3-foot by 5-foot colorful picture or metaphor that the group will focus on and navigate during the session.
- The Conversation Questions— These questions are read by you and serve as the instructions for the Map session. The questions prompt the participants to discuss a variety of topics at various points throughout the session. Although the conversation questions have been focus-group-tested to ensure that certain learning goals are achieved, they are intended to be flexible so that all types of groups can navigate the process and benefit from it.
- The Discussion Cards— Discussion cards are used to bring additional information and engagement to the sessions. They have a game-like feel and help guide participants in the learning process.
- The Group (participants)— Conversation Maps are designed to be used with groups of 3 to 10 participants. This group size provides enough participants for patients to learn from one another, but not too many that it becomes a challenge to facilitate. Everyone should be able to participate and learn from the process.
- The Facilitator— Your role as the facilitator is not to be a typical lecturer or teacher. In the Conversation Map process, you use the structured materials to guide the group conversation and engage participants in a process of exploration and learning.
These sessions may feel different than other learning or teaching sessions you have led or attended in the past. They are designed to be fun, interactive, engaging, and full of learning no matter who participates. Your role is to create a nonthreatening environment in which participants can learn from the materials presented, from one another, and from you.
- Action Plan— An important aspect of the Conversation Map process is providing participants with an action plan with which to make changes in their choices and behaviors. For some patients the action plan will be robust, while for others it will provide a starting point for change.