At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Health science

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Interaction and Communication in Physio-Therapy

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Taking a quiz & test

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Computer Lab

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Preparation & knowledge activation
  • Consolidation & metacognition


In this activity, students are expected to take the Harvard implicit bias test in order to confront them with their own implicit and explicit biases (which they often feel they do not have). This aims to make them better able to mitigate their relationships with patients and colleagues in their stages and future careers.

Before class, students do a reading in their course pack relating to stigmatized populations (obese patients, indigenous patients, and LGBTQ+ patients). These readings provide academic research background to compliment the lecture the teacher gives on the subject in class. Once they have discussed this theme and that of biases, students take two of the tests in the computer lab and then discuss their results with their peers in self-formed groups. Afterward, they answer a series of four questions, which feed into a discussion as a class where students can share their results and how they felt about the activity.

Finally, before leaving class, all the students submit their written answers to the questions and there is a final discussion in the following classes on the take-aways from the activity. Optionally, students can chose this activity to base one of their 5 journal entries for the course, discussing the way this may have changed their views and informed them.

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

  • Students benefit from bringing up their own biases and analyzing their own word choices if they are willing through the process
  • Students gain a better understanding of how their words are perceived
  • Students learn better techniques to talk to patients through their own discomfort with the topics or situations, a skill that is very applicable to the field they will be entering
  • Occasionally students will resist the exercise, not wanting to place themselves in that discomfort
  • It is also a challenge to approach these topics for the teachers as well as the student from an out group when it comes to discriminatory issues
  • When beginning the activity, a large portion of the class is convinced that they have no biases and must be shown otherwise, this can be jarring for some students
  • As an instructor, in order to mitigate some of the discomfort in approaching the topics from an out perspective it is important to go directly to the source and through the help of workshops etc… so that the understanding of the best way to convey the issues feels more authentic
  • It is also helpful to have extensive academic sources to back up any claims made as it shows the students that it is not only the experience or opinion of the teacher
  • Guiding the students is really important as it is an uncomfortable subject for them

Applied Strategies


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