Thinking and mind tools
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PMI is a chart which can be a useful method of analysing and reaching agreed understandings on complex issues. Students can use the chart in discussion activities.
In the chart, the letters stand for 'plus', 'minus', and interesting' (the 'i' can also stand for Implications.)
A PMI Chart is useful in a debate over a difficult decision, because these types of decisions bring up many plusses and minuses. However, it is likely that views and ideas will arise which don’t really classify as either a plus or a minus, and these would be placed in the I column.
Its power isn't in the information itself but the discussion that arises from the entries in the columns.
Download a template (100 KB)
Putting it into practice: Application in Health Sciences
The PMI chart is valuable when examining solutions to scenarios or problem based learning, and to establish what is already known or understood in a scenario.
It is particularly applicable in situations in which students tend to cut their thinking short. They can rush to a conclusion without talking through or coming to grips with the complexity of the issue. Sometimes they ignore information altogether.
A concern about group work in health sciences is how student know that their group conclusions are not incorrect ... even dangerous to their future patients. This is a great way to get reports back to give the teacher oversight of all the discussions.
Activities using the PMI Chart get really interesting when there are a number of groups working on the same scenario, each of them placing their values and emphasis on different things. This can result in a great discussion!
Interesting resourcesQuantitative Pros and Cons. Mindtools website