Posters presented at AVA 2013

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Crookmoo – using a computer simulation to teach the process of clinical examination of cattle
Peter Mansell and David Beggs (University of Melbourne)

CrookMoo allows textal and audiovisual case material to be quickly and easily entered on a template, expedited by using normal values as default information to save entering all data for every case. It has been designed to encourage the learner to take the initiative as much as possible by using free text entry and minimal prompting or selection from lists. Students select a case and request information and clinical signs as they think appropriate. After completing a physical examination, laboratory tests can be ordered but results will not be received until after a tentative diagnosis has been entered. Feedback is given on significant errors or omissions and on the presumptive diagnosis. All learner input can be accessed by instructors and used to inform future instruction.

Veterinary Student Asset Database at the University of Sydney
Susan Matthew, John Baguley and Damien McMonigal (University of Sydney)

The Veterinary Student Asset Database (VSAD) allows students to record completion of technical skills (eg diagnostic skills such as collecting samples and interpreting radiographs) and details of cases managed under supervision during final year clinical placements. All data can be viewed graphically and organised into various categories, such as type of case within a species (eg reproductive) or animal groupings eg companion animal, wildlife. It allows comparison of experience and performance with other students in the cohort and educators can use the information to tailor clinical experiences and assessments to support student learning.

Work Based Learning in the final year of Australian veterinary degree programs
Ingrid van Gelderen, Susan Matthew and Roseanna Taylor (University of Sydney)

Key questions:

‘What level of responsibility do supervisors have for the quality of work-based learning experiences?

‘What are the components of quality support for supervisors of work-based learning experiences?

Key points:

‘Work-based learning experiences involving collaboration with external partners are an integral component…in all seven Australian veterinary schools.’

‘In all cases the University faculty has general oversight of the program although variation exists in how the universities proportion the distribution of intramural and extramural experiences.’

‘Supervisors are critical players in the delivery of quality veterinary education and it is incumbent on universities to support their partners and assure the quality of work-based learning experiences. ‘

The poster also summarised the supervisor roles and support provided at each of the Australian veterinary schools.

Evaluation of an online system to standardise and streamline clinical assessment and feedback: an action research project
Daniel Schull, P Mills and M Hillier (University of Queensland)

The One45 software package was chosen to fulfil multiple needs in the assessment and feedback in final year BVSc clinical rotations, such as transparency of criteria, timely feedback and ease of progress monitoring. The implementation was evaluated by rotation coordinators, staff, external experts and students. Reflections were overwhelmingly positive with 83% of rotation coordinators and 90% of staff believing it to be an improvement over the previous system. Based on the feedback, further enhancements will be implemented, such as refinement of the rubric, and more functionality added.

Development of online teacher training for clinician educators who coach and inspire veterinary professionals of the future: results of a needs analysis.
Daniel Schull, M Hillier, J Alawneh, P Clarke, E King, P Mills and G Coleman (University of Queensland)

Given the amount of time clinical staff and extramural supervisors spend instructing students, it is clearly beneficial for those instructors to access to some basic teacher training.  The University of Queensland is developing an online teacher training package for instructors and conducted a needs analysis before determining the content of the package.

Relevant staff and supervisors were invited to participate in an online questionnaire which listed sixteen content topics related to student instruction. Examples of topics to be considered were clinical reasoning, effective feedback and learning principles. Respondents were asked to rank the relevance of possible content areas to their needs. The majority of respondents viewed all proposed areas as relevant and suggested some additional topics, such as incorporating guidelines for vet nurses/technicians to assist students in learning common techniques so there is more standardisation in instructional technique.

The content is currently being finalised, with the package to be launched in late 2013.

Promoting professional attributes in future veterinarians: innovative strategies in teaching the regional anatomy of the dog generate positive learning outcomes.
CM Murray, HM Davies and WG Kimpton (University of Melbourne)

In the DVM curriculum, the Regional Anatomy of the Dog course is based on dissection sessions, the success of which depend on peer and self-directed learning in small groups. Student concerns over the large degree of self-directed learning and the assignment of working groups prompted the introduction of regular oral quizzes at the end of sessions and of a group contract to be signed by all members.

The quiz involved each group member being asked a question on the topic of dissection for the day. If the student has difficulty, the group was allowed to help. The quiz was not marked. Students felt that the quiz encouraged more focus in classes and provided valuable feedback but were glad not to be graded on the quiz.  Instructors noted that all students stayed until the end of the class to participate in the quiz and perceived a desire to do well in front of the examiners and peers. More students reported that felt they had developed important career skills from the sessions than was the case before the quiz was initiated.

The group contracts covered areas such as the requirement that all members actively participate in every session and that all members prepare adequately for the class. Feedback from the contracts was not as favourable as that from the quizzes but students were generally more positive about the group learning experience after the introduction of the contracts and made comments such as ‘made my group more aware to give everyone a go and support each other.’

IDEAL vs REAL: Linking academia and workplace learning (WPL) via assessment
Sarah Pollard-Williams (Charles Sturt University)

WPL experiences vary widely, with many factors influencing the student experience eg caseload, workplace culture and students’ ability to blend into the social structure of the practice. Issues may include students not being allowed to participate in activities, learning experiences which are below academic standard and student feelings of isolation. In such cases, intended and actual learning outcomes may differ considerably from each other and from the student’s perception of their learning, known as personal learning outcomes.

Assessment of WPL has traditionally relied on reporting on observation of procedures and data on cases seen and does not take into account the social and emotional influences on outcomes. To understand the diversity of experience, reflective discussion between students and with staff is key to them being able to see their learning in context. A structured reflective assessment and storytelling are both useful approaches, particularly in working through ethical issues encountered in the workplace. Articulating their learning and identifying applications of the learning in the future help the students to consolidate their learning.

Teaching culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) veterinary students: five strategies for success
Eva King, Dr Daniel Schull, Dr Wendy Green and Dr Merrill Turpin (University of Queensland)

The increase in CALD veterinary students over recent years has brought new challenges for educators, many of which have similarities with those documented in health science education literature. Material for the poster was drawn from a literature review which forms part of a current MPhil project entitled ‘Exploring the educational experiences of culturally and linguistically diverse veterinary students at the University of Queensland.’ The aims of the project are to establish if veterinary students at UQ are experiencing similar challenges to health science students and, if so, to what extent and how these might change over the duration of the course. Data will be drawn from student perception surveys and semi-structured interviews.

The issues for which strategies are provided are:

How do I prepare CALD students for learning?

How can I make the most of the teaching episode?

How can I encourage CALD students to participate?

How can I help CALD students consolidate learning?

Strategies include using different English mediums to deliver the same information, asking students to repeat instructions or information back to ensure they have understood, encourage students to improve confidence, provide students with opportunities to review material and set up a senior-junior buddy programs for students with similar language and cultural backgrounds.

Innate immunophysiology and the role of intestinal flora in homeostasis and natural healing
Saranyu Pearson (Integrative Veterinarians Australia)

This poster outlined theories that intestinal microbiota may be involved in neural development and function. The microflora synthesise a large number of molecules, including neurotransmitters, which have an effect on the enteric nervous system. In any disease state it is important to consider the effects on other organ systems.


About rebekahmcbrown

I am a veterinarian with a special interest in instructional design and developing eLearning in the veterinary and medical areas. I write teaching materials for both face-to-face and online learning as well as writing and editing articles.
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One Response to Posters presented at AVA 2013

  1. Pingback: Reflections on AVA 2013 | Rebekah Brown

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