This is the second blog post covering Education Day at the 2014 AVA Conference in Perth. The first post covered sessions relating to teaching and learning communication skills, both for students and for professional development of educators. This final post covers the remaining 3 presentations and the poster session.
Developing online resources for clinical teachers
In his talk entitled ‘Developing online resources for clinical teachers’ Daniel Schull explained why (the difficulty of providing face-to-face training made online the best option) and how the University of Queensland is developing an online self-directed induction resource for clinicians and staff instructing students on the clinic floor. After researching similar products used in other healthcare settings and completing a user survey to determine relevant content areas, content is being developed in developed as a series of progress-tracked bite-sized modules. The main aims of the resource are to raise participant awareness of their important teaching role, highlight useful background theories, offer practical tips to assist with the role, and provide a flexible delivery format to suit the busy and unpredictable nature of clinical work. The resource is currently being piloted by a user group comprised of content experts from a range of medical, veterinary and veterinary nursing backgrounds, and veterinarians and veterinary nurses from university and external clinical practices. Feedback from this user group will be secured via an online survey and semi-structured interviews. Post-launch evaluations will include a range of metrics such as user completion rates and feedback.
Clinical Problem Solving Exams
Digital resources in the form of clinical scenarios are also being used at Murdoch University in their Clinical Problem Solving Exams. This form of assessment was introduced in 2010 to try to improve the observational, critical thinking, communication, analytical, intervention and re-evaluation skills of students. The majority of questions are short answer questions (SAQ) with some multiple choice questions (MCQ) and some extended matching set questions (EMSQ). Progressive disclosure is a key component of the exams as it is more authentic to clinical practice and allows students to be redirected if they make an error early in a question. Unsurprisingly students initially find this component particularly challenging as it prevents them from taking an information dumping approach to answering the questions. With more clinical exposure and clinical experience students appear to realise the validity of the CPSE style of examination with progressive disclosure.
In contrast to other presentations, Sandra de Cat from James Cook University focused on ‘sheep week’, a week half way through the course dedicated to small ruminants. Students and staff travel several hundred kilometres to visit sheep properties who have taken different approaches to the industry. Hands on learning is integrated with previous knowledge to help the students ‘bring it all together.’ With its highly integrated curriculum, this style of learning is a good fit at JCU and very popular with the students, some of whom are struggling with the dip in motivation which often occurs midway through the course. Requests for dedicated ‘weeks’ for other species have been a common feature in student feedback, an indicator of the value students feel they get from the week.
An excellent poster session was held during the afternoon. In contrast to previous years, a three minute presentation in the meeting room was allocated to each poster rather than having posters presented with the audience standing around the posters, which was certainly more comfortable. For each poster, only the author who presented the poster has been named. If you are interested in learning more about any poster, please leave a comment and I will send more information. Posters presented were (in no particular order):
Adele Feakes (University of Adelaide) – Re-shaping veterinary business curricula to improve graduate business skills: a shared resource for educators
Adele Feakes (University of Adelaide) – Career sector intentions and gender effect: a cross-sectional analysis across year levels in four Australian veterinary programs in 2012
Chris Riley (Massey University) – How effective is ‘Best Practice’ training in the prevention of horse-related injuries to students?
Elise Boller (University of Melbourne) – Developing a framework for teaching professional communication skills in the University of Melbourne
Eva King (University of Queensland) – Learning from the learners: final year veterinary students’ perceptions of what helps and what hinders their learning in clinical environments
John Inns (University of Melbourne) – Application of the proprietary, web based, curriculum mapping program Rubicon Atlas to map the Melbourne DVM curriculum
Liz Norman (Massey University) – Best practice in writing MCQs: why three options is enough
Liz Norman (Massey University) – Best practice in assessment: Using the SOLO taxonomy
Stuart Barber (University of Melbourne) – Collaborative development of virtual 4D farm systems for veterinary education
Susan Matthew (University of Sydney) – Evaluation of the effectiveness of models in teaching surgical skills