Veterinary student responses to learning activities that enhance confidence and ability in pig handling.J Vet Med Educ. 2009 Spring; 36(1):39-49.JV
This study examined the use of resource-based learning, consideration of potential troublesome concepts, and knowledge and student evaluation as a method of improving learning outcomes in pig-handling skills for first-year Bachelor of veterinary science students. Learning resources consisted of information and videos provided online, instructors, and animals. Difficulties with regional anatomy, venipuncture technique, fear of pigs, knowledge of their behavior, anesthesia, and dosage calculations were anticipated and steps were taken to minimize these difficulties. Nevertheless, observation and feedback from students indicated that the use of syringes and needles and dosage calculation appeared to be problematic for students. The confidence of students in handling pigs was increased following participation in the class (mean confidence score +/- standard error before and after the class = 4.2 +/- 0.3 vs. 7.4 +/- 0.4, respectively; p < 0.001). Variation in student access to some online resources, and the perceived value of some learning resources and activities, reduced the learning value of some resources and activities. Steps to promote greater student engagement with some of the learning resources and activities may improve learning outcomes in the future. Systematic evaluation of teaching and learning helped illuminate the effectiveness of teaching and identified deficiencies in teaching methods. Consideration of troublesome concepts and knowledge was of value when designing learning activities, selecting learning resources, and suggesting revisions to learning activities.