Linking theory to practice in an undergraduate veterinary curriculum: students' perspectives.J Vet Med Educ. 2009 Fall; 36(3):291-6.JV
Facilitated clinical relevance (FCR) at the University of Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is a small-group educational model that promotes student-centered learning. The objectives of this study were: (1) to examine students' opinions of FCR as a learning approach compared with other teaching methods; and (2) to establish if gender, year of study, or prior exposure to FCR were predictors of attitude. Questionnaires were distributed to undergraduate veterinary students (N = 185) in the first and second year of study. Students' opinions were assessed by noting their degree of agreement with seven statements using a seven-point Likert-type scale. A total of 162 students (87.6%) completed the survey instrument. The findings indicate that FCR is highly valued among the students. The majority of students regarded FCR as directly relevant for clinical preparation because it helps them to integrate pre-clinical and clinical knowledge and skills in veterinary medicine. However, commonly identified challenges were peer dominance, less cooperative facilitators, and coping with the ambiguity of knowledge and reasoning. No significant differences were detected in attitude between students in the tested variables (p > 0.05). However, being in the first year of study, being male, and having prior exposure to FCR was found to predict a negative attitude (p < 0.006). To increase students' satisfaction, effective strategies must be designed and implemented to provide support for struggling individuals.