An instructional intervention to encourage effective deep collaborative learning in undergraduate veterinary students.J Vet Med Educ. 2010 Winter; 37(4):369-76.JV
In recent years, veterinary education has received an increased amount of attention directed at the value and application of collaborative case-based learning. The benefit of instilling deep learning practices in undergraduate veterinary students has also emerged as a powerful tool in encouraging continued professional education. However, research into the design and application of instructional strategies to encourage deep, collaborative case-based learning in veterinary undergraduates has been limited. This study focused on delivering an instructional intervention (via a 20-minute presentation and student handout) to foster productive, collaborative case-based learning in veterinary education. The aim was to instigate and encourage deep learning practices in a collaborative case-based assignment and to assess the impact of the intervention on students' group learning. Two cohorts of veterinary students were involved in the study. One cohort was exposed to an instructional intervention, and the other provided the control for the study. The instructional strategy was grounded in the collaborative learning literature and prior empirical studies with veterinary students. Results showed that the intervention cohort spent proportionally more time on understanding case content material than did the control cohort and rated their face-to-face discussions as more useful in achieving their learning outcomes than did their control counterparts. In addition, the perceived difficulty of the assignment evolved differently for the control and intervention students from start to end of the assignment. This study provides encouraging evidence that veterinary students can change and enhance the way they interact in a group setting to effectively engage in collaborative learning practices.