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   2021| September-December  | Volume 4 | Issue 3  
    Online since February 1, 2022

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Impact of online courses and grading framework on student learning and motivation
Devorah M Stowe, Regina M Schoenfeld-Tacher, Sarah Hammond, Mari-Wells Hedgpeth, Jennifer A Neel
September-December 2021, 4(3):99-109
Background: At our institution, the COVID-19 pandemic led to an abrupt change from traditional in-person instruction to remote teaching along with a concurrent change from letter grades to satisfactory/marginal/unsatisfactory grading. Objectives: The aims of this study were to explore the effects of changes in instructional delivery on students’ learning and retention of the material and to assess students’ motivation to learn. Methods: The study consisted of two phases. Phase 1 involved the administration of an academic motivation survey and a clinical pathology exam using online platforms. Phase 2 involved conducting a focus group to further explore student experiences during the change in course instruction. Results: The academic motivation survey revealed that both prior to and during the pandemic, the main drivers for student achievement were an interest in learning the content due to anticipated relevance in clinical practice, as well as a desire to master course goals. While the students predicted feeling more confident in their data interpretation ability in the traditionally taught topics vs. topics modified due to social distancing, the data from the content exam suggests that students showed better retention of topics taught in a modified manner. Lastly, the focus group revealed that participants perceived online learning to be more challenging due to the lack of in-person contact and increased frustration with technical issues. Conclusion: While moving courses online may make it more difficult to engage with the materials, peers, and instructors, there did not appear to be adverse effects on the overall student learning or content retention.
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Using outcomes-based curricular planning to improve clinical education: Examples from a veterinary neurology clerkship
Renee Barber, Sherry Clouser
September-December 2021, 4(3):91-95
Clerkships are an important part of veterinary education, but the many inherent challenges to teaching in a service-oriented setting result in widely variable, sometimes insufficient learning opportunities for students. There is a large body of literature devoted to improvement of clinical education, but there has been little focus on curricular planning as a means to improve clerkships. Here, we advocate for outcomes-based curricular planning of individual veterinary clerkships to maximize learning opportunities and overcome problems often reported with clinical education, such as a lack of clear learning objectives and inadequate assessments and feedback. We provide examples of the straightforward process and benefits gained when we utilized backward design and competency-based veterinary education frameworks to revise the neurology clerkship at our institution.
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Near-peer learning in medical education: An evaluation of a student-led, online COVID-19 Course
Brooke Namboodri Spratte, Alison Nancy Hollis, Emily Susan Hollis, Yasemin Canan Cole, William Cannon Bennett, Seth McKenzie Alexander, Trevor Parton, Gary L. Beck Dallaghan
September-December 2021, 4(3):110-115
Background: The coronavirus disease-2019 stressed health science education across many science disciplines. At one public medical school, faculty educators responded with the design and delivery of an online COVID-19 pandemic course for clinical phase students. However, faculty resources were limited, and no official course was offered to preclinical students, despite reported interest. Subsequently, clinical students created an 8-week online, student-run curriculum. We aimed to assess how effectively the course improved medical student knowledge on COVID-19, created community, and improved other professional skills. Methods: Participants and instructors completed four surveys—two pre-course surveys and two post-course surveys. Average ratings for each question were calculated and analyzed using independent sample t tests. Results: Of the 188 students in the preclinical cohort, 143 enrolled in the course with 63.64% attending all, 91% attending ≥7 out of 8, and 96% attending ≥6 out of 8 sessions. Students and instructors reported an overall mean increase in knowledge on all course topics, peer teaching, learning in an online format, and overall preparedness with regards to a public health crisis. Overall, 79.2% of student participants and instructors reported being satisfied with the experience. Conclusion: Peer teaching and learning offers a valuable educational experience for participants and instructors alike. Student-driven curricula may provide an effective teaching model for medical education, contributing to efforts that improve student confidence and leadership skills, provide role models for junior students, and prepare students for their future role as educations.
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Young and evolving: A narrative of veterinary educational research from early leaders
Katherine Fogelberg, Julie Hunt, Sarah Baillie
September-December 2021, 4(3):124-133
Narrative inquiry is a qualitative research approach that tells the story of lived experiences through the eyes of those who experienced it, as interpreted by the researcher(s). Veterinary educational research (VER) is a relatively new and emerging field with an increasing number of faculty champions spread around the world. The lived experiences of some of the faculties who were involved in VER from the early days and have produced a body of work contributing to the growth of the discipline tell a collective story that outlines the challenges and benefits of being trailblazers for a new field of inquiry. The specific challenges identified included lack of resources, a sense of isolation, lack of respect for the discipline, and having to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary for successful transition from a clinical to an education focus. Their individual narratives also provided an overall positive outlook on the field, from influencing school policies to better, more satisfying teaching and leadership roles and from the excitement of learning a new discipline to nurturing future veterinary education researchers; the participants were generally upbeat about the value their contributions have made and will continue to make. This study provides a narrative that weaves together the individual stories of these VER trailblazers, based on semi-structured interviews conducted during 2020; it demonstrates the ongoing need to support those who choose to pursue VER, cultivate a culture in which veterinary medicine values such research, and begin training veterinarians to engage in it early in their careers.
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Pods, squads, and crash nights: Alumni mentoring in a Zoom-ing world
Erin D Malone, Kris R Hayden
September-December 2021, 4(3):96-98
We developed an alumni mentoring system to help support veterinary students during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The goal was to connect students to the outside world and provide support to students who were in increasingly isolated circumstances. Students were separated into “pods” for in-person laboratories, and each pod was assigned to two-to-three mentors. This model did not work well and was exchanged for more targeted efforts. Small group mentoring was provided to those students who requested it, and the remaining alumni were recruited to offer evening conversations to anyone interested. This combination seemed to better meet the needs of students and alumni and provided an avenue to access alumni support from across the country. More structure, enhanced mentor support, and attendance requirements may better meet our mentoring goals for a larger group of students.
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Impact of voice conservation sensitization program in nursing trainees: A pre–post comparison
Krishna Yeshoda, Rathinaswamy Rajasudhakar, Shanmugasundaram Lokheshwar
September-December 2021, 4(3):116-123
Introduction: Vocal hygiene sensitization programs help in propagating the information about conservation of voice in a swift manner to a target population. Nurses being bridge between patients and doctors help patients understand or convey important information. Hence, nursing trainees formed the target group for the sensitization program on voice conservation and care. Materials and Methods: Ninety-two nursing trainees and their faculty participated in a one-day sensitization program on vocal hygiene. The program consisted of two lectures on the anatomy and physiology of voice and vocal hygiene for voice conservation and voice care. Participants’ familiarity of the topic was assessed using a questionnaire before and after the lectures. Results: There was a significant increase in percent correct response from 77.41% to 91.46% after the program. Out of 10 questions, eight had increase in scores, one had decreased score, and one question remained the same. Conclusion: Improved percent correct response scores of the participants in the post test implied better awareness about the voice production mechanism and conservation of voice and its care. The results could imply that such programs could improve dissemination of information pertaining to voice use, conservation of voice, and helping in reducing the occurrence of voice problems in different groups of professional voice users.
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Which mastery mindset is it?
Oksana Babenko
September-December 2021, 4(3):134-134
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