Use of abstract reflection to enhance student learning from theriogenology practical classes

Allan Gunn, John Harper, Jason Condon

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

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Abstract

Veterinary training is a resource-consuming process. Practical sessions throughout the curriculum are considered vital aspects of professional training and consume large amounts of time, space, and human resources and are not without risks to human and animal health. It is, therefore, important that the educational experience is optimized during practical sessions. Mentee dialogue with mentors, as part of institutional peer teaching support, aimed to optimize the practical sessions to develop professional expertise (knowledge and skills) of veterinary theriogenology students. We used the theory of experiential learning and reflective observation as a means of enhancing learning during the practical sessions. We attempted to do this by discussing abstract concepts associated with authentic learning tasks covered in each practical session. Anonymous end-of-course student feed-back revealed that the process encouraged in-depth and alternative critical thinking and discussion in the groups, which was a fun way for them to embed the knowledge and develop the skills being taught. The use of ‘abstract reflection’ appears to be a useful and efficient way of enhancing the value of laboratory practical teaching and learning resources within the veterinary theriogenology curriculum. The vibrancy associated with collegiate interactions between academic staff members and educational designers results in a more enthusiastic and beneficial teaching culture and learning environment, and the development of students to become better, agentic, and more deliberate professionals.
Original languageEnglish
Article number9592
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Theriogenology
Volume15
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 May 2023

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