Learning has to be fun

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Video on demand and live role play in clinical skills and surgery training

The teaching of Clinical skills at the Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, KU has traditionally been dominated by teaching of concepts and theories through lectures and books followed by practice on our ‘in house dogs and cats’ and on available patients. As the students came in small groups on rotation the lectures had to be repeated several times.
The method was time consuming - eating away valuable hands-on time; it was rather boring for both student and teacher, and the quality of the teaching was dependant on the available patients at any given time (case presentation).

By using new techniques such as video, e-learning and live role play it is possible to overcome many of these obstacles. As a bonus, teaching and learning become much more fun!
As from September 2006 the lectures in Clinical Skills were 'digitalized', i.e. the students was given access to narrated PowerPoint presentations through a virtual, on-line learning system. In the same manner narrated videos of clinical procedures were made available to the students. Thus the students were given the possibility to prepare by going through lectures and videos repeatedly at their own chosen pace before coming to class to practice.
Apart from practicing these skills on our ‘in-house’ dogs and cats, the students were presented with videos of relevant cases to describe and discuss in class.
Finally, through videos and live role play, the students were introduced to client diversities and how to handle these! This is a discipline often neglected in traditional teaching.
By September 2007 a similar system will be available for students in Basic operating skills: Narrated PowerPoint presentations and videos guiding the students through the basic principles of asepsis, preparation, instruments, suturing etc. Also, the most common surgical procedures will be presented on-line, so that the students are well prepared when they turn up for Surgery class.

In the evaluation of this new way of learning, the students were very pleased with having multiple/new resources of contents. Not only were they satisfied with being able to see the presentation at their chosen time, place and pace, and being able to repeat it, they also enjoyed the fact that the lectures were now much more ‘colourful’ – the contents being more varied (practice on live animals/video-sessions (cases)/live role play).
The atmosphere in class improved as we never had students falling asleep during a boring PowerPoint presentation, and as the teachers now had time to go from one student to the other and talk, help or discuss according to the students needs. Mistakes can easier be laughed at this way, instead of making people feel embarrassed.
The ‘taking of history’ sessions were also both entertaining and very fruitful. The students would discuss a handful of video examples after which they would have to perform themselves – the teacher acting as the client. Again, the atmosphere was light and students would help each other in ‘critical’ situations.
Being able to actually see how things have to be done by watching a video, instead of just reading a description, is a huge improvement in teaching subjects like Clinical skills and Basic surgical skills.
Our experience with digitalized and on-line teaching so far is that it is an excellent and valuable resource. The students are happy with the system and we see better results from them. We find, though, that e-learning can not substitute totally the confrontational way of teaching. Helping, repeating and discussing what the students have watched on their computers at home, makes a big difference in understanding a subject – and in remembering.
Having fun makes it even easier!

Original languageEnglish
Publication date2007
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ID: 130286358