Student preparation and the power of visual input in veterinary surgical education: an empirical study

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In recent years, veterinary educational institutions have implemented alternative teaching methods, including video demonstrations of surgical procedures. However, the power of the dynamic visual input from videos in relation to recollection of a surgical procedure has never been evaluated. The aim of this study was to investigate how veterinary surgical students perceived the influence of different educational materials on recollection of a surgical procedure.  Furthermore, we investigated if surgical technique was associated with a certain method of recollection or use of educational material. During a basic surgical skills course, 112 fourth-year veterinary students participated in the study by completing a questionnaire regarding method of recollection, influence of individual types of educational input, and homework preparation. Furthermore, we observed students performing an orchiectomy in a terminal pig lab. Preparation for the pig lab consisted of homework (textbook, online material,
including videos), lecture, cadaver lab, and toy animal models in a skills lab. In the instructional video, a detail was used that was not described elsewhere. Results show that 60% of the students used a visual dynamic method as their main method of recollection and that video was considered the most influential educational input with respect to recollection of a specific procedure. Observation of students’ performance during the orchiectomy showed no clear association with students’ method of recollection but a significant association (p = .002) with educational input. Our results illustrate the power of a visual input and support prior findings that knowledge is constructed from multiple sources of information.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)214-221
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • veterinary students, surgery, surgical training, veterinary education, multimodal teaching methods, visual input, educational methods, instructional video

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