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October 20, 2014   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Professors’ tool for veterinary students wins…

Professors’ tool for veterinary students wins award

Michael Childs

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Kat Gilmore

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By Kat Gilmore | October 20, 2014
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A Web-based tool designed to teach critical thinking skills to veterinary students, created by a multidisciplinary team of UGA faculty, has won a second prestigious national award.

The "Case-Based E-Learning Module to Enhance Veterinary Students' Diagnostic and Therapeutic Decision Making" won the 2014 Division of Distance Learning Crystal Award from the Association for Educational Communications and Technology. The award will be presented at the AECT convention in November.

The interactive learning tool was developed over the last four years by Ikseon "Ike" Choi, an associate professor of learning, design and technology in the College of Education, in collaboration with Karen Cornell, a professor of soft tissue surgery; Kate E. Creevy, an associate professor of internal medicine; and MaryAnn Radlinsky and Chad Schmiedt, both associate professors of soft tissue surgery in the College of Veterinary Medicine.

"College instructors often wrestle with contradictory goals-covering broad topics while enhancing students' higher-order thinking," Choi said. "Our interdisciplinary team has tried to solve this problem through refined learning theories and advanced technologies."

The tool is populated with veterinary case studies to help students hone critical thinking skills while also providing practice for making difficult medical decisions. The students use the tool in the fall of their third year of veterinary instruction, which enables them to diagnose difficult cases and also hear the diagnoses faculty members would make on the same cases. The online instruction occurs several months prior to when the students begin their hands-on instruction in the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital, so the students are able to build their confidence in diagnosing cases prior to ever working with a live patient.

Funding for the project has been provided by the UGA Learning Technologies Grant Program ($29,680) and the UGA Junior Faculty Grant Program ($9,750). Last fall, the group received the Jerrold Kemp Endowed Lecture Series Award for development of the learning program at the AECT's annual conference.

 

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