Evaluation of student attitudes to cooperative learning in undergraduate veterinary medicine

Dale, V.H.M., Nasir, L. and Sullivan, M. (2005) Evaluation of student attitudes to cooperative learning in undergraduate veterinary medicine. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 32(4), pp. 511-516.

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Abstract

Recent studies have demonstrated that collaborative or cooperative learning (CL) provides students and teachers with a variety of advantages over traditional instructional methods. To explore the possibility of introducing CL into the veterinary undergraduate curriculum on a larger scale-to facilitate the development of professional competencies-a cooperative learning assignment (CLA) was introduced into the fourth year Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVMS) degree course at the University of Glasgow. An evaluation was carried out as a basis for optimizing subsequent CL activities in the undergraduate course. Evaluation of student attitudes to the CLA was conducted using pre- and post-task questionnaires and a focusgroup discussion involving student representatives from several of the small groups. Quantitative questionnaire data were imported into SPSS and a statistical test was used to identify any significant shifts in student attitudes. Analysis of the quantitative questionnaire results indicates that students-who regarded themselves generally as team players rather than competing individuals-had few concerns before or after the CLA. There were some significant shifts (negative and positive) in response to some of the questions, but generally the results were encouraging. However, a number of issues emerged from the focus-group discussion with regards to the administration of CL and matching students' expectations to their experiences. In particular, students need to be adequately informed at the outset about the CL process and about how it will be assessed, have access to the required facilities, and be comfortable with learning different skills sets from those their peers are learning. Staff facilitators require adequate guidance on what they are expected to contribute to the CL process.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Sullivan, Professor Martin and Nasir, Professor Lubna and Dale, Dr Vicki
Authors: Dale, V.H.M., Nasir, L., and Sullivan, M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
University Services > Learning and Teaching Services Division
Journal Name:Journal of Veterinary Medical Education
Publisher:University of Toronto Press
ISSN:0748-321X

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