What is it about?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about massive change in academic practices. The resulting lockdowns forced education to go online. However, there are some courses that need practical and clinical training. These form an integral part of their curriculum and cannot be conducted virtually. How did these courses adapt with the pandemic? To find out, authors of this research paper conducted a survey. They asked educators in 16 veterinary colleges across the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean how: 1. The pandemic changed their delivery of education, and 2. How efficient was this new mode of education? The results were interesting. Educators seemed to have adapted quite well to the newly mandated mode of education. They tailored their curriculum so that it was fit to be taught in accordance with the new requirements. In fact, educators seemed to prefer the new mode of teaching! They saw certain advantages with it, like: • Limited student group size; • Students seemed to come better prepared for classes; • Optimized lab time; and • An ability to focus on important curriculum. Coming to the pressing question: how did they assess a student’s practical and clinical skills online? Students were given models to practice on at home, and their skills were then assessed virtually or through a video recording. Later, though, practical and clinical training was done physically. This new mode of education delivery did, however, have some downsides. Educators highlighted: • Fatigue, and • The loss of feedback.

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Why is it important?

Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. The pandemic did force us to evolve our academic practices. However, some of the newer practices developed during this time may be more efficient than conventional ones; institutes and educators should consider retaining these while trying to advance educational delivery. KEY TAKEAWAY: The COVID-19 pandemic has modified teaching, assessment, and the curriculum of many courses, including veterinary sciences. The changes that it brings, however, could challenge educators to reevaluate and improve upon their teaching methods.

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This page is a summary of: The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Veterinary Clinical and Professional Skills Teaching Delivery and Assessment Format, Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, January 2022, University of Toronto Press (UTPress), DOI: 10.3138/jvme-2021-0106.
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