Veterinary and veterinary nursing students are required to undertake placement training during their undergraduate studies. In order for students to make the most of the many and varied learning opportunities encountered during their placements, it is important to ensure they are adequately prepared. As such, three Computer Aided Learning (CAL) packages have been developed through collaboration between the RVC, the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Edinburgh and Bristol Veterinary School.
All three CALs were developed through extensive stakeholder consultations, i.e. interviews with veterinarians/veterinary nurses in practice, veterinary/ veterinary nursing students and placement coordinators. They have been evaluated by the students via focus groups and questionnaires and the results published in peer reviewed journals. The production of the CALs is an iterative process, and they continue to be updated.
The tools all include sections such as ‘Preparation’, ‘Dealing with People’, ‘Professionalism’, ‘Top Tips’, ‘FAQs’ and ‘Useful Links’. Once all sections have been viewed, each student can print or save a unique certificate of completion which can then be presented to their school or placement provider. The tools are free to use and have been recommended by the RCVS.
The EMS Driving Licence
This was the first CAL to be developed, and was led by the R(D)SVS. The CAL is aimed at veterinary students in their third year, prior to attending their first EMS placement. Access the EMS Driving Licence.
The VN Online Placement Tool
Following the success of the EMS Driving Licence, the project team developed a CAL to assist veterinary nursing students to prepare for their placements. This project was led by the RVC. Access the VN Online Placement Tool.
The Animal Management and Husbandry Online Placement Tool
The third in the series is The Animal Management and Husbandry Online Placement Tool aimed at students going on their husbandry EMS (AHEMS). This project was led by the University of Bristol. Access the Animal Management and Husbandry Online Placement Tool.
For further information on the development and evaluation of the CALs, please read our publications:
Bell, C., Baillie, S., Kinnison, T., Cavers, A. 2010. Preparing Veterinary Students for Extramural Clinical Placement Training: Issues Identified and a Possible Solution. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 37: 190-197.
Kinnison, T., Pullen, S., Orpet, H., McNae, J., Bell, C., Gregory, S., Baillie, S. 2011. Development of the VN online clinical placement tool. The Veterinary Nurse, 2: 428 – 433.
Bates, L., Crowther, E., Bell, C., Kinnison, T., Sarah Baillie. 2013. Development of the Animal Management and Husbandry Online Placement Tool. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 40(4): 349-354.
Funding and Support
Funding for development of the EMS Driving Licence: HEA MEDEV mini-project grant (2006-2009)
Funding for evaluation of the EMS Driving Licence: CEPPL, University of Plymouth (2009 - 2010)
Funding for development of the VN Online Clinical Placement Tool: LIVE Development Fund mini-project grant (2010-2011)
With thanks to Neil Forrest for his input and support with these projects.