Keywords:Professional Pig Practice” - development, evaluation and documentation of a game-based-learning concept, an interactive approach of practising veterinary clinical skills during virtual herd visits.
The overall objective of this project is research-based development, implementation and evaluation of a game-based learning concept to be used in the veterinary education. Herd visits and animal contact are essential for the development of veterinary competences and skills during education. Yet veterinary students have little occasion to reach/attain a proper level of confidence in their own skills/abilities, as they have limited “training-facilities” (Kneebone & Baillie, 2008). One possible solution mightbe to provide a safe, virtual environment (game-based) where students could practise interdisciplinary clinical skills in an easily-accessible, interactive setting. A playable demo using Classical Swine Fever in a pig herd as an example has been produced for this purpose. In order totailor the game concept to the specific veterinary learning environment and to ensure compliance with both learning objectives and the actual learning processes/procedures of the veterinary students, the project contains both a developmental aspect (game development) and an exploration of the academic (scholastic) and profession (practice) oriented learning context.The initial phase of the project was a preliminary exploration of the actual learning context, providing an important starting point for the upcoming phase in which I will concentrate on research-based development, implementation and evaluation of a game-based virtual environment in this course context. In the academic (scholastic) and profession (practice) oriented learning context of a veterinary course in Herd Health Management (Pig module),ethnographic studies have been conducted by using multiple data collection methods; participant observation, spontaneous dialogues and interviews (Borgnakke, 1996; Hammersley & Atkinson, 2007). All courserelated activities in the different learning spaces (commercial pig herds, auditoriums, post-mortem examinations, independent group work) were followed.This paper will describe the project and it will focus in particular on the initial exploration of the veterinary learning context in terms of theory, empirical data and the methods.
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