Guide to developing and implementing E-learning courses on rodent surgical training
Posted by: admin | July 06, 2009 | 0 Comments
We previously mentioned that Dr. Baran will be representing the Veterinary Bioscience
Institute during the 2009 Laboratory Animal Welfare Training Exchange (LAWTE) Conference. During this conference he will be presenting several lectures. The first lecture entitled Guide to developing and implementing E-learning courses on rodent surgical training will be presented on Thursday (August 6th, 2009) during the Break Out Sessions. Please find an abstract of this presentation below.
Recent advances in microsurgical equipment and rodent technologies have increased the demand for biomedical micro-surgeons. However, rodent surgical procedures are commonly self-taught through trial and error or passed on from one investigator to another. This approach is born out of necessity; there are a limited number of training centers, where investigators can learn both the fundamentals of rodent surgery and specific techniques needed for their studies. This empirical style of learning is expensive, inefficient in the use of animals, and introduces experimental biases into biomedical research. One alternative solution to the lack of available training is surgical electronic-learning (E-learning), an approach that has been successfully incorporated into human surgical curricula. E-learning helps achieve educational standardization by providing global access to consistent, up-to-date content and has significant advantages when properly utilized. Unlike a textbook, online lectures can rapidly incorporate surgical advances. Additionally, the adaptation of existing human surgical E-learning models provides researchers and practitioners in the fields of laboratory animal research and veterinary medicine the opportunity to learn new surgical techniques prior to using live animals. While E-learning does not eliminate the need for human instructors, it promotes the efficient use of their limited time. Human interaction is a vital ingredient to efficient online learning and can be facilitated through message boards and chats. The goal of our surgical E-learning project was to develop web-based, interactive courses on rodent surgical techniques in order to increase the quality of results and reduce the number of live animals used in research. Self-directed online modules were developed that integrated passive and interactive videos and animations to demonstrate background concepts and specific surgical techniques, along with self assessment exercises and course feedback questionnaires. This combined approach to online E-learning utilized both accessibility and flexibility in order to successfully train a diverse group of participants. This presentation will provide a review of our experiences and those of our colleagues during the development and implementation of online surgical courses. In addition, we will cover the necessary resources and some of the challenges encountered during the creation of an effective E-learning program.