Development of online learning activities to enhance student knowledge of animal behaviour prior to engaging in live animal handling practical sessions

.
DOI: 10.4236/ojas.2011.12009   PDF   HTML     5,896 Downloads   11,629 Views   Citations

Abstract

Learning activities were developed to increase the awareness of animal behaviour among first year students enrolled in animal-associated degrees prior to students engaging in hands-on live animal practical sessions. Learning activities were developed in an easy to use collegial online environment and to encourage student engagement in learning activities. One hundred and one students were given a preliminary and post learning activity survey to assess their initial knowledge and experience of animal behaviour, as well as to determine if the learning activities increased the students’ knowledge of animal behaviour after engaging in the learning activities. Of the students surveyed, most currently owned pets or have had pets (91.1%), some had animal-related qualifications (22.8%) and currently worked in an animal-related position (24.8%). There was a significant difference (70.3% increase) in student responses after engaging in the learning activities with the major change occurring in the students’ understanding of the term ‘ethology’, regardless of the level of qualifications or animal-related career experience. In addition, after engaging in the learning activities, most students believed that they could better articulate and interpret animal behaviors based on their observations. Overall, the inclusion of learning activities successfully increased the ability of students to understand behavioral traits of animals, which will increase safety in live animal practical sessions. The learning activities also encouraged a collegial learning environment that enhanced new knowledge construction amongst the students.

Share and Cite:

Old, J. and Spencer, R. (2011) Development of online learning activities to enhance student knowledge of animal behaviour prior to engaging in live animal handling practical sessions. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 1, 65-74. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2011.12009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

References

[1] Austin, H.E., Hyams, J.H. and Abbott, K.A. (2007) Training in animal handling for veterinary students at Charles Sturt University, Australia. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 34, 566-575. doi:10.3138/jvme.34.5.566
[2] Bawden, R.J., Macadam, R.D., Packham, R.J. and Valen-tine, I. (1984) Systems thinking and practice in the edu-cation of agriculturalists. Agricultural Systems, 13, 205- 225. doi:10.1016/0308-521X(84)90074-X
[3] Boyd, D. (1998) Introduction: making the move to peer learning. In: Boud, D., Cohen, R. and Sampson, J. Eds., Peer Learning in Higher Education, Kogan Page, Lon-don.
[4] Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L. and Cocking, R.R. (2004) The design of learning environments. In: Bransford, J.D., Brown, A.L. and Cocking, R.R. Eds., How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, National Academy Press, New York, 131-154.
[5] Clarke K.R. and Warwick, R.M. (1994) Similarity-based testing for community pattern: The 2-way layout with no replication. Marine Biology, 118, 167-176. doi:10.1007/BF00699231
[6] Clarke K.R. and Warwick, R.M. (2001) A further bio- diversity index applicable to species lists: Variation in taxonomic distinctness. Marine Ecological Progress Se-ries, 216, 265-278. doi:10.3354/meps216265
[7] Cockram, M.S., Aitchison, K., Collie, D.D.S., Goodman, G. and Murray, J. (2007) Animal-handling teaching at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 34, 554-560. doi:10.3138/jvme.34.5.554
[8] Field, J.G., Clarke, K.R. and Warwick, R.R. (1982) A practical strategy for analysing multispecies distribution patterns. Marine Ecological Progress Series, 8, 37-52. doi:10.3354/meps008037
[9] Hynd, P.I. and Hazel, S.J. (2010) Animal science educa-tion in Australia—Current situation and future needs. Are current training and education programs appropriate for the animal industry needs over the next 10 - 15 years? Proceedings of the Australia Society of Animal Production, 28, 24-31.
[10] Liang X. and Creasy, K. (2004) Classroom assessment in web-based instructional environment: Instructors’ expe-rience. Practical Assessment Research and Evaluation. http://PAREonline.net/getvn.asp?v=9&n=7
[11] Macadam, R.D. and Packham, R. G. (1989) A case study in the use of soft systems methodology: Restructuring an academic organisation to facilitate the education of systems agriculturalists. Agricultural Systems, 30, 351-367. doi:10.1016/0308-521X(89)90004-8
[12] MacLeay, J.M. (2007) Large-animal handling at the Co- lorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 34, 550-553. doi:10.3138/jvme.34.5.550
[13] Oblinger, D.G. and Oblinger, J. L. (2005) Educating the Net Generation. Educase—Transforming Education Through Information Technologies. http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/pub7101.pdf
[14] Osman, M.E. (2005) Student’s reaction to WebCT: Im-plications for designing on-line learning environments. International Journal of Instructional Media, 32, 353- 362.
[15] Parkinson, T.J., Gilling, M. and Suddaby, G.T. (2006) Workload, study methods, and motivation of students within a BVSc program. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 33, 253-256. doi:10.3138/jvme.33.2.253
[16] Reiling, B.A., Marshall, T.T., Brendemuhl, J.H., Mc-Quagge, J.A. and Umphrey, J.E. (2003) Experiential learning in the animal sciences: Development of multis-pecies large-animal management and production practicum. Journal of Animal Science, 81, 3202-3210.
[17] Roberts, T.S. (2004) Computer-supported collaborative learning in Higher Education: An Introduction. In: Roberts, T.S. Ed., Computer-supported collaborative learning in Higher Education, Cambridge University Press, New York. doi:10.4018/978-1-59140-408-8.ch001
[18] Stafford, K.J. and Erceg, V.H. (2007) Teaching animal handling to veterinary students at Massey University, New Zealand. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 34, 583-585. doi:10.3138/jvme.34.5.583
[19] Tennent B. and Hyland, P. (2005) The WebCT discussion list and how it is perceived. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 29, 25-37. Accessed June 2009. http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde15/index.htm
[20] van Note Chism, N. and Bickford, D.J. (2002) Improving the environment for learning: An expanded agenda. New Directions in Teaching and Learning, 92, 91-97. doi:10.1002/tl.83
[21] Wilson, G., Thomson R. and Malfroy, J. (2007) Teach-ing@UWS. University of Western Sydney, Penrith.

  
comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.