ICT-supported, scenario-based learning in preclinical veterinary science education: Quantifying learning outcomes and facilitating the novice-expert transition

Jennifer M. Seddon, Brenda McDonald, Adele L. Schmidt


Problem and/or scenario-based learning is often deployed in preclinical education and training as a means of: (a) developing students' capacity to respond to authentic, real-world problems; (b) facilitating integration of knowledge across subject areas, and; (c) increasing motivation for learning. Six information and communication technology (ICT) supported, scenario-based learning (SBL) problems using case studies that integrated information across subject areas were implemented in a second-year genetics course for undergraduate veterinary science students and linked to educational outcomes. On a post-implementation questionnaire, students appreciated the use of authentic scenarios but login records indicated variable engagement among students. Comparison of learning outcomes from SBL-supported and non-SBL-supported content (within and across student cohorts) indicated that exposure to SBL generated quantifiable improvements in learning in both high and low ability students. Despite this, students did not perceive that the SBL activities improved their learning. Thus, ICT-supported SBL have the potential to reinforce connectivity of content across a range of pre-clinical courses, but to facilitate a genuine novice to expert transition may require consideration of students' perceptions of scenario relevance, their confidence, and how students of differing learning styles engage with such activities.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14742/ajet.870