One of the challenges of educational research is measuring teaching performance. The Practical Observation Rubric To Assess Active Learning (PORTAAL) tool was developed in science education to evaluate student engagement within teaching practice by recording active learning opportunities. It shares many similarities to an ethogram, which should be very familiar to veterinary scientists, and may be a method of comparing teaching activity across courses and lecturers.
PORTAAL was utilised on a series of randomly selected recorded lectures from the veterinary curriculum at the R(D)SVS.
We found that engagement opportunities for students were limited, typically taking place in a very small proportion of the overall lecture. The main activity in a lecture was, perhaps unsurprisingly, the unidirectional flow of information from lecturer to students. Engagement was often one-sided with limited response from students, or did not leave time for students to respond beyond head nods, etc. However ‘distributed practice’ where the rest of the curriculum is referred to, was commonly observed.
The PORTAAL tool is intended to allow for objective evaluation of learning engagement, and from this work, these lectures provided limited opportunities for engagement. However there are a number of limitations to the tool, both from ethologic and pedagogic principles. A number of ethologic alterations to the method will be proposed and pedagogic considerations discussed. For example, is active learning more challenging or even suitable for lectures in content-heavy curricula such as the veterinary programme?
|Conference||VetEd: VetEd Symposium 2018|
|Abbreviated title||VetEd 2018|
|Period||4/07/18 → 5/07/18|