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Development and Evaluation of a Virtual Slaughterhouse Simulator for Training and Educating Veterinary Students

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
VolumeE-pub 7 July
Early online date7 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2014

Abstract

Veterinary surgeons working on farms and food-processing establishments play a fundamental role in safeguarding both public health and the welfare of animals under their care. An essential part of veterinary public health (VPH) undergraduate training in the UK involves students undertaking placements within abattoirs, a practice that remains vital to the educational experience of future veterinary professionals. However, several issues have adversely affected the ability of students to gain such extramural placements. For this reason, the Virtual Slaughterhouse Simulator (VSS) was developed to strengthen and enhance undergraduate VPH teaching at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, enabling students to explore a realistic abattoir work environment with embedded educational activities. The aim of this research project was to evaluate the VSS as a teaching and learning tool for training and educating veterinary students. Ninety-eight final-year veterinary students engaged with the prototype VSS, followed by assessment of their knowledge and behavior when faced with a "real-life" abattoir situation. Further evaluation of their experiences with the VSS was carried out using questionnaires and focus groups. The results of this investigation show that there is the potential for the VSS to enhance the student learning experience in basic abattoir procedures. This innovative tool provides a visually based learning resource that can support traditional lectures and practical classes and can also be used to stimulate interactive problem-solving activities embedded in the relevant context.

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