A Unique Approach to Project-Based Learning (PjBL) in a Veterinary Anatomy Course

Cintya Borroni, Alejandro Pimentel-Ávila, Caroll Stoore, Christian Hidalgo, Kate Diamond, Cecilia Vásquez-Carrillo, Eduardo Landerer, Rodolfo Paredes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Project-based learning (PjBL) is a teaching methodology designed to engage students in solving real-world problems, acknowledging that students are active agents of their learning process. This methodology has historically been popular in architecture and industrial sciences; however, its use in teaching veterinary anatomy is scarcely published. Methods: Using information and communication technologies, the PjBL methodology was implemented in a first-year veterinary anatomy course. The methodology included teamwork and the selection of a routine object in the veterinary clinic at the beginning of the academic semester. The project’s goal was to analyze the object and associate it with both a domestic animal species and an anatomical region, along with making and presenting a video or a simulation model about the object. Results: More than 80% of students prefer active learning classes compared to traditional classes. In addition, 66% and 86% of students indicate that PjBL allowed them to improve their understanding of theoretical content for the first and second years of post-implementation, respectively. Students’ self-assessment indicates that more than 80% of the students (first and second year post-implementation) felt they were responsible for the execution of the project, able to conduct research, and able to develop autonomous learning skills. After 2 years of PjBL implementation, failure rates in the course decreased by 21%. Discussion: In general, PjBL results show that veterinary students prefer active learning activities that allow them to learn in a team-based learning process as well as to develop soft skills such as self-learning, responsibility, and teamwork.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMedical Science Educator
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Anatomy education
  • Higher education
  • Project-based learning
  • Student retention
  • Undergraduate medical education
  • Veterinary anatomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education

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