The Online Veterinary Anatomy Museum (OVAM) will provide access to a comprehensive and pedagogically structured set of veterinary anatomical resources from UK veterinary schools and other institutions. These will be aggregated and ordered in an environment which will make them easily discoverable by different cohorts of learners. Key to the success of this project will be the development of effective methodologies to embed and integrate these materials within a traditional curriculum to maximise exposure, uptake and sustainability.
Project information: OVAM
The Opening Veterinary Access to Literature (OVAL) project involves the repackaging of currently restricted-view veterinary educational resources into an open format, which will then be made freely accessible to an international audience of veterinary online learners.
Veterinary students and graduates have become increasingly confident in using web based resources to supplement or replace traditional approaches to learning. Whilst the convenience of e-learning has obvious attraction, there are also concerns with the academic quality of online information and how to search for it amongst the numerous other less reliable sources. The OVAL project will help to address these issues by adapting quality peer reviewed articles and datasheets provided by our commercial partners and integrating these in to the widely used WikiVet veterinary educational portal.
Currently, there is an extensive range of veterinary literature produced by private sector publishers which has a limited readership due to the prohibitive costs. However, with the significant market changes associated with e-publishing, there is now a good business case for making some of these resources free to view. The OVAL project intends to use this opportunity to develop an innovative model for repurposing online journals and text books as Open Educational Resources (OER).
Project information: OVAL
WikiVet is a collaborative project involving four UK veterinary schools which has set out to create a comprehensive online veterinary curriculum. Using a similar environment to its big brother, WikiVet contains thousands of pages of detailed curriculum content including text, images, video, Powerpoints and assessment.
Much of this material has been developed by students and recent graduates working between different schools and then peer reviewed by subject experts. The project has received over £ 25,000 in funding from the HEA and JISC and now is recurrently funded by Pfizer.
Web site : www.wikivet.net
Open Educational Resources
HEFCE is now encouraging all Higher Education institutions to make their online education content available free of charge to an international audience through the internet. The belief is that as well as an altruistic sharing of content with less privileged universities in the developing world, this will also help profile the excellence of UK education and encourage more overseas students to study in the UK. As part of this initiative, the RVC is involved with a MEDEV project involving most of the leading UK medical school to develop methodologies for quality assuring and sharing content. The College is working on the development and sharing of two new projects : WikiSnakes and WikiLizards. The total funding for this project from HEFCE shared across all the partners ios £ 250,000.
Web site : MEDEV OER
APT for Africa
The Appropriate and Practical Technologies project is working with key stakeholders in animal health to identify appropriate and practical mobile innovations. In particular this is focussing on the following areas:
• Use of mobile phone devices to capture GPS based disease data by field staff for surveillance purposes
• Disease, population, environment and vaccination monitoring using mobile devices
• Decision, practical and professional support for front line staff from central offices
• Access to location/context sensitive disease/treatment information in text/audio/video format
• Local language based resources to support extension, education and advisory services
• Developing new mobile communities of practice to share experience and support
• Providing cross disciplinary services as part of the One Health agenda
Support and funding for this work has been provided by the Rockefeller Foundation, Google.org and the UK government.
Blog site : APT for Africa
JISC iTunes U initiative
The Bloomsbury Colleges led by the RVC has just received funding from the UK Government to develop a "media cloud" with a specific focus on international development. The 15-month initiative involves six internationally renowned institutions within the University of London (Birkbeck, Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Royal Veterinary College, School of Oriental and African Studies, and The School of Pharmacy). It is being undertaken in collaboration with the London International Development Centre – an academic organisation which brings together social and natural scientists to facilitate interdisciplinary research and training.
The project is funded by £87,709 from JISC - a UK Government body which develops partnerships to enable the UK education and research communities to engage in national and global collaborations. Innovative internet-based approaches are central to the project, including the storage of digital resources in ‘the cloud’ – a virtual space online.
The e-Media Unit has been collaborating with a number of partners in East Africa including the University of Nairobi Veterinary School, the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance in Tanzania and the NGO Vetaid. This initiative draws upon these existing partnerships in order to strengthen North – South linkages and help to raise awareness amongst veterinary students in both the UK and Kenya of international issues of mutual concern. The importance of this approach was highlighted by the OIE at a major conference in October 2009 entitled evolving veterinary education for a safer world.
The RVC is a partner in the 3 year DFID funded “Students as Global Citizens” project led by the Development Education Research Centre in the Institute of Education. It has recently secured funding from DFID’s Development Awareness Fund to develop and evaluate methods to embed development education principles within degree courses on pharmacy, veterinary science, and human health. The initiative described here is part of this approach which is intended to introduce a series of scenario based directed learning sessions into the Year 2 veterinary curriculum.
EU Funded NOVICE project
The e-Media Unit is part of an RVC team which has been successful in obtaining EU funding as part of a collaborative European team for the Network of Veterinary ICT in Education (NOVICE) project. A grant of €450k has been awarded under the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme to investigate the role of web 2.0 technologies (for example, wikis and blogs) in supporting informal, lifelong learning.
The RVC team will be working with colleagues at other European veterinary schools in Utrecht (the lead site), Hannover, Budapest and Bucharest. A core group of 10 students and 10 practitioners from each participating institution will initially be invited to take part in the cross-European, online community of practice.
Project web site : www.noviceproject.eu
The project objective was to provide undergraduate veterinary and nursing students with free online MCQs across a wide range of veterinary subjects for access when required. Two of the most important aspects of the development were to ensure the highest level of quality assurance and to provide comprehensive feedback, both to the correct and incorrect answers. This feedback was to include links to direct users back to relevant WikiVet pages. These objectives were realized through the creation of WikiQuiz; a bank of MCQ quizzes sorted by topic, approved by experts in each field and then embedded within the Wiki.
This project was funded by the RCVS Trust
See the eMedia Showcase for a selection of computer aided learning programs and other projects completed or under development by the Electronic Media Unit in collaboration with RVC academic staff.