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Workshop on using Case Studies in advancing the Lao Veterinary Curriculum

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On April 27th, Russell Bush, Sonevilay Nampanya and Peter Windsor facilitated a ‘Workshop on using Case Studies in advancing the Lao Veterinary Curriculum’ at the Nabong campus of the National University of Laos, Faculty of Agriculture, near Vientiane capitol. The workshop was developed from a request by Faculty staff, following an ADB supported review of the curriculum conducted in 2014 by Peter Windsor, and the current curriculum development led by inputs from Russell Bush.
The workshop involved 11 Lao participants (one female) that were actively teaching in the relatively new BVSc curriculum (2 cohorts now graduated) but still delivering content by mainly didactic teaching. The role of case studies in encouraging active-learning was explained, and a simplified process of writing them, detailed. This included developing learning objectives, writing case scenarios, devising sequential question tasks, providing learning resources, advice on potential student presentations and assessment techniques, and finally a discussion of the expected learning outcomes.
Examples of student cases cases used in Sydney were presented, as were cases developed from MLR publications from Laos. The participants were then requested to develop a case study that would be suitable for their own units of study, and these were discussed. This workshop is particularly important for Laos as it is a great challenge for these mostly young and inexperienced staff to deliver a complete veterinary curriculum that is expects to resemble the OIE Model Vet Curriculum, with few staff and minimal resources.
Despite loss of electricity during the middle of a day of maximum heat (>40C), when both the Australian participants partially melted, the workshop was a great success. The workshop will hopefully assist the Faculty both ‘do more with less’, plus achieve improved student learning, particularly if a follow-up workshop can be organised on future visits to Laos by the MLR team.
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