The workplace provides veterinary students with opportunities to develop a range of skills, making workplace learning an important part of veterinary education in many countries. Good preparation for work placements is vital to maximize learning; to this end, our group has developed a series of three computer-aided learning (CAL) packages to support students. The third of this series is the Animal Management and Husbandry Online Placement Tool (AMH OPT). Students need a sound knowledge of animal husbandry and the ability to handle the common domestic species. However, teaching these skills at university is not always practical and requires considerable resources. In the UK, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) requires students to complete 12 weeks of pre-clinical animal management and husbandry work placements or extramural studies (EMS). The aims are for students to improve their animal handling skills and awareness of husbandry systems, develop communication skills, and understand their future clients' needs. The AMH OPT is divided into several sections: Preparation, What to Expect, Working with People, Professionalism, Tips, and Frequently Asked Questions. Three stakeholder groups (university EMS coordinators, placement providers, and students) were consulted initially to guide the content and design and later to evaluate previews. Feedback from stakeholders was used in an iterative design process, resulting in a program that aims to facilitate student preparation, optimize the learning opportunities, and improve the experience for both students and placement providers. The CAL is available online and is open-access worldwide to support students during veterinary school.
- workplace learning, online learning, animal management, animal husbandry, extramural studies