Directly Observed Procedural Skill (DOPS) assessment of clinical examination skills in cattle: student perceptions

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Veterinary students at the University of Bristol learn to perform a clinical examination of cattle through
practical classes in years 3 and 4, cases experienced during clinical rotations and extra-mural studies (EMS),
with supporting resources such as an online video. Part of the assessment for final year students is a series of
Directly Observed Procedural Skills (DOPS), these allow valid assessment of key practical skills, feasible in the
clinical environment. Focus groups were used to explore students’ perceptions of DOPS for assessing their
ability to perform a clinical examination of a cow and the impact on their learning of this Royal College of
Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) day one competency. The results of thematic analysis identified three key areas:
the students’ experience of prior learning; their experiences of the DOPS assessment; and the perceived
impact of the DOPS assessment on their learning. Students perceived DOPS assessments to be beneficial to
their learning of this skill; building on their experiences during EMS. Consideration of student perceptions
may be useful in guiding those providing experience in the field as well as those using these assessments in
veterinary education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalCattle Practice
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020

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