Caloni F and Sachana M. Veterinary students' perspectives on alternative methods used in teaching: results from a questionnaire in two European universities [abstract]. ALTEX. 2009;26(Special Issue):220-221. Abstract 346


Although the Three Rs approach in research and education is encouraged, little is known about its effectiveness from the students' perspective, especially in veterinary education, where practical teaching involving animals is fundamental.

Here, we present the results obtained from a questionnaire developed to assess the effectiveness of alternative methods in the veterinary curriculum. The questionnaire was given to students attending 5th year veterinary medicine at two European universities: Milan and Thessaloniki.

The main objectives of the study were to: a) evaluate alternative methods related to learning objectives, b) determine the "value" of alternative methods and their importance as a compulsory or optional approach in the veterinary curriculum, c) establish priorities regarding the use of alternatives in practical classes, d) determine risks and/or benefits of using alternatives in veterinary education and e) encourage participation of the students in a working group responsible for the development of additional alternative methods that could be used in veterinary education.

Overall the results indicate that teaching based on alternative methods was well accepted by veterinarian students on practical, economical, learning and ethical grounds. Furthermore, suggestions were made for expansion of this approach to postgraduate training and to continuing veterinary education courses.

Link to journal: ALTEX - Alternatives to Animal Experimentation