Enhancing professional writing skills of veterinary technology students: linking assessment and clinical practice in a communications course
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Veterinary technology is an emerging profession within the veterinary and allied animal health fields in Australia and affords graduates the opportunity to contribute to the small but growing body of literature within this discipline. This study describes the introduction of a contextualised assessment task to develop students’ research capability, competence and confidence in professional writing, and to engage them with the academic publishing process. Students worked in self-selected dyads to author a scientific case report, of publishable standard, based on authentic cases from their clinical practicum. Intrinsic to the task, students attended a series of workshops that explored topics such as critiquing the literature, professional writing styles and oral presentation skills. Assessment was multi-staged with progressive feedback, including peer review, and culminated with students presenting their abstracts at a mock conference. Students reported the task to be an enjoyable and valuable learning experience which improved their competence and confidence in scientific writing; supported by a comparison of previously submitted work. Linking scientific writing skills to clinical practice experiences enhanced learning outcomes and may foster the professionalisation of students within this emerging discipline.
Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education
Specialist Studies in Education not elsewhere classified