Monday, 16 November 2009

RVC Development Education Initiative

The RVC e-Media Unit has been collaborating with a number of partners in East Africa including the University of Nairobi Veterinary School, the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance in Tanzania and the NGO Vetaid. This initiative draws upon these existing partnerships in order to strengthen North – South linkages and help to raise awareness amongst veterinary students in both the UK and Kenya of international issues of mutual concern. The importance of this approach was highlighted by the OIE at a major conference in October 2009 entitled evolving veterinary education for a safer world.

The RVC is a partner in the 3 year DFID funded “Students as Global Citizens” project led by the Development Education Research Centre in the Institute of Education. It has recently secured funding from DFID’s Development Awareness Fund to develop and evaluate methods to embed development education principles within degree courses on pharmacy, veterinary science, and human health. The initiative described here is part of this approach which is intended to introduce a series of scenario based directed learning sessions into the Year 2 veterinary curriculum.

The project aims to enhance the appreciation of international development by exploring and contrasting issues related to livestock and health in both East Africa and the UK. This is intended to assist RVC and Kenyan veterinary students identify with their counterparts and emphasize the common professional interests and values that exist. This will be achieved through a number of steps described below which integrate some of the latest technologies such as videocasting with more traditional students exchanges.

• An initial exploratory visit by RVC recent graduate to Kenya and Tanzania in November 2009. The UK vet will work with a recent veterinary graduate from the Nairobi veterinary school to develop links with the veterinary school and Vetaid;
• In particular they will work with Vetaid vets, community animal health workers and students to record and publish a series of audio and videocasts describing issues of local and national relevance;
• Adaption of video material collected in the field to create a series of 6 directed learning sessions for the RVC Development Awareness session for second year veterinary students in 2010, drawing parallels and comparisons between veterinary practice in the UK and in the developing world;
• To provide recording equipment, training and support for Kenyan vets to record, edit and publish their own podcasts and videocasts on topics of local relevance. As part of this initiative, a Kenyan veterinary graduate will make a two week visit to the Royal Veterinary College in London, in order to develop their technical skills and record videocasts of relevant livestock health issues in the UK;
• To establish a protocol for future student educational exchanges including the potential for RVC students to undertake either preclinical or clinical Extra Mural Studies placements with Vetaid and other partners in East Africa.

The first stage of the project involve a 4 week visit by a recent RVC graduate, Beverley Panto to East Africa. You can follow her progress through her own blog at :

Friday, 13 November 2009

Wiki Quiz goes live

After months of hard work, we now have an exciting new addition to the WikiVet site called WikiQuiz.

WikiQuiz is a directory of multiple choice quizzes on a wide range of veterinary topics, which are integrated within the existing Wikivet content. These quizzes cover all levels of the veterinary course and can be used as a self assessment resource for users who want to test their knowledge of a particular topic or as a revision tool. Each question incorporates feedback on the correct and incorrect answers and links to articles with further information on that topic. Most importantly, every question has been reviewed and approved by a relevant expert, to ensure the highest level of quality assurance across the quiz.

WikiQuiz, which now has a link on the home page is the result of collaboration between students, graduates and academics from four UK vet schools, and has been supported with funding from the RCVS Trust. We currently have over 30 live quizzes, with work ongoing on a further 30 which will be uploaded over the next few months. It is hoped that this will be a widely used and ever increasing resource for veterinary students worldwide, and would like to thank all the students, practitioners and staff who have contributed to the development of WikiQuiz.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

Article in ALT Newsletter about WikiVet

The latest ALT Newsletter contains an article by Bev Panto, a recent RVC graduate. Bev has been working on the WikiTest initiative funded by the RCVS Trust. Read the full article here.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

New Pots at AMEE

Just back from the AMEE 2009 Conference in Malaga. If you did not get a chance to go, it is worth reviewing the archived video presentations from previous years - check out Marc Prensky in Trondheim - you will need to register for the site but well worthwhile!

The e-Media Unit presented two short communications. Chris Trace, a recent RVC greaduate, gave an excellent overview of the e-Case system he has developed to create flash based cases authored by students. Nick Short talked about engaging students in developing e-learning content for example with the Wiki Vet development. He half suceeded in setting up a live Skype link to students in the UK - the video was great but the technical support were not able to set up the audio...... shame. Copies of the presentations can be found on the RVC web site.

There was the annual meeting of VIEW including a fascinating workshop on Professionalism organised by:
  • Liz Mossop (University of Nottingham, UK)
  • Sarah Baillie (Royal Veterinary College, UK)
  • Michèle Doucet (University of Montreal, Canada)
  • Gill McConnell (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • Esther de Groot (University of Utrecht, The Netherlands)
The EU has just agreed to fund an ambitious new e-learning project led by Utrecht and including Hannover, RVC, Budapest and Bucharest veterinary schools - more on this later.

Finally it was really rewarding to see the anatomy potcasting model developed at the RVC has now been adopted by the University fo St Andrews Bute medical school. They gave a presentation at the conference in which they demonstrated how effective the technique has proved for medics too.

Friday, 29 May 2009


The APT STAIRS Project is a JISC funded project led by the RVC and involving all 6 Bloomsbury Colleges. The first phase of the project has now been successfully completed and you can read about the outcomes and achievements here.

The concept of Appropriate and Practical Technologies has inspired a number of second generation initiatives. One area of particular interest is the APT for Africa programme working with mobile phones to collect data and provide access to local knowledge through Android mobile phones.

The e-Media Unit is playing a leading role in coordinating these developments working closely with partners in industry, Africa and other universities. For more information, please contact Nick Short on

Friday, 24 April 2009

Presentation to Africa Gathering on Mobile Telephony

Presentation we made to Africa Gathering on 25th April 2009 about mobile telephony in Africa.

Friday, 10 April 2009

WikiVet - Integrating CAA

The WikiVet project has just received funding of £ 4,770 from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust to support the production of self assessment within the wiki. WikiVet is managed through a steering group including the veterinary schools at Cambridge, Edinburgh, Nottingham and London as well as the LIVE Centre at the RVC and the MEDEV Subject Centre.

WikiVet is a collaborative Web 2.0 based initiative which supports a global community of students and lecturers with a common interest in veterinary education. Since its establishment in 2007 as a predominantly pathology based website, WikiVet has expanded to cover the preclinical and clinical undergraduate curriculum with over 2,000 pages of content and 2,500 regular users accessing the material from a diverse range of countries.

 Whilst directed and supervised by members of academic staff at the UK veterinary schools, all the information in WikiVet is compiled by a team of highly motivated veterinary undergraduates endeavouring to create an online version of the entire veterinary curriculum. Wiki technologies allow text to be supplemented with a combination of video clips, photographs and interactive material providing a more comprehensive and engaging overview of a subject than any textbook.

The next phase of WikiVet development will integrate online MCQ self assessment tools throughout the wiki. This will enhance the existing content by providing an interactive way for students to identify the sections that would be of most benefit for them to study. Undergraduate students will develop the material supervised by a recent veterinary graduate over 4 weeks in the summer 2009 vacation. In addition incentives will provided for clinical staff to review and correct the completed questions.

More information can be found by registering with WikiVet


Sunday, 1 February 2009

Zoomable microsocope slides

We have recently introduced a new tool called Slide Path in our teaching. This allows us to upload high definition microscope slides onto a web server from where they can be examined using a special viewer. It really is quite fascinating to be able to zoom in up to 40x on an image of a mouse embryo, scan the image and adjust the contrast.

The tool is quite powerful as it allows you to add annotations and even assessments. In addition images can have restricted permissions or shared with colleagues in other institutions.

Have a look at a few examples by following this link