News RCVSFunding 2009

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RCVS Trust Small Grants 2009

(a) Project background, context and need

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 2,300 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 includes a need to integrate online MCQ self assessment tools throughout the wiki. This would 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.

This application is submitted on behalf of the WikiVet 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.

(b) Expected outcomes

The project objective is to provide undergraduate veterinary and nursing students with online MCQs across a wide range of veterinary subjects available free online for access when required. 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.

Based on experience of employing similar numbers of students in 2008, it is estimated that with the requested funding it will be able to provide upto 2,000 questions covering Wiki Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pharmacology, Clinical, Public Health, Nutrition and Bacteriology.

(c) Benefits and beneficiaries

The 12 students from the UK veterinary schools involved in compiling MCQs will develop an in-depth and accurate knowledge of the field which they are researching. They will attain skills in how best to compile and disseminate the information for optimum use by their colleagues as well as gaining valuable IT and teamwork experience in collaborating to get the information online.

This will be of value to a wide constituency of veterinary students, veterinary nurses and recently graduated vets both in the UK and also internationally.

The RCVS Trust will benefit through a brand presence on sections of WikiVet which will be seen by thousands of users on a regular basis.