Evidence-based Expertise Development: A Roundtable Discussion of Research-informed Best Educational Practices for Veterinary Pathology

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2014-01-01
Authors
Bender, Holly
Bender, Holly
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Veterinary PathologyCenter for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Abstract

During the past 60 years, we transitioned from a society dominated by industrial workers to one abundant with knowledge workers. Sixty years ago, knowledge was relatively scarce and challenging to acquire. Though libraries did their best to distribute information on paper media, a simple literature search typically involved many hours of combing through card catalogs and lengthy bibliographic print publications such as Index Medicus. Frequently, searches were delayed for weeks when the desired reference was sent out for binding or checked out by another patron. Innovations like Google, PubMed, e-journals and digital repositories changed everything. Now, information is not only available, it is overwhelmingly so. Currently, the challenge is less how to acquire knowledge, and more how to sort through the ever-burgeoning content to find relevant and reliable information.

Though our information paradigm has transformed dramatically, our education system remains largely unchanged. In the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), administered annually at more than 700 colleges and universities, over 60% of college students reported in 2014 that “memorizing facts, ideas, or methods from your courses and readings so you can repeat them pretty much in the same form” was used either “quite a bit” or “very much.”2 In other words, the majority of college students report that their courses emphasize rote memorization. Back when information was scarce, it was necessary for professors to distribute knowledge through lecture, and students to memorize facts and figures to recite on examinations. Now that information is readily accessible, it makes sense that our education system can loosen its grip on methods that promote memorization skills and turn toward helping students cope with information overload by teaching critical thinking skills needed to find reliable information, interpret that information, and apply knowledge to solve problems. These are the complex skills essential to the development of disciplinary expertise.

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This is a manuscript of a proceeding published as Bender, Holly S. “Evidence-based Expertise Development: A Roundtable Discussion of Research-informed Best Educational Practices for Veterinary Pathology.” 65th Annual Meeting of the American College of Veterinary Pathologists and the 49th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Veterinary Clinical Pathology (ACVP & ASVCP 2014). Proceedings of a meeting held 8-12 November 2014, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Pages 161-165. Posted with permission.

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