Development of online learning activities to enhance student knowledge of animal behaviour prior to engaging in live animal handling practical sessions
Julie M Old, Ricky-John Spencer
DOI: 10.4236/ojas.2011.12009   PDF    HTML     6,594 Downloads   12,660 Views   Citations


Learning activities were developed to increase the awareness of animal behaviour among first year students enrolled in animal-associated degrees prior to students engaging in hands-on live animal practical sessions. Learning activities were developed in an easy to use collegial online environment and to encourage student engagement in learning activities. One hundred and one students were given a preliminary and post learning activity survey to assess their initial knowledge and experience of animal behaviour, as well as to determine if the learning activities increased the students’ knowledge of animal behaviour after engaging in the learning activities. Of the students surveyed, most currently owned pets or have had pets (91.1%), some had animal-related qualifications (22.8%) and currently worked in an animal-related position (24.8%). There was a significant difference (70.3% increase) in student responses after engaging in the learning activities with the major change occurring in the students’ understanding of the term ‘ethology’, regardless of the level of qualifications or animal-related career experience. In addition, after engaging in the learning activities, most students believed that they could better articulate and interpret animal behaviors based on their observations. Overall, the inclusion of learning activities successfully increased the ability of students to understand behavioral traits of animals, which will increase safety in live animal practical sessions. The learning activities also encouraged a collegial learning environment that enhanced new knowledge construction amongst the students.

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Old, J. and Spencer, R. (2011) Development of online learning activities to enhance student knowledge of animal behaviour prior to engaging in live animal handling practical sessions. Open Journal of Animal Sciences, 1, 65-74. doi: 10.4236/ojas.2011.12009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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