First in-person conference for Cornell Veterinary Educators Academy a success
On January 13-15, The Cornell Veterinary Educators Academy (CVEA) held its first in-person and out-of-state conference, “Improving Learning and Teaching in the Clinical Environment,” in Sarasota, Florida, the second event in its inaugural year.
Bringing together 55 participants from 26 different organizations from around the country and Canada, the three-day conference program was designed to foster interaction among participants. It featured two invited speakers and offered a variety of session formats that included panel discussions, project presentations, workshops, and “Educational Innovations Speed Dating.”
“The conference was a great success,” says Katherine Edmondson, M.S. ’85, Ph.D. ’89, assistant dean for outreach in health professions education and director of the Cornell Veterinary Educators Academy. “The presenters were engaging and thought-provoking, and the diversity among the conference participants led to meaningful discussions and exchange of ideas. Many of those attending were faculty representing veterinary colleges, but some came from corporate practices or specialty hospitals that offer internship and residency programs. Although their contexts differed, many shared similar goals. Their different perspectives enriched discussions and deepened our collective understanding of important educational challenges many face when teaching in the clinical environment.”
The conference program included sessions such as “Encouraging Student Engagement in the Clinic,” “Perspectives on Advanced Training and Mentorship,” “Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Positive adaptations in response to the Covid-19 pandemic,” and Feedback is Essential for Learning.”
Featured speakers included Dr. James Nixon, professor of medicine and pediatrics and vice chair for education university of Minnesota Medical School, who shared his research on improving students’ diagnostic reasoning in “Maximizing student learning in the clinical environment,” and Dr. Sarah Baillie, emeritus professor at the Bristol Veterinary School who focused on assessment of clinical competencies in her talk, “Principles of assessing student learning: Focus on clinical skills.”
Conference attendees found the inaugural event to be a worthwhile and educational one. “It was my pleasure to be there – a great conference – wonderful discussion – they created a dynamic group of educational collaborators!” said Dominic Dawson Soto of VCA Animal Hospitals.
“It was a great conference with such a wonderful bunch of people!” said Dr. Elizabeth Alvarez from the University of Wisconsin. “I think I have said to folks at my school 'You know, we were just talking about that at the Cornell Teaching Academy in Sarasota,' about ten times since I've returned! I think that means I am still processing (and using) so much that I learned!”
Meredith Miller, D.V.M.’07, associate clinical professor at Cornell agrees. “All the speakers were inspiring, and I learned a lot. The agenda was a great mix of excellent topics. I really enjoyed the Fellows and their projects – what a great program.”
Edmondson is already looking forward to the next conference, “Promoting Student Reflection and Self-Regulated Learning in Classrooms and Clinics,” taking place in Ithaca in June 23-25, 2023. “It’s exciting to receive so much positive feedback as we move forward.” says Edmondson, “The enthusiasm and interest expressed by so many committed veterinary educators is inspiring, and has created great momentum. I want to keep the conversations going.”
Written by Lauren Cahoon Roberts