Our Story: VetMedAcademy (VMA)
VetMedAcademy.org (https://www.vetmedacademy.org) is a non-profit organization dedicated to curation, development and global sharing of veterinary curricular content. VMA recognizes that the nature of general education had been transformed by the arrival of student-centered video learning resources. Accordingly, it seeks to emphasize the creation of learning modules designed for veterinary students highlighting short videos, together with targeted reading, and formative quizzes with feedback, organized on its customized Moodle platform, the most widely used open-source learning management system in the world. VMA makes most of those resources available for free or low cost on this system and its YouTube channel. All resources can be re-packaged and adapted for use onsite or on a university learning management as long as the instructor adheres to Creative Commons Attribution standards, acknowledging the content author and VetMedAcademy.
Mission: Creation and Curation of Resources for Self-Study, Review, and Blended Classroom with an Emphasis on Critical Clinical Thinking
VMA’s founders have engaged in both pre-clinical and clinical education, onsite and online at the veterinary and veterinary technician level for over 30 years. From this experience, the following guiding principles for its learning modules have been developed:
1) Pre-clinical topics need to be presented in a clinically relevant context.
2) Students forget, necessitating content on a platform reviewed and updated by experienced educators facilitating just-in-time learning or review.
3) Students need early curriculum practice and guidance at developing as clinical problem-solvers understanding the principles of evidence-based medicine. VMA recognizes that this is the best left to faculty face-to-face instruction, so the ideal learning module suggests critical clinical thinking exercises applicable to pre-clinical periods of training.
4) Learning modules on VMA are designed to make the trial of blended learning less daunting. By providing a training module entitled “Blended Learning and Critical Thinking,” and encouraging co-development of materials with faculty members, VMA seeks to help faculty realize the affordances of a blended learning approach.
5) International emphasis and where possible, multilingual. Exemplified by our Spanish pharmacology series, content experts around the world are encouraged to prepare learning materials in their own language.