Interview with Ian Wood, Student Experience Manager at University of Nottingham School of Veterinary and Science.

In our interview we chat with Student Experience Manager, Ian Wood who shares his experience of implementing Myprogress and how the Veterinary School overcame the challenges associated with transforming practice based assessment.

The School provides an innovative, fresh approach to Veterinary Education, how does learning technology and Myprogress support this approach?

When our vet school doors opened in 2006 there was a strong ethos to integrate learning technologies to support and enhance student learning and experience.

  • All our lectures are video recorded and are available online for students who either missed it the first time, want to review during revision periods or just to consolidate knowledge.
  • We use the Moodle virtual learning environment extensively, as a paperless (or as close as can be) school all our lectures, self-directed learning materials and practical learning resources are uploaded to Moodle for students to download and work through on their laptops, we don’t hand out any paper to students.
  • All our knowledge based exams are held online using our University e-assessment software and for practical assessments we use examination software held on iPads that assessors use to mark students during OSPE and OSCEs.

Myprogress supports this during students’ final year, a lecture free year during which they undertake clinical rotations, moving around our various clinical associate practices in small groups. During their rotations students must perform a certain amount of directly observed procedural skills (DOPS), for example a dog castration, bandaging a horse’s leg etc. These procedures are observed and assessed by vets at these practices using MyProgress. We also use the Myprogress software to capture student feedback about their time at each clinical associate.

Why did Nottingham School of Veterinary Medicine and Science choose Myprogress as their digital practice assessment tool?

We looked at a few companies offering similar software but Myprogress had the best base product offering pretty much exactly what we needed out of the box. It obviously removes all the paperwork, which was especially difficult to manage with the students being away from the vet school most of the time during their rotations, and it also works well out of mobile signal and Wi-Fi range, pretty handy if you’re in a field or barn looking after farm animals! The reporting functions of MyProgress were also a big selling point – being able to quickly and easily pull off the detailed response reports has saved us a lot of time.

How does Myprogress support the student experience?

The app on their phone is great for students, it saves them from printing and carrying around paper forms and they have an easy way to record, manage and view their completed assessments. It also gives students the ability to capture and record more feedback from clinicians when out on rotations, simply because they always have their phone and MyProgress to hand.

Thinking back to implementing Myprogress, how did the School overcome the challenges associated digitally transforming practice-based assessment?

It was a pretty smooth experience to be fair. We made sure students were all given a talk on how the software was designed to be used and then during their introduction week to rotations we held a mock DOPS assessment training session using their phones. Our clinical associates were used to students walking around with paper DOPS forms so for them it was just a case of explaining that students will now be asking them to complete DOPS on their phone or if more appropriate the student can send the assessment via email to the assessor for completion at a later date straight from the app.

What are the Schools plans for the future regarding digital assessment and further supporting the student practice experience?

Since it has worked well for us over the last year we have decided to implement Myprogress for use in Years 1 and 2 of our course, to capture and record our animal handling observed assessments. These assessments are paper based at the moment so it will again be an improvement for the students and save the school time in processing large amounts of assessment data.