A randomizedtrial comparing freely moving and zonal instruction ofveterinary surgical skills using ovariohysterectomy models

Julie A. Williamson, Jennifer T. Johnson, Stacy Anderson, Dawn Spangler, Michael Stonerook, John J. Dascanio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Timely, specific feedback is the most important feature of simulation-based training, but providing adequate instructor supervision is challenging. Students' (n = 76) surgical skills were assessed after training using either the traditional (T) method of large-group teaching by multiple instructors or the alternative method of one instructor assigned (A) to a defined group of students. Instructors rotated to a different group of students for each laboratory session.The instructor-to-student ratio and environment remained identical. No differences were found in raw assessment scores or the number of students requiring remediation, suggesting that students learned in this environment whether they received feedback from one instructor or multiple. Students had no preference between the methods, though 88% of the instructors preferred the assigned method, because they perceived an increased ability to teach and observe individual students.There was no difference in the number of students identified as at-risk of remediation between groups. When both groups were considered together, students identified as at-risk were more likely (40% vs. 10%) to require post-assessment remediation. However, only 22% of students requiring remediation had been identified as at-risk, and A-group instructors were more accurate than T-group instructors at identifying at-risk students.These results suggest that students accept either instructional method, but most instructors prefer to be assigned to a small group of students. Surgical skills were learned similarly well by students in both groups, although assigned instructors were more accurate at identifying at-risk students, which could prove beneficial if early intervention measures can be offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-204
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2019


  • Clinical skills training
  • Instructional methods
  • Instructor-to-student ratio
  • Model training
  • Ovariohysterectomy
  • Veterinary simulation


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