Utilisation and evaluation of cooperative case-based teaching for integration of microbiology and pharmacology in veterinary education

Picard, Jacqueline, Sutcliffe, Ruth, and Kinobe, Robert T. (2020) Utilisation and evaluation of cooperative case-based teaching for integration of microbiology and pharmacology in veterinary education. Health Professions Education, 6 (2). pp. 211-221.

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Integrating basic sciences with clinical disciplines while fostering clinical reasoning capabilities is difficult. We investigated the utilisation of diagnostic specimens and, a cooperative, case-based learning and teaching model to integrate principles of antimicrobial drug pharmacology and microbiology in the fifth year of a veterinary course.


In small groups, students were assigned diagnostic specimens from which they isolated and identified clinically relevant microorganisms and then performed antimicrobial susceptibility tests based on a review of pharmacology, microbiology and pathophysiology. Results were recorded and analysed followed by a student-led integrative tutorial. Learning outcomes were assessed via individually written reports discussing the disease process, interpretation of diagnostic results and, recommendations and rationales for therapeutic interventions.


This approach yielded high quality student reports that conformed to antimicrobial prescription guidelines with consistently high summative assessment scores. Mean scores for the final report in this learning activity were: 82 ± 12%, 80 ± 12% and 80 ± 11% for 2015, 2016 and 2017 cohorts respectively; over the same time period, 98 ± 1% of students indicated that these learning activities facilitated the development of confidence, professional knowledge and skills.


This was a consistent approach for integrating principles of veterinary pharmacology and microbiology in clinical disciplines. These data illustrate the benefit of a systematic application of a cooperative, case-based learning and teaching model in integrating pre-clinical and clinical disciplines in a bachelor of veterinary science course.

Item ID: 61147
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2452-3011
Keywords: Cooperative teaching; Basic and clinical discipline integration; Antimicrobial resistance; Student evaluation; Veterinary education
Copyright Information: © 2019 King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences. Production and Hosting by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2019 02:02
FoR Codes: 39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390113 Science, technology and engineering curriculum and pedagogy @ 50%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3107 Microbiology > 310701 Bacteriology @ 25%
32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3214 Pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences > 321402 Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics @ 25%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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