A WAGGA academic has won a national award for her innovative approach to teaching veterinary science students.
Charles Sturt University teacher, Dr Jennifer Hyams is the 2015 winner of the Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) - Veterinarians in Education, Research and Academia (VERA).
She received the award at the 2015 Pan Pacific Veterinary Conference in Brisbane. She also presented at the Conference on the topic, Is Problem-based Learning achieving its desired outcomes?
Dr Hyams is a lecturer in curriculum and anatomy. Additionally, she is the Student Director for the veterinary science program, making her the 'go to' person for any students with issues whether they be personal or about their study.
Dr Hyams developed the CSU's veterinary science graduate attributes, a key element in the development of the curriculum for the University's veterinary science program.
"Our problem based learning (PBL) curriculum, in the middle part of the veterinary science degree, requires students to work in small teams of up to seven students, solving authentic problems that they are likely to meet after graduation in clinical practice," Dr Hyams said.
"This involves the students developing team and communication skills, and strategies to solve problems, while gaining discipline knowledge across a number of subject areas.
"Many graduates comment, after several months as clinical veterinary practitioners, that their role as a veterinarian mimics PBL and their work is 'All PBL!'.
"They are then able to see why Charles Sturt University takes the curriculum approach it does with a hybrid PBL curriculum and they appreciate the different curriculum model."
Dr Hyams was presented the award by AVA president of veterinarians in education, research and academia special interest group, Dr Adele Feakes.
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