Veterinary e-CPD: A new model for providing online continuing professional development for the veterinary profession

Short, N and Maddison, J and Mantis, P and Salmon, G (2007) Veterinary e-CPD: A new model for providing online continuing professional development for the veterinary profession. JOURNAL OF VETERINARY MEDICAL EDUCATION, 34 (5). pp. 689-694.

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Abstract

Continuing professional development (CPD) is widely recognized as an important element in effective lifelong learning for veterinary surgeons. Traditional methods of CPD do not suit all learners, as issues such as location, time, cost, and structure sometimes prevent individuals from completing the required number of CPD study hours per year. The rapid development of the Internet, and with it the increasing scope and sophistication of e-learning, provides new opportunities to address some of these constraints on the provision of CPD. This article describes one way in which e-learning has been deployed effectively to support veterinary surgeons in practice. Since 2003, a series of six-week e-CPD courses has been offered by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in an online format, with no face-to-face teaching component. Participants enrolled in courses from May 2006 to January 2007 were found to come from 23 different countries. Analysis of feedback forms indicates a general satisfaction with this new way of studying, with a significant majority of participants stating that they would wish to use this approach again in future. The feedback indicates that e-learning can offer an effective alternative to traditional face-to-face courses and that its popularity is likely to grow in future as veterinarians become increasing familiar with and confident about working online.