DOI: 10.3138/jvme-2023-0039 ISSN:

A Collaborative Response to the COVID-19 Challenge: Developing an International Platform for Sharing E-learning Materials for Veterinary Education

Rikke Langebæk, Camilla S. Bruun, Hans Koeslag, Carla Zijlstra, Katharina van Leenen, Theo van Haeften, Willemijn van Os, Claus B. J⊘rgensen, Antti Livanainen
  • General Veterinary
  • Education
  • General Medicine

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept through Europe in 2020, veterinary educational institutions faced new challenges overnight: distance learning became imperative, and teachers were forced to develop e-learning material on the fly. As a response to the unfortunate situation, veterinary faculties at three European universities (Utrecht, Copenhagen, Helsinki) applied for and received an Erasmus+ grant to develop an international platform for sharing veterinary e-learning material. Technical and administrative challenges caused a slow start. This added to the already limited timeframe and demonstrated the obstacles involved in trying to fuse organizational, legal, digital, educational, and cultural systems across national borders. Still, within the 2-year grant period, the partners managed to establish a platform for sharing veterinary e-learning materials among veterinary schools in Europe and eventually beyond. Furthermore, a website was designed for the project, as well as a Teachers’ Forum, and relevant guidelines for up- and down-loading and for the creation of new e-learning material. Privacy and copyright regulations were incorporated in a consent form to be accepted before uploading material. In order to disseminate the project, three webinars were held for colleagues at European veterinary schools. The current and additional papers as well as abstracts will make the project visible and subsequently available to the veterinary community. At present, 61 teachers have registered with the Veterinary Online Collection. Hopefully, a growing community of veterinary educators will become interested in sharing teaching material and experiences across national borders, thus facilitating veterinary teaching in general and during future lock-downs in particular.

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