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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-71

What constitutes excellent teaching: A survey of the perceptions of AAVMC distinguished veterinary teacher award winners

1 Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, USA
2 Department of Family Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kenneth D Royal
Department of Clinical Sciences, North Carolina State University, 1060 William Moore Dr, Raleigh, NC 27607
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/EHP.EHP_6_18

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Background: Although researchers have attempted to discern the characteristics of good teachers and good teaching, no one has attempted to solicit the perspectives of instructors recognized for their teaching effectiveness in veterinary medicine. Thus, the purpose of this study was to survey national award-winning educators, namely recipients of the AAVMC Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award, in an effort to gain insights about the beliefs, characteristics and behaviors of proven, outstanding educators. Methods: This mixed-methods study utilized survey and grounded theory methodologies to analyze quantitative and qualitative data. Results: Although most award-winning educators did not possess any formal training in education, each demonstrated a high-level understanding of modern learning theory and effective pedagogical techniques. Although opinions varied on some issues, there was virtually a consensus on the importance of issues such as emphasizing clinical relevance, focusing on core concepts, avoiding minutiae, offering opportunities for application, and illustrating how concepts are related. Further, most educators embraced backward design principles and were highly intrinsically motivated to perform their instructional duties well. Award-winning educators tend to believe developing expertise in teaching is just as important as developing expertise in one's academic discipline/content area. Conclusion: Continual and increasing efforts to promote faculty development are warranted in veterinary medical education.

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