Approaches and study skills of veterinary medical students: Effects of a curricular revision

Eliza Zamor, Munashe Chigerwe, Karen A. Boudreaux, Jan Ilkiw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine if a revised, recently implemented curriculum, embracing an integrated block design with a focus on student-centered, inquiry-based learning, had a different effect on veterinary medical students' approaches to studying than the previous curriculum. A total of 577 students completed a questionnaire consisting of the short version of the Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST). It included questions relating to conceptions about learning, approaches to studying, and preferences for different types of courses and teaching. In addition, students were asked to respond to general questions regarding the design of the revised curriculum. The scores for the deep and strategic learning approaches were higher for students studying under the previous curriculum compared to the revised curriculum, despite the fact that the revised curriculum was specifically designed to foster deep learning. The scores for the surface learning approach were lower in the students studying the revised curriculum compared to students studying under the previous curriculum. We identified the following factors affecting student learning: alteration of learning activities, such as problem-based learning, from the recommended models; a lack of instructor support for the revised curriculum; assessments that were not aligned to encourage critical thinking; and directed self-learning activities that were too comprehensive to complete in the allotted time. The results of this study can be used to improve the implementation of studentcentered and inquiry-based curricula by identifying potential problems that could prevent a deep learning approach in veterinary medical students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)490-501
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017


  • Curriculum
  • Learning approaches
  • Study skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Approaches and study skills of veterinary medical students: Effects of a curricular revision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this