The Teaching Academy at the Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine started out in 2014 with a monthly journal club that reviewed and discussed article on educational practices, largely published in the Journal of Veterinary Medical Education (organizer: Clark).

After the Veterinary Educator Teaching and Scholarship (VETS) in Corvallis, Oregon 2016, a local chapter of the Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine (RTA) roster of the local Communities of Practice (CoP) was established (Drs. Bird, Chappell, Johns D, Johns J, Klopfenstein, Löhr, Nigussie, Russell, Semevolos,) and expanded at the biennial meeting in Fort Collins, CO (new members: Drs. Beechler, Gorman, Puttachary, Tornquist).

Since then, Local Communities of Practice members have given multiple presentations within a session at the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Teaching Retreat in September 2017 at the Philomath Scout Lodge. Presentations included:

  • Pedagogical projects discussed/skills learned during the Veterinary Educator Teaching and Scholarship faculty development sessions at the biennial Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine meeting (Puttachary, Beechler, Russell)
  • Discussion of strategies of recognizing/addressing cognitive bias (Löhr)
  • Outline of procedure involved in completing online forms and Teaching Vitae for External Review of Teaching working group review (Chappell)


Other activities of the Local Community of Practice over the 2016-2018 biennium included:
  • OSU Center for Teaching and Learning: Dr. Kay Sagmiller from the CTL presented on best practices and available support of communities of learning focused on education.
  • Technology in Teaching session: In the academic year, Dr. Nigussie held a meeting to discuss the promise and potential problems with the use of the EZ Anatomy platform. Dr. Nigussie demonstrated the program for attendees and outlined how this would fit into the Veterinary Anatomy curriculum.
  • In late Fall Quarter, Dr. Ana Alcaraz (RTA member from Western U) presented a seminar on the advantages/disadvantages of implementing student-centered learning and teaching. Dr. Alcaraz’s talk was attended by Communities of Practice members, as well as by faculty and students from OSU CVM (~25). Large group discussion expanded on her educational perspective from Western, with exploration into how pedagogical changes could be implemented at OSU, including likely challenges.
  • Dr. Löhr held a Communities of Practice meeting to discuss concepts of curricular renewal based on two articles from the 2017 fall issue of JVME (Parkinson et al.; Lane et al.). Dr. Löhr charged all faculty present (18) to:

         1) Personally define the concept of curricular renewal;

         2) Examine what challenges/conditions might be expected to trigger curricular renewal;

         3) Discuss anticipated requirements to implement curricular change and pedagogical improvement within the faculty at large.

Discussion at this meeting was supplemented by paper/online submissions to Dr. Löhr, who disseminated compiled comments. Topics/issues raised included:

        1) Incorporation of online applications to reallot time for student-driven learning

        2) Vertical and horizontal integration of material across the curriculum

        3) Pace and timing of potential curricular change

        4) Economic and societal challenges faced by student population

        5) Devising more informative assessments on curricular success/deficiencies


In addition to formal Community of Practice meetings, Community of Practice and broader RTA members were involved in:
  • Evaluation of Teaching Vitae and support for External Working Group website and materials (Dr. Chappell)
  • Local Peer Review of Teaching (by Drs. Gorman, Löhr, Johns, Chappell)
  • Design and implementation of a new class for 1st- year CVM students (Drs. Beechler, Chappell, Semevolos)
  • Teaching grant submission and experimental design and approach-- novel clinical training techniques (Dr. Russell, lead PI)
  • Teaching grant submission and experimental design and approach—impact of positive psychology on academic performance (Dr. Löhr, lead PI)
Local Community of Practice activities 2018-2019 (tentative)

Visiting speakers from partner Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Region Colleges of Veterinary Medicine institutions were invited in the previous academic year, but were unable to come due to schedule constraints. At least one external speaker from the RTA will be scheduled for the upcoming academic year. Other planned meetings include:

  • Review of newly-implemented teaching strategies from 2017-2018 academic year among Communities of Practice members and CCVM faculty
  • Refresher meeting with OSU Center for Teaching and Learning (Kay Sagmiller)
  • Logistical/engagement/evaluative etc. challenges involved in teaching an expanded class size


Teaching Academy of the Consortium of West Regional Colleges of Veterinary Medicine