Direct Measurement of Veterinary Student Learning Outcomes for the NAVMEC Professional Competencies in a Multi-User Virtual Learning Environment. Academic Article uri icon


  • Education in veterinary medicine, as in other allied health care-health science professions and academia in general, has been subject to the public call for accountability for the quality of its student learning outcomes. A principal stakeholder in veterinary medicine is the American Veterinary Medical Association-Council on Education (AVMA-COE). AVMA-COE has adopted program accreditation standards requiring veterinary colleges to provide evidence that they are measuring and assessing the clinical competency of students before graduation and again shortly after graduation. Schools and colleges are required to develop relevant measures to validate scientific knowledge, skills, and values aligned with North American Veterinary Medical Education Consortium (NAVMEC) core competencies. Beginning in May 2012, the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University modified the professional veterinary medical curriculum by including a required clinical rotation centered on veterinary emergency preparedness and response. A distinguishing major component of the instructional design of the clinical rotation includes Second Life, a commercially obtained computer-generated multi-user virtual simulation learning environment. The virtual reality situations require high-volume, mass-casualty medical triage decision making. The interpersonal communications and interactivity among students, faculty, and third-party actors enable faculty and instructor observers and simulation facilitators to evaluate students actively engaged in critical thinking and complex problem solving while demonstrating skill in the NAVMEC professional competencies. The Second Life virtual simulation has been adopted as a primary tool for direct measurement of student learning objectives outcomes achieved in this clinical rotation and is being implemented in other clinical teaching platforms.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Med Educ

author list (cited authors)

  • Espitia, N. F., Zoran, D. L., Clendenin, A., Crosby, S. M., Dominguez, B., Ellis, C. L., ... Bissett, W. T.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Espitia, Noberto F||Zoran, Debra L||Clendenin, Angela||Crosby, Sammie M||Dominguez, Brandon||Ellis, Cheryl L||Hilburn, Amy||Moyer, William||Bissett, Wesley T

publication date

  • January 2021