VEC 2014 Call for Proposals

The 2014 AAVMC Veterinary Educator Collaborative Symposium is coming up soon – June 13-14, 2014, on the campus of Iowa State University! Based on feedback from the VEC 2012 meeting, the 2014 Symposium will feature two concurrent tracks (Teaching and Learning; Inter-Program Exchange) and a poster session. Attendees are invited to submit proposals to either or both tracks and/or the poster session. We hope that the Teaching and Learning track will provide faculty with practical research and theory-based ideas that can improve their teaching and their students’ learning. In addition to teaching and learning, the Inter-program Exchange track will provide a forum to tackle issues that may be of broader concern to an educational endeavor such as helping students with special needs, how to handle students not meeting expectations, clinical teaching, and teaching as scholarship. We also want the growing group of faculty with interest in research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Veterinary Medical Education to have an environment in which they can showcase their work and exchange ideas, which is why we have included an inaugural VEC poster session on Friday evening. Proposals are due by midnight November 15, 2013; notification of acceptance is anticipated by March 1, 2014. The following will provide guidance as you prepare and submit your proposals:

Teaching and Learning Track

It is common for educational meetings to feature presentations regarding how to perform skills essential to teaching, such as how to write good test questions, teach using a specific approach (TBL, PBL, Socratic Dialog, etc.), or create effective groups. Other presentations present research-based and/or theoretical ideas such as being aware of cognitive load, providing feedback, or creating effective educational objectives. At VEC 2014, we invite proposals for presentations that combine the two approaches. Specifically, we hope to see teams of experienced teachers and education experts team up to (a) demonstrate an effective teaching approach and (b) explain what makes it work. Any teaching and/or theoretical approaches are welcome; we will give preference to those proposals that give a clear and concise description of the educational approach, and that tie the approach to principles of teaching and learning that have solid support in the educational literature. Teams of educational experts and instructors are particularly encouraged.  VEC will feature 50-minute sessions. Presenters are encouraged to use the time as they judge best. We expect that most presentations will devote 20 minutes to an illustration of the instructional approach, 20 minutes to a discussion of the principles of teaching and learning that illustrate why the approach is effective, and 10 minutes for question and answer. In some cases, presenters might judge that their approach and/or theoretical explanation are of sufficient interest and complexity to justify two 50-minute sessions (one to explain the approach, and one to explain the underlying research/theory). Presenters who believe this is true of their presentations are invited to indicate in their proposal that they are requesting two 50-minute sessions.

Evaluation Criteria:
•    Clarity of description of the educational approach
•    Clarity of explanation of support from relevant literature
•    Evidence of collaboration on the presentation between experienced instructor(s) and educational specialist(s)
•    Relevance and interest to a VEC Audience

Submission information:
Word count:  750 including title, authors, affiliations
Email proposals to Dr. Jared Danielson: ( by Nov 15, 2013.

Inter-Program Exchange Track

Academia presents a unique set of challenges and situations that are experienced by program faculty regardless of geography.  What may be different, however, is how each institution or faculty member handles these challenges. The purpose of the Inter-Program Exchange Track is to bring together educators from differing institutions and backgrounds in a common venue to present and discuss individual approaches to the following aspects of academic practice.  What works for you?  Conversely, what doesn’t work for you? The Inter-Program Exchange Track will be divided into student-focused and faculty-focused sessions.  The goal for each session is to have multiple presenters illustrate their current approach in their chosen area followed by a moderated panel discussion.  We invite proposals ranging from 15 – 45 minutes in each of the areas below; we also invite panel discussants.  Each proposal should include the area of interest followed by proposed title, presenter’(s) academic affiliation, requested presentation time, a brief summary of the presentation, and an indication of willingness to participate on a panel. Panels will be assigned by the conference organizers after viewing proposed topics. Panel discussants will be contacted regarding the panel and topic to which they will be assigned at least two weeks prior to the meeting. Proposals are not limited to the examples included in each area. 

Interest Areas (followed by examples in parentheses):

Evaluation of Students (grading, student evaluations of house officers and faculty)
Student Challenges (Students who require special accommodation [mental or physical illness]; electronic exams and ethics; computers in the hospital; social media)
Clinical Teaching of Students (Exposure of students to clinics and clients; holding effective rounds)
Faculty Evaluations (evaluating house officers and effective feedback; didactic and clinical teaching feedback for faculty; faculty peer evaluations)
Faculty Challenges (team teaching; technology in the classroom; accommodation of increasing class size; teaching in the absence of financial support)
Clinical Education (effective teaching of clinical reasoning and communication; veterinary [surgical and/or procedure] skills education; the use of live animals in teaching)
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (demonstration of effective teaching; teaching awards; publishing of scholarship/research of teaching; promotion and tenure in SOTL)

Evaluation of Criteria:
•    Relevance to indicated interest area
•    Relevance and interest to VEC audience
•    Appropriateness of content for requested time frame
•    Applicability of proposal for panel discussion
Submission information:
Word count:  750 including title, authors, affiliations
Email proposals to Dr. Jennifer Schleining: ( by Nov 15, 2013

Poster Session

Please consider submitting an abstract for the inaugural poster session at VEC 2014.  The poster session will be held on Friday evening, June 13, 2014, at the beautiful Reiman Gardens on the ISU campus.  The evening reception will take place during this event.  

The poster session will be an opportunity to share your efforts in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Areas of focus will include innovations in classroom techniques, clinical learning interventions, assessment methodology, and issues regarding student support.

Hypothesis-driven studies, data-rich studies, and works-in-progress are all welcome.  This poster session is designed to provide you, as an educator, the opportunity to display your own observations, teaching experiments, and conclusions generated from your time as an educator.  Please plan to share your work with your colleagues in veterinary medical education. 

Submission information:
Poster boards will be 4’ x 4’
Word count:  300 including title, authors, affiliations
Email proposals to Dr. Amanda Fales-Williams: by Nov 15, 2013

Abstract format example: 


Fales-Williams A., Myers RK, College of Veterinary Medicine, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011-1250, USA.

At the end of the spring semester, first-year veterinary (VM1) students in a General Pathology Course were individually assigned to read a Case Correlation Assignment (CCA). The CCA is a case report authored by senior veterinary (VM4) students during the necropsy rotation, in which antemortem and postmortem findings of a deceased, hospitalized patient are synthesized, illustrated, and explained.  The VM1 students had one week to read the CCA, then they presented a summary of their assigned CCA within small groups during the last lab of the semester.  VM1 students were asked to reflect on the elements of pathophysiology that were familiar, and to identify concepts that they’d like to learn in future years. The text responses provided by the students were collected and categorized. The VM1s listed areas of general pathophysiology that were familiar (e.g. necrosis, apoptosis, exudates, lipidosis), with comments such as “Knowing the proper way to describe the lesions helped me visualize the lesions.” Common themes identified by VM1s as future learning goals included serum chemistry analysis, hematology, renal pathophysiology, microbiology, radiology, and neurology, among other areas.  Statements such as “I’m anxious to learn more about serum chemistry…and how the concentrations of different liver enzymes can be used as a diagnostic tool...” were related by the VM1 students. Other insights included student self-awareness about learning, such as “This made me very aware of how much I have learned, but how little is retained if I am not actively engaging in the topic.”  This assignment allowed VM1 students to review authentic cases, prompting them to inventory their learning at the conclusion of the first year, finding solid knowledge and new questions.