Students enroll in college thinking it’s going to be nothing but study, study, study and no fun. We instructors at vet tech schools strive not only to teach the necessary material and engage the students, but also find tactics to get them to remember that knowledge–which often requires a lot of memorization.
This is not always an easy task to do, especially since not everyone learns by looking at a book or listening to the instructor for the entire class period. Each student learns a little bit differently and instructors need to incorporate various types of learning into their teaching methods. In doing so, instructors can make the learning experience fun and students pay more attention when they are engaged and know the information will be important in the future.
Emily Groshek, an instructor at Globe University’s Wausau campus, needed to come up with a fun way to review the different types of blood cells found within an animal’s body system for her Hematology and Animal Disease class. There are many different types of blood cells and students need to memorize them all, as well as the functions of each.
While this information is taught in an earlier class, a refresher is often needed. This is when Emily had an innovative idea on how to make this lesson a bit more fun and engage her students in the process. What better way than to use food?
Emily decided to make cookies and have the students decorate them as different types of blood cells. Students were put into groups and each chose two to three blood cells to “make”, but that was not all they had to do.
Along with putting their cells together, they also had to describe the cell and the function of that cell. Memorization is a huge part of the veterinary profession, so why not make it fun for the students and us as instructors?
As Emily’s students stated, “It was a fun way to end the term and a great way to help study for the final exam. It got us up, out of our chairs, and moving around instead of sitting and listening to lecture the whole period.”
The students created many types of cell cookies, from neutrophil to crenated red blood cells and nucleated red blood cells. After the students finished reviewing their “creations”, they then shared them with staff and faculty on campus. Knowledge never tasted so good!
By Janet Laffin, Veterinary Technology Program Chair, Globe University-Wausau