It is recognized that effective clinical communication requires not only the essential process skills but also content knowledge. While exposure to real-life clinical cases is regarded as the optimal method for utilizing and consolidating content knowledge, availability of teaching cases and standardizing case exposure may be a challenge. Case-based e-learning has been established as a promising alternative to increase student confidence in consolidating content knowledge in many clinical education programs, and when coupled with process skills, is expected to improve future veterinary-client-patient communication. 

To investigate students’ satisfaction, attitude, learning behavior, and self-confidence in using a purpose-built case based e-learning tool in a second year DVM class. Methods Mixed-methods sequential exploratory design with purposive sampling involving second-year veterinary students at the Ontario Veterinary College (n=124). Focus groups (n=11) and subsequent thematic analysis informed the design of two online questionnaires, one delivered pre- e-learning use (n=117), and one to be delivered post-use. 

Students reported the online tool facilitated their confidence in making decisions and the ability to demonstrate veterinary competencies, in conjunction with its real-life applicability. Preliminary pre-questionnaire results showed students were in strong agreement that the e-learning tool would increase confidence in future clinical abilities, and an effective tool to practice a methodical approach to a clinical case.

Based on students’ perceptions of the case-based e-learning tool thus far, we propose that a case-based e-learning tool may help students’ confidence in applying content knowledge to real-life clinical settings, and in conjunction with communication process skills, improve future veterinary-client-patient communication and outcomes. 

*SAWRAS, Michael1, KHOSA, Deep1, LISSEMORE, Kerry1, DUFFIELD, Todd1, DEFARGES, Alice2
1. Department of Population Medicine, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada;
2 Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph