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R. Martín Orti, P. Marín García, J. González Soriano

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
Anatomy of Exotic Pets was first given in the Veterinary Faculty of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid (UCM) during the school year 1998-99. Despite the fact that it was an innovative subject (1), the way of implementing the lectures was still traditional: oral presentations for the whole group, and practical sessions in small student subgroups. This situation was changed during school year 2005-06, as the UCM implemented the Pilot Subjects (2), in its policy of adapting itself to the Principles of Bologna Treaty (3). The Anatomy of Exotic Pets was included among the Pilot Subjects since the first moment. From the beginning there were 40 voluntary students, divided in groups of 10. What has varied with time is the working method. During the first year, each group prepared a part of the syllabus entrusted by the teacher and the topic was presented in the lecture room for the rest of the groups. The main problems were the difficulties shown in interaction, with the teacher and with the rest of the groups, which prevented continuous evaluation. The practical sessions were developed following the traditional method. During the school years 2006-07 and 2007-08 each of the groups carried out individual debates with the teacher. Students prepared the corresponding part of the program, after carrying out an individual and a group tasks. This job, along with the way of presenting and answering the questions, was assessed by the teacher. In this way, a considerable number of grades were obtained, and by calculating their mathematical average, the theoretical grade was obtained. Support notebooks were created and were very well received by students (4). Nevertheless, it was also necessary to evaluate the individual knowledge acquired by every student. Thus, two grades were obtained in each session: an overall one, corresponding to the team work, and an individual one, obtained from a small test. This additional test has improved the performance as they are obliged to know everything that has been dealt with during the session. At the end of every school year, surveys were carried out in order to evaluate the student’s satisfaction. These surveys show a high level of satisfaction, as they feel much more involved in their learning process, although they all agree that it implies more work than traditional teaching. This degree of satisfaction is also revealed by the grades, which were much higher in students of Pilot Groups.

Authors thank Juncal Fernández-Garyzábal for revision and translation of the document.

1. Martín-Orti, R. Real Academia de Ciencias Veterinarias: “Anatomía de los Animales Exóticos: Trayectoria de una Asignatura Innovadora. ISBN: 1135-2795. 2007.
3. González-Soriano, J., Marín-García, P. y Martín-Orti, R. Asignaturas piloto: una forma racional de construir el futuro Espacio Europeo de Educación Superior (EEES). ISBN 978-84-96702-04-2. 2007.
4. Martín-Orti, R., Marín-García, P. y González-Soriano, J. Cuadernos Prácticos de Anatomía de los Animales Exóticos. Cursos académicos 2006-07 (ISBN 978-84-690-4311-0), 2007-08 (ISBN 978-84-612-2221-6), 2008-09 (978-84-92539-37-6).