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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs V How to Develop, Deliver, and Evaluate an Educational Program
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs 1 How to Approach the Task of Education EDUCATIONAL GOALS The goal of education and training in laboratory animal care and use goes far beyond meeting stated requirements of regulating agencies. The intent of the requirement for education is to stimulate changes in knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that will ensure humane care of animals used in teaching, testing, and research. The education and training methods you select will depend on your audience, the objectives that have been set, and the resources you have available. Desirable changes in behavior do not automatically follow introduction of information. To help translate knowledge into performance, be sure the learner: knows concepts well enough to integrate them into a complex behavioral pattern; develops confidence in skills associated with desired behaviors; connects rules and associated behaviors with a personal benefit; connects principles and rules with practical situations; understands when and how to apply information; knows the risks of noncompliance; has access to services and resources available locally and nationally; and receives positive feedback or rewards for the desired behaviors. Changes in attitudes are stimulated by acquiring information and increasing skills, but they are reinforced by interaction with peers. Therefore, to facilitate a change in attitude the education program for investigators should:
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs publicize both institutional and peer support for attending educational programs and for complying with legal requirements; encourage questions and discussions; build networks; and provide a forum for exchanging ideas and expressing concerns. A final goal of the program should be to document the effectiveness of the institution's approach to training scientists, technicians, and others involved with animal care and use. SETTING OBJECTIVES Objectives must be established with a particular audience in mind. A measurable objective is a statement of what the learner should be able to do on completion of a particular educational or training experience. For example, at the end of a lecture, an appropriate goal would be for the learner to demonstrate recall, verbally or in writing. (Note: writing assumes a higher level of competence with language.) A higher level objective would be to ask the participant to apply information to a stated situation or case or to discriminate between situations as to whether a concept applies. Following a lecture and a hands-on laboratory, an appropriate goal would be for the participant to carry out a procedure acceptably, incorporating information and skills. There are three important considerations in setting objectives. First, they must be in line with the outcomes desired. Second, they should be consistent with real-life applications. Finally, the training must provide both the information and the skills to enable the learner to meet the objectives. Desired outcomes are generally increased knowledge or skills to enable performance of a task or changes in attitude that will be reflected in changes in behaviors. SELECTING METHODS Once specific subjects are identified for presentation, a variety of educational methods should be considered. Approaches should match the course content to the needs of the learners and to the available resources. Recommended methods include: lectures, seminars interactive sessions—discussions with peers: listening teams, problem solving, case studies; workshops—demonstrations, wet labs; individualized study—readings, video recordings for home viewing, audiotapes, computerized teaching modules or reviews, audio programs; and assessment tools—self-assessment, self-reporting.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs Lectures/Seminars A lecture/seminar format is recommended for presenting most of the introductory, core block of material. This format is suitable for groups of any size, communicates the institutional mandate well, and makes the most efficient use of resources. A session might include several speakers who provide an introduction to the various topics listed. Pre-packaged video or slide programs can be used effectively for portions of the presentation, particularly if the number of content experts is limited. Interactive Sessions Provide some interactive experiences during the presentation of the core block, if at all possible. Suggestions for the presentation include the following: Provide a panel of experts to address an issue and respond to questions raised by participants (Example: how to write a research protocol that meets the review needs of the institutional animal care and use committee). Break a large group into smaller groups for a follow-up discussion of an issue presented (Example: responsibility of the investigator for health and safety of research associates). Break a large group into smaller groups in accordance with an interest expressed or a commonality of their work (Example: people whose protocols include pain management or postsurgical monitoring in a particular species). Have a structured refreshment break during which participants are asked to introduce themselves to someone they have not met and to discuss an issue (Example: what would you do if you observed another investigator who you felt was not complying with guidelines). Workshops/Laboratories A workshop/laboratory is an opportunity to gain hands-on experience. Insofar as possible, labs should be species- or technique-specific, and groups should be kept small. The sessions should provide opportunities for each individual to participate in skill-building activities such as methods of handling animals and performing necessary procedures. Adult learners, particularly those in a profession, tend to avoid situations in which they cannot demonstrate competence. Therefore, it is usually helpful to introduce the lab with a demonstration, slide show, or video presentation to provide background information. Demonstration with models is also highly recommended prior to hands-on experience. However, media is not a substitute for the hands-on experience needed for developing skills.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs The facilitator must be encouraging, positive, and patient toward learners who have little or no prior experience with a particular species of animal or procedure. Individualized Study Adult learners appreciate individualized, independent study. A variety of individualized study approaches should be used, including: recommended texts; reprint files (computerized); videotapes, slides, and print visuals; computer simulations; newsletters to update information, introduce new resources and equipment, and provide reminders of policies; checklists and protocols posted in prominent places; a ''buddy system" in which new investigators are introduced to more experienced researchers, particularly for highly specialized procedures; and special-interest or study groups. Self Assessment Self-assessment tools are a form of individualized independent study. They provide an investigator with an instrument to test his or her knowledge in a confidential way. This self-assessment tool could be a pencil-and-paper instrument or a computerized program. The essential characteristics are that the results are strictly for the benefit of the person completing the program and that the program identifies areas of weakness. Self-assessment can be combined with self-reporting: a statement that the person has completed the program. Overcoming Resistance to Change Some investigators may resent a requirement for education or give the program a low priority. Steps must be taken to overcome potential resistance. Some suggestions are as follows: Obtain an endorsement of the program from the highest institutional official and send out letters announcing the program over his/her signature. Involve several key people in planning the educational offerings, for example, people at the institution who represent the needs and views of the researchers, people who have the respect of investigators, or a person from whom resistance is anticipated. Explain the requirements, available resources, and limitations to those people, and encourage them to problem-solve and incorporate their ideas into an action plan. Name these people in publicity about the courses.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs Make compliance with institutional goals as personalized and as easy as possible. Develop packets containing species-specific information relating to requirements and guidelines. Ensure access to information. Develop reading lists and catalog books and reprint files in the resource library by species and subject for easy access. If a major institutional library will be used as the resource library, arrange for a demonstration on how to locate relevant materials. Develop a "reference bank" of local investigators who have experience with exotic species or are experts in performing advanced techniques. Find out from researchers what obstacles to implementation they perceive and develop a mechanism for reducing difficulties in changing behaviors. Reward and encourage compliance by acknowledging investigators for their cooperation following successful inspections or accreditation visits. Build a positive image with an active public relations program, such as by displaying articles about research accomplishments. CONCLUSIONS A complete education program for researchers and their assistants will: disseminate required information increase awareness improve skills affect behaviors change attitudes A well-organized educational program will conserve time and resources, be customized to the content needs of the learners, and be flexible enough to encourage enthusiastic participation.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs 2 How to Plan and Implement a Training Course Careful planning and preparation are required to provide informative, well-organized courses. Attention to detail cannot be overemphasized. Up to 6 months should be allowed to organize and implement the first offering of each course. IDENTIFYING THE TARGET AUDIENCE Each course must be designed for a specific audience to encourage active participation and achieve desired results. The audience should be defined on the basis of job responsibilities, educational level, experience, motivation, and training needs. This audience profile will help the trainer establish program goals, objectives, content, and presentation method. For example, a program for people who support animal research efforts peripherally, such as security, janitorial, or equipment maintenance personnel, will be designed differently from a program for scientific staff. Likewise, a course for newly hired research staff will include introductory information that may be inappropriate or redundant for staff members who have been employed by the institution for several years. ALLOCATING A BUDGET/FUNDING A course budget should be allocated to include honoraria and travel expenses for guest speakers; duplication of handout materials; rental, purchase, or development of audio-visual support materials; room and equipment rental; and costs of publicity.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs DETERMINING GOALS AND OBJECTIVES The goals and learning objectives must be defined clearly during the early phases of course development. As Kemp (1971) has stated, "A good goal is a nonambiguous statement. It means exactly the same thing to all other teachers who use it." Each speaker or course facilitator should be given specific instructional goals for his/her section, which may be communication of information, motivation, or skill building. From these goals, specific learning objectives can be developed that reflect the institution's mission, the scope of the laboratory animal research projects, and the audience profile. In traditional academic settings, selected learning objectives would become the basis of test questions. In most adult education settings, the learning objectives are shared with course participants, who can use them to structure their learning experience or, after the course, to assess their retention of course content. Sample objectives or self-assessment statements are shown in Appendix III for the Core, Species-Specific, Pain-Management, and Surgery modules. SCHEDULING THE COURSE The frequency with which training programs are given and their scheduling depends on the total number of people who will receive training, the approximate number who will attend each session, and the availability of facilities and other resources. Mandatory training, which includes the core material required by federal regulations and institutional policy, is likely to be offered more frequently than are training opportunities for special topics or skill development. Offering multiple options for the dates and time of training will better enable scientists to participate with minimal disruption to their research and teaching efforts. RESERVING FACILITIES The training facility or facilities should be identified and evaluated before final scheduling is begun. Selection of a location convenient to the participants should be a primary consideration. The size of the room, the acoustics, and the lighting must be appropriate for the teaching format. IDENTIFYING AND CONTACTING LECTURERS Once the schedule is established and time is allocated for each content area, speakers for each segment of the program should be identified and contacted. The choice of speakers might include members of the laboratory animal resource staff; investigators with expertise in a topic area; members of the institutional animal care and use committee; and
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs personnel from public affairs, safety, or occupational health departments. Guest speakers might be desirable for certain topics. The selection criteria for speakers should include not only professional qualifications, but also their level of enthusiasm, oral presentation skills, commitment to the training effort, and ability to speak at the level of the participants. OBTAINING AND REVIEWING AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS Audiovisuals are effective teaching tools and will help reinforce what is being said. Research has shown that people remember only 10% of what they hear, but will retain 50% of what they both hear and see. The materials and the equipment should be identified and reserved. The equipment must, of course, be compatible with the slides, videotapes, or films that are to be used. All audiovisual aids should be previewed for content and technical quality. It may be appropriate to show only part of a film or slide program or to add slides to supplement the program. Slides or overheads should be uncluttered and easy to understand. It is better to use several slides than to crowd too much information on a single slide. Dark backgrounds and colors are more effective than are black on white. Audiovisual resources can be borrowed from a number of sources, including the National Agriculture Library, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, and the Foundation for Biomedical Research. Part IV furnishes more detailed information on ordering and purchasing audiovisual programs. In most instances, orders must be placed at least 4 weeks in advance. ASSEMBLING REFERENCE MATERIALS A large amount of information can be provided to participants as reference materials. These materials must be identified and ordered or duplicated. They might include sections from reference texts, institutional manuals, reprints, or copies of resources such as the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (NRC, 1985) and the 1986 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia (AVMA, 1986). A bibliography has been provided in Part IV to assist in the selection of appropriate literature. Reference material should relate directly to course material presented to the participants. PUBLICIZING THE COURSE The program must be well publicized beginning approximately 6 to 8 weeks before the program is offered. This requires producing, duplicating, and mailing the announcement. Inclusion of all or part of the institutional commitment letter might encourage participation. A statement of the program's purpose and a brief outline of the topics and speakers should also be included.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs Investigators should be asked to indicate which session(s) they plan to attend to ensure adequate seating and allow preparation of an appropriate number of handouts. Confirmation of attendance or program reminders should be distributed approximately 2 weeks before the program starting date. REFERENCES AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association). 1986. 1986 Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia . J. Am. Vet. Med. Assoc. 188:252–268. Kemp, J. E., 1971. The Instructional Design Process. Belmont, Calif.: Fearon Publishers. NRC (National Research Council). 1985. Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. A report of the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources Committee on Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. NIH Pub. No. 86-23. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 83 pp.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs 3 Evaluation EVALUATING THE INSTITUTIONAL PROGRAM Evaluation of a program charts progress toward institutional goals and also measures changes in attitudes and behaviors of the entire target population. To measure success in reaching the target audience, it is necessary to obtain baseline data, such as estimates of the size of the target audience at present plus estimates of the annual influx of new people. This information can be used to determine the percentage of the target audience who have participated in the education and training program. Improvements in level of knowledge at an institutional level can be documented by comparing responses of groups that have attended courses with those that have not. It is important to gather baseline data before the first course is offered, as people who attend are likely to share information and demonstrate skills to others who have not yet attended, thus raising the knowledge and skill level for personnel taking subsequent courses. To evaluate success at an institutional level, course results should be compared with data obtained before the first course was given. An attitude is an internal state that can be inferred from a behavior; therefore, attitudes can be measured by the choices an individual makes (Gagne and Briggs, 1979). To document changes in attitude, identify behaviors that indicate undesirable attitudes and behaviors that would result if attitudes were changed. For example, if an emphasis of the program is to increase cooperation between researchers and veterinary care staff, the number of contacts could be documented over a period of several weeks before the course is given and compared with the number of contacts after the course has been given. Other possibilities are to measure the number of people who attend education and training sessions voluntarily or changes in the use of animals. Consideration must be given to all
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs elements that will be measured. For example, if the comparison is between personnel voluntarily attending at the beginning of the education program and those voluntarily attending later, it must be remembered that with each course given, a smaller pool of untrained people may remain, and this pool will contain the personnel who are most resistant to participating in the program. Likewise, a simple change in the number or species of animals used may be a misleading measure, since animal use must correlate with the number and type of projects and the effectiveness of research data obtained. EVALUATING THE COURSE Courses should be evaluated routinely to monitor their effectiveness and identify those portions that require modification. Program participants should be surveyed immediately following each training session to gather specific information about the course organization and content and quality of instruction (see Table 2.1). The methods and instruments used to elicit responses should be consistent, so that the training coordinator can use both historical and current information to evaluate programs and recommend changes. The most common method of evaluation is a check list of topics, with a choice of descriptive responses ranging on a scale from "1" to "10" (see Table 2.2). Statistical analyses usually require a variance of three points to distinguish differences in responses. Open-ended questions are more difficult to collate and quantitate but might provide insight that cannot be elicited from form questions. Forced-choice (yes or no) questions are often used, particularly when the questions involve value judgments or opinions. A follow-up survey, conducted 6–12 months later, should be used to evaluate the impact training has had on the participant's planning and conduct of research, testing, and teaching (see Table 2.3). Qualified members of the laboratory animal medical staff may also observe actual research procedures that involve animal handling to ensure that the training has been effective and correct technique is being practiced. The institutional animal care and use committee might want to develop its own set of guidelines for evaluating the investigator's training and ability to conduct animal research. REFERENCE Gagne, R. M., and L. J. Briggs. 1979. Principles of Instructional Design. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. 384 pp.
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs TABLE 3.1 Suggested Items for Immediate Course Evaluation Course Organization Allocation of time • Overall • Individual sections Content • Appropriateness of level • Applicability to job requirements Individual Presentations Quality of instruction for each major presentation • Preparation of speaker(s) • Clarity and conciseness of presentation(s) • Discussion encouraged • Questions handled well Effectiveness of format • Lecture • Audiovisual • Printed materials • Small-group discussions • Wet-labs Satisfaction with the Course Which topic was most beneficial? What changes would you recommend? What topics should be added or deleted? Would you recommend this program to your colleagues?
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Education and Training in the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals: A Guide for Developing Institutional Programs TABLE 3.2 Examples of Evaluation Instrument Form Position and Job Category Course Title Date Strongly Agree Strongly Disagree The course was well organized. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The time devoted to each topic was appropriate. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 The program content was appropriate for my job responsibilities. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Instructor John Doe's material was well organized. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Instructor John Doe presents the material well. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 I have a new level of understanding of the issues as a result of this course. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TABLE 3.3 Examples of Items for Follow-up Course Evaluation Position and Job Category Course Title Date • Did the course help you to [for example] prepare animal care and use procedure statements? • Did the course provide you with resources that were helpful in planning and conducting your research? • What have you done differently as a result of this course?
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