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Conference Paper/Proceeding/Abstract 628 views

The Student Voice on the Use of Animals in Research and Education

Jessica Fletcher Orcid Logo

British Pharmacological Society Conference 2021

Swansea University Author: Jessica Fletcher Orcid Logo

Abstract

The British Pharmacological Society Undergraduate Curriculum and Animal Research Core Learning Outcomes, and the UK QAA Biomedical Sciences benchmarks, emphasise the need for graduate knowledge of mammalian physiology and the need for discussion of ethical issues pertaining to the use of animals in...

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Published in: British Pharmacological Society Conference 2021
Published: 2021
Online Access: https://bps.bethereglobal.com/s/pharmacology-2021
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa57937
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Abstract: The British Pharmacological Society Undergraduate Curriculum and Animal Research Core Learning Outcomes, and the UK QAA Biomedical Sciences benchmarks, emphasise the need for graduate knowledge of mammalian physiology and the need for discussion of ethical issues pertaining to the use of animals in research. Neither however, explicitly state the need for the direct use of animals in education, e.g. animal dissection, to teach these principals. Across the education sector, some have called for a move towards the use of non-animal alternatives as a means to implement a ‘replacement, reduction and refinement’ approach in education whilst still teaching these principles, arguing that alternatives are pedagogically sound, and can provide similar, or better, long-term retention of material [1]. The aim of this pilot study was to assess students’ views towards the use of animals in research and education, and whether these views change over the study period in response to hands-on dissection practical.The Applied Medical Sciences with a Foundation Year BSc programme, is for students who did not achieve the entry requirements for a 3 year programme, but have the option to progress onto programmes including Medical Pharmacology. Within the Year 0 curriculum, students (n=39) undertook a rat dissection practical, designed to encourage students to apply knowledge of digestive anatomy, appreciate the ‘real-life’ appearance of structures, and develop hands-on dissection skills. A Likert scale survey was administered prior to the dissection, immediately following, and after a further 2 weeks to assess their views.Amongst the outcomes assessed, participants indicated agreement that they felt dissection was currently the most appropriate way to teach mammalian anatomy, with this response sustained throughout the study duration. In addition, both formal and informal feedback continuously demonstrates that dissections are a highly enjoyable learning activity, suggesting that inclusion of the dissection practical should remain.It is clear that the views of students should always be considered when determining the best way to achieve learning outcomes and to respect learner preferences (UKPSF values K2-K4, V1), but with the push to move towards a 3Rs approach in education, the question is raised as to what extent student enjoyment or preference should outweigh potential educational benefit when deciding whether to implement a hands-on dissection, or switch to an alternative.
College: Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences