Magda Sachana, Alexandros Theodoridis, Cristina Cortinovis, Fabiola Pizzo, Evaggelos Kehagias, Marco Albonico and Francesca Caloni
The use of alternative methods for teaching purposes is gradually increasing in higher education. In order to evaluate the usefulness of non-animal based practical classes in veterinary science, and to inform on possible benefits and limitations of these teaching tools, a questionnaire was designed and distributed to students. Although there was no complete agreement among the student responses, it was apparent that the majority of the students would like traditional training methods to be paired with alternative approaches, and expressed their desire to be exposed to as many humane modes of learning as possible. In addition, the students agreed that alternative teaching methods for training in veterinary science can reinforce existing knowledge that is required at the clinical stage, and that they can be effective supplements to traditional training methods. It was also concluded from the study that the use of new alternative approaches is very much appreciated by the students, whereas the validity and effectiveness of these methods are debatable, suggesting that further optimisation, proper application and evaluation of these alternative methods is required.