Exploring task unclarity veterinary students experience during workplace learning
Meer, A. van der
MetadataShow full item record
In veterinary education, workplace learning is seen as essential to prepare students for their career as practitioner. However, workplace learning is a learning environment in which there is a higher risk for students to experience task unclarity. The aim of this study was first to explore to what extent students experience task unclarity during workplace learning in an outpatient clinic for companion animals. The second aim of this study was to explore what possible consequences and causes of task unclarity are and, if deemed necessary, to formulate possibilities to reduce task unclarity. The amount of experienced task unclarity was explored using a survey research and a focus group study was conducted to explore possible consequences and causes of task unclarity, and possibilities to reduce task unclarity. The results show that veterinary students experience a moderate amount of task unclarity when participating in an outpatient clinic. Possible consequences of task unclarity are passive behaviour, less learning opportunities, reduced performance, stress, insecurity, reduced engagement, a negative working atmosphere, reduced quality of patientcare and learning to cope with task unclarity. The possible causes that emerged are different expectations of teachers, different working methods of teachers, different roles of teachers, inadequate information provision, other participating students are unknown, short contact time, lack of feedback and students’ generation. The results indicate that task unclarity might have a negative impact on the well-being of students, the quality of education and the quality of patientcare. Therefore, it is recommended to reduce task unclarity veterinary students experience during workplace learning and suggestions to achieve this are formulated.