Assessing Welfare for Animal Care
Case Study at Plumpton College
As part of their Level 3 Animal Management course, Plumpton College students were required to assess the husbandry regime of a local pet-store. However, staff were unable to take a large class of students offsite and could only run a classroom-based lesson. Instead, the lecturer took a Theta S 360o video camera to the pet store and recorded immersive content at three locations around the shop. Using smart phones and head-mount VR goggles, these videos were then made available to students in a theory lesson where they were writing an essay for their course. One table in the lesson was pre-prepared with three headsets for students to immerse themselves in the environment and consider critically whether the store was meeting the needs of their animals. A video tour was also recorded using an iPad for students who were too anxious to use the headsets.
It was found that the quality of the essays that were produced was higher compared to previous cohorts and the overall pass-percentage increased. The students would not have been to access the environment without the VR headsets and the activity provided an engaging way of applying the practical skill of evaluating husbandry regimes within theory lessons. However, the lecturer found the classroom time-consuming to prepare as the content had to be pre-loaded onto staff mobile phones before the lessons. There was not enough time to setup the content on student mobile phones. A consequence of this trial was that Plumpton decided to concentrate on using Oculus Go for future lessons as it is easier to preload content in advance ready for a class.