Mar
2
2015

Each generation has shared experiences that shape their thoughts, values, behaviors, and expectations. And those generational differences—in communication styles, learning methods, and work ethic—play a major role in how people collaborate and get along in the workplace.

But do generational differences change the way we learn? And if so, what delivery method will have the broadest reach and retention if multiple generations are attending the same session?

The results of AAHA’s Education Survey in 2012 indicate that despite age differences, all generations prefer learning in-person, whether that is at a conference, in a hands-on workshop, or in a seminar (compared with learning through an online course, a Web conference, journals, or a workbook). In fact, 53% of veterinary professionals surveyed ranked a conference as their first or second preferred training method.

This is why attendees will notice some changes at the upcoming AAHA yearly conference. First, AAHA has changed session lengths from 50 minutes to 1 hour and 40 minutes so sessions can be more interactive. AAHA conference sessions will also include peer interaction, hands-on activities, and question-and-answer sessions, with an emphasis on discussion and idea-sharing.

The wide variety of topics, coupled with hearing real-life examples from peers and industry experts, will enable attendees to more easily implement what they’ve learned, not to mention the fact that they will receive maximum continuing education credits in just a few days.

Interactive learning encourages involvement and retention among learners, and AAHA Tampa 2015 has plenty of interactive content to choose from.

In the Video Surgery Suite, videos will be used to demonstrate feline surgery techniques while industry expert John Berg, DVM, DACVS, facilitates the sessions and explains the technique being shown. This will allow attendees to see exactly how the surgery is performed and gives them the opportunity to ask questions.

The Trends Executive Edge sessions explore how successful businesses have applied new changes in business improvement and innovation. In this four-part session, attendees will share their experiences and establish measurements to assess new initiatives. They will also reinvent a product or service, modeling the process of innovation with their own projects, learn from peers and share successes and failures.

Drawing on the experiences and wisdom of attendees, Sonya Gordon, DVM, DACVIM and Kathy Spaulding, DVM, DACVR, the facilitators of the Cardiology-Radiology Team Teach track, are asking attendees to fill out a survey prior to the conference. The survey cases and responses will be discussed throughout the sessions as a way to address current, relevant topics and situations.

Providing an environment in which attendees are surrounded by their peers and receiving expert guidance while learning innovative concepts is an important objective for AAHA. This allows attendees to participate and help shape what they are learning in the sessions under the direction of industry experts.

In AAHA’s Education Survey in 2012, hands-on learning received the second-highest ranking. AAHA Tampa 2015 does not disappoint, with a whole new experience in hands-on dentistry labs. Those who register for these labs will start their dental education one month prior to the lab with videos of procedures, pre- and post-conference webinars, virtual interaction, and participation in an AAHA Dental Google Group. All of these activities are facilitated by industry experts, Jan Bellows, DVM, DABVP, DAVDC and Barden Greenfield, DVM.

At the conference, two levels of dentistry labs are being offered, starting with stage one, which includes a comprehensive review of dental concepts. Stage two builds on skills learned in stage one. Combining assignments and access to the learning facilitators’ expertise prior to the conference with hands-on labs at the conference will enable a comprehensive learning experience.

Veterinary professionals of every generation will get the continuing education they need at AAHA Tampa 2015. Learn with those who have a lot of experience to share and those who have new, innovative ideas to contribute. Take the opportunity to share with your peers at the conference and enjoy some of the best continuing education you can find in the veterinary industry.

This article is a summary of a previously-published article,"Tampa: Talking About Your Generation: Delivering education programs that appeal across generational lines," that appeared in February 2015 Trends magazine.

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