Tidewater Community College Professor Megan Taliaferro, DVM, is the recipient of the 2021-2023 Batten Fellowship for Technological Innovation and Leadership. A Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Taliaferro is program head for the Veterinary Technology and Veterinary Assistant Programs at the college.
The Batten Fellowship is funded by a 2005 gift to the TCC Educational Foundation from Frank Batten Sr. of Virginia Beach. This highly competitive award is the most prestigious technology-related award offered by the college. The fellowship is awarded to the faculty member who presents the most creative, compelling and potentially beneficial project involving technology to improve learning.
“I’m extremely proud of the work Professor Taliaferro put into developing this innovative project,” said Dr. Michelle Woodhouse, vice president of Academics and chief academic officer. “Megan’s dedicated efforts will ensure students succeed even when they face barriers to learning.”
Taliaferro proposes to modify a classroom and laboratory space to support a blended style of learning that meets the scheduling and logistical needs of working students enrolled in TCC’s Veterinary Technology programs. The classroom will be configured as a flexible space where she can engage students in the classroom and on Zoom simultaneously, providing tablets to in-person students so they can actively interact with remote students in group activities.
The proposal also sets up the laboratory space to support self-paced labs available to students when they can be on campus. Additionally, the lab will allow students to practice a particular skill until it is mastered and will also provide multiple clinical skill stations and tablets preloaded with instructional videos to support this activity.
The lab stations will also contain a veterinary virtual simulation model and all needed supplies to practice until proficiency is acquired. The room will remain locked, and students will use their student ID to enter. Instructors will be able to access door key information to verify required student attendance.
This blended learning model will apply to other disciplines that require hands-on training and lab exercises such as biology, chemistry, physics and the health professions. The outcome of this blended learning model is to increase student retention and graduation rates when other student life issues cause barriers to academic persistence.