One Health in the Curriculum

CPB 88300 Public Health Clinical Rotation CPB 86900 Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses One Health Leadership Study Abroad Program

Dr. Audrey Ruple

Dr. Ruple

Dr. Audrey Ruple teaches in both the DVM and Vet Tech programs at Purdue.  She is the professor of record for CPB 86900 – Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses and CPB 88300 – Public Health Clinical Rotation.  She also guest lectures in VCS 60300 – Introduction to Clinical Research, Trials and Translational Research and VM 24100 – Safety, Prevention, and Public Health. Additionally, she serves as the One Health Club advisor and runs a One Health Leadership Study Abroad Program

Visit Dr. Ruple's profile for more information

Teaching Philosophy:

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires. - William Ward

I believe the role of a great teacher is not to impart knowledge but to act as a facilitator, connecting students to the material that is being taught.  This personal, meaningful connection to the material is what truly inspires students to learn.  The role of the teacher, however, is not insignificant in this process because the interaction that occurs between the student and teacher does impact learning.  It is my belief that a student who feels connected to both the subject matter being introduced and their teacher will learn more, will be better able to apply the knowledge attained, and will retain the information acquired for a longer period of time.

I believe this approach to teaching works particularly well for veterinary and graduate students because these groups of students are, in general, proud, accomplished, eager to learn, yet can also be self-doubting.  They respond well to instructors who truly listen to them and understand them and have respect for the experiences and successes they have already had both personally and professionally.  Treating students with kindness and respect is, for me, an area of core competency for being able to teach well. 

This relationship-based approach to teaching allows students and teachers to become partners in the process of education.  In this partnership students must meet rigorous analytical and temporal expectations, but it also means their teacher has a responsibility to them.  In fact, I believe teachers should not ask from their students that which they would not ask of themselves.  Establishing clear guidelines about what students can expect from me and upholding these expectations is an essential element to building relationships with students that are based upon trust and respect and is also a crucial component of being a successful teacher.  These expectations would include tangible items like specific timelines for returning assignments and how quickly they could expect to receive a response from me should they contact me, but would also include items like the expectation of a respectful and safe learning environment and transparency and fairness in student evaluations.  I also think it is fair for students to expect me to be prepared to teach them and maintain my enthusiasm for the course and the material because enthusiasm alone can inspire student success.  It is also reasonable for students to expect a certain amount of availability from me because learning doesn’t stop at the classroom threshold.  Being available to meet outside of the classroom and being willing to revisit topics in an individualized manner can be a critical component of success for some students.

In the classroom, I believe in using flexible teaching strategies and in being willing to adjust strategies in response to the pace and depth of student understanding and connection to the material.  For this reason, my didactic lectures tend to be interactive and presentations, such as PowerPoint slides or other instructional technologies, are utilized as a backdrop rather than as the central component to the lecture.  I have experimented with different types of classroom modalities, such as the “flipped classroom” and feel there are some topics and courses that particularly lend themselves to this type of alternative classroom environment.  I believe flexibility is a key component to being a successful teacher and am open to trying new and different ways to help improve student learning and student outcomes.  I think this is particularly important for veterinary and graduate students because they are essentially professional students and have already attended hundreds of lectures.  For me, it is important I make every effort to keep the classroom experience relevant to them.  I think teachers who engage students at their level, challenge them, and inspire them to think critically while remaining focused on student learning and the student experience are more apt to be successful with this type of advanced learner.

Lastly, I feel strongly about approaching teaching as a scholarly activity.  To me, that means it requires continual evaluation and adjustment in order to improve.  I am committed to professional development in this field and remaining aware of pedagogical advancements, changes in academic technology, and classroom modalities.

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