The Onderstepoort Feedlot Challenge (OPFLC) is a group based Action Learning Project (ALP) within the Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) programme of the University of Pretoria (UP) (1-3). Initiated in 2007, the OPFLC maintains its original aims to stimulate interest in production animals through exciting practical exposure; to promote student wellbeing through physical activity and play; to
apply “soft” skills such as leadership, communication, business and management skills; and to develop a culture of teamwork, self-learning and critical scientific reasoning amongst future veterinarians(4-7). The OPFLC uses real cattle, real facilities, real resources, and real problems encountered in a
typical feedlot, within a simulated commercial environment. The competition between the participating student groups involves running the most economical and ethically acceptable feedlot from auction to abattoir, and demonstrating evidence of learning (7). Progress is monitored and feedback given continually and students are guided to make evidence based decisions in their daily feedlot management. Small changes are made to the detail of the OPFLC every year to keep it innovative. The educational success and validity of ALPs in veterinary education have been reported over the past decade and resulted in similar ALPs established within the veterinary curriculum of UP as well
as at other institutions (8-12). Part of the ALP includes an assignment in which each student has to report, based on the individual task assigned, what s/he has learnt during the ALP. Students are encouraged to interpret their own data against existing knowledge to support their findings scientifically. Students are assessed in two phases (first for feedback then for grading) using a predetermined scoring rubric through UP’s online learning management system, ClickUP (Blackboard®). This document represents the best of the eight
OPFLC assignments submitted for each topic in 2018, and serves as an example for future students and to acknowledge excellence.