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Database of Teaching Sources

A database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of 18 different European languages.

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Animal Assisted Education

Date of Publication


Target Group


Domain Area

Teacher Education

Learning Scenario

Autonomous learning
Classroom Context

Target Language


Language of Instruction


CEFR level


Type of Material

Guiding resources (online course/book)

Linguistic Features





This teaching resource was developed by a highly professional team of Szeged University Teacher Training Faculty, and is available on the website of the faculty. This resource is mainly for reading and preparing for the final exam to be qualified as an expert applying animal assisted methods to support children with special needs. This resource assists both the lecturer, who can use this resource with students in the classroom, and students who, rather autonomously, can also explore it by using its cross-reference function. The technical language, especially the technical terms are very dominant in the resource, therefore the thorough understanding of its content requires students to be able to use reading strategies. Since the idea and practice of animal assisted, especially dog assisted education is relatively new in Hungary, it is either integrated in a different course in Teacher Education, or is offered as a special course in adult education or continuous professional education. Since the language of the resource is Hungarian it would be difficult to use it in other languages. Monitoring students’ and students’ own progress is not challenging because there is a conclusion part at the end of each chapter, and the final task is included in the closing section of the resource. The assessment focuses on how the participant can apply the content of the resource, as the final task plan several animal assisted lessons. Its professional vocabulary enriches students’ knowledge in Teacher Education. The resource is easily accessed by its key words.

Case study

The digital resource was used in several terms (Spring 2016/2017, 2018/2019 and 2019/2020) during the optional course entitled Animal assisted activities at University of Szeged. The course was offered for special educational experts both at full time and correspondent section. The number of sts in a group was always cca. 20-22. The resource is very much dependant on previous practical experience, therefore has a strong tie with practical realisation.
While teaching the resource, its structure was followed. As an introduction, historical elements and opportunities for using animals was added to the digital resource when the course was f2f (the online form of education was not appropriate for this). The parts on equestrian therapy were lectured by the author; when she was not available, then an experienced student took this task over. During teaching the parts on dog therapy, the lecturer’s dog was always present to make practice visible for the students. When introducing the legal background of animal assisted pedagogy and the exam requirements for the certificate, the digital resource was tested with the students. The self-check parts at the end of each module were tested in groups, followed by group reflection. During teaching methodological parts of the resource, sts designed tasks and sets of activities according the several aspects. As a pre-activity, students were required to read through the relevant parts of the resource, then they planned the activities and complete sessions in a group. These outcomes were then analysed, assessed, modified and then piloted. The group preparing the activities and sessions were in the roles of ’teachers’, while the rest of the students acted as ’children’ taking part in the therapy.
The final activity of the course was identical with the as the final activity of the digital resource. All the tasks completed during the course and the student activity were parts of the assessment. (The case study was provided by Erika Köböl).


The resource is originally designed for experts in the field, who can be leaders of future animal assisted courses as special therapists, teachers, social workers, pschychologists, etc. The suggested size od the group is 20 persons making active individual and group work possible. It is advisable to teach the resource following its content structure.
- autonomous introduction to assigned parts of the resource,
- common analysis and discussion of these parts in a f2f session with the lecturer,
- adding practical exercises to the above mentioned parts with e.g. self-experience, videos
- sharing experiences, analysis following the assessment guidelines;
- autonomous introduction to individually assigned parts of the resource,
- lectures on the very same topics in f2f sessions,
- common analysis,
- adding practical exercises to the above mentioned parts with e.g. self-experience, videos,
- sharing experiences, analysis following the assessment guidelines;
- completing the course in f2f sessions in a way preferred by the lecturer (e.g. lecture, group work, cooperative methods, etc.)
- adding practical exercises to the above mentioned parts with e.g. self-experience, videos,
- sharing experiences, analysis following the assessment guidelines

- better time management (A),
- more time for the student reflection (A, B)

- less time for practice (B, C),
- no immediate response for sts’ questions and doubts (A, B)
- the problem loses its relevance by the time there is a f2f lesson (A).

The self-check parts are ideal to check learning achievements. The activities can be individual or group work depending on the lecturers’ decision. The course objective is to prepare sts for practice, so it could be ended with the final exam tasks.

Suggested assessment criteria:
- careful planning,
- applicability,
- matching the group needs,
- matching the objectives,
- taking general didactics into account,
- conscious application of methods and work forms,
- details of planning (objectives, activities, place, instruments, time, helpers, etc.)
- appropriate usage of language for specific purposes.

The main advantages of the digital resource:
- wide theoretical knowledge,
- videos making the lectures authentic,
- the resource provides motivation for learning and further application

Dangers when only the digital resource is used:
- less practical experience for the student
- therefore sts could exaggarate the effect and implications of the method,
- because of the lack of self-experience, sts cannot realise the difficulties of the method,
- less motivation because of the lack of self-experience (this is the reason why the course was initiated during digital education period).
The guidelines were provided by Erika Köböl.


Comprehensive approach
Capacity to match the needs of lecturers and students


Added value
The provided tangible improvements


Motivation enhancement
The capacity to motivate students to improve their language skills


Effectiveness in introducing innovative, creative and previously unknown approaches to LSP learning


Measurement of the transferable potential and possibility to be a source of further capitalisation/application for other language projects in different countries


Skills assessment and validation
Availability of appropriate tools for lecturers to monitor students’ progress and for students to assess own progress and to reflect on learning


Flexibility of the contents and possibilities for the LSP lecturers to adapt the contents to their and to students’ need


Assess the technical usability from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


Assess the accessibility from the point of view of the lecturer and the student


The resource is very supportive for autonomous learning as its chapters and subchapters are visible in a scroll-down table of content. It can be very easily accessed or downloaded. Regarding the topic, it can be regarded as a general introduction to a course on Animal Assisted Education, therefore it is rich in technical terms. As for assessment, the last chapter contains the final exam tasks making the expectations very clear.
Website of the Teaching Source: