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Supplementing Lectures with Cases, Essays and Drug Information Applications to Promote Active and Life-long Learning

1 January 2010


BACKGROUND: Pharmacy students are traditionally exposed to many lecture hours during pharmacotherapy modules which provide students with information. Adding active learning assignments during class may equip students with a purpose to research course concepts using drug information applications and engage in reflective writing activities both independently and with peers.

OBJECTIVE: To reduce the hours spent lecturing during the block, integrate multiple methods of active learning, and assess performance in a pharmacotherapy block.

METHODS: Pharmacy students (n = 92) in a gastrointestinal pharmacotherapy module were given only 2 hours of lecture/day in a 6-day block (total module time = 36 hrs). Each day consisted of an additional 4 hours of activities, including case story lines, essays and worksheets. One faculty member facilitated the class and used the Blackboard Learning system to communicate active learning assignments and collect students’ work.

RESULTS: Students identified areas and concepts they expected to learn during the Gastrointestinal/Hepatic pharmacotherapy block. All students’ expectations were met, except for the desire to learn about eating disorders. Students were most interested in learning about possible interventions a pharmacist can make as it pertains to these disease states. Specific interventions identified as necessary to improve a patient’s quality of life included: specific medication recommendations; collaborating with, and referring to, other providers; providing risk factor education; and, building rapport with patients. Student performed well and showed evidence of learning using these methods.


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