Expanding Voluntary Active-Learning Opportunities for Pharmacy Students in a Respiratory Physiology Module

By Ernst, Hardy; Colthorpe, Kay | American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, April 2008 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Expanding Voluntary Active-Learning Opportunities for Pharmacy Students in a Respiratory Physiology Module


Ernst, Hardy, Colthorpe, Kay, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education


Objectives. To expand voluntary active-learning opportunities for bachelor of pharmacy students enrolled in a third-year human physiology and pharmacology course and determine whether the additional course components improved learning outcomes.

Design. Additional voluntary active-learning opportunities including a large-class tutorial, additional formative assessment, and an online discussion were added to the Respiratory Physiology Module of the course. Examination scores were compared with those from previous years. A questionnaire was administered to assess students' perception of the active-learning components.

Assessment. Mean examination scores increased from 69.3% [+ or -] 24.4% in 2003 to 88.9% [+ or -] 13.4% in 2004 and 86.9% [+ or -] 17.6% in 2005, after the addition of the active-learning components. Students' overall perception of the value of the active-learning activities was positive.

Summary. The addition of voluntary active-learning course components to a required pharmacy course resulted in improved student examination scores, and decreased failure rate, and were accomplished at low cost and with little additional staff time.

Keywords: active learning, respiratory, online discussion forum, formative assessment

INTRODUCTION

Learning is an active process. (1-3) Active learning is defined as "the process of having students engaging in some activity that forces them to reflect upon ideas and how they are using those ideas." (4) Active learning can occur when students become actively engaged in the learning process by participation in activities that require them to consider their understanding and incorporate new information into their personal conceptual framework. Furthermore, interactive respiratory physiology lectures with embedded active-learning activities have been shown to significantly improve learning outcomes. (5-7)

Accordingly active learning had been incorporated into the third-year human physiology and pharmacology course of the bachelor of pharmacy degree program at the University of Queensland, Australia. However, despite the active-learning activities included in 5 lectures and 1 laboratory class, there was high variability in student performance in the summative assessment of this module, and over 20% of students did not achieve a passing grade. The active-learning activities within the interactive lectures and the laboratory class, while tremendously valuable, offered only a limited time for the students to apply newly presented information and key physiological concepts, thereby limiting the effectiveness of these activities in promoting knowledge construction and developing problem-solving skills. In order to decrease the number of underachieving students and further improve learning outcomes, we redesigned the module to include additional voluntary course components that offered the students further opportunities for active learning outside the lectures and the laboratory class. The objective of this intervention was to determine whether the introduction of voluntary active-learning activities outside the official contact hours decreased the number of underachieving students.

DESIGN

The human physiology and pharmacology course we selected for this study is the last of a series of 3 integrated physiology and pharmacology courses in a 4-year bachelor of pharmacy degree program. It is offered concurrently with 5 other courses in the second semester of the third year of the program. The course contains 4 main content modules: treatment

of infection, cancer chemotherapy, respiratory physiology, and respiratory pharmacology. Students' mastery of all 4 modules is assessed in an end-of-semester examination, with respiratory physiology comprising approximately 30% of that examination.

In 2003 the respiratory physiology module was delivered by five 50-minute interactive lectures to all students and one 2-hour laboratory class, which was repeated 3 times to a smaller class size of approximately 60 students.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Expanding Voluntary Active-Learning Opportunities for Pharmacy Students in a Respiratory Physiology Module
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.