J Educ Eval Health Prof.  2013;10:9.

Learning gain of pharmacy students after introducing guided inquiry learning with computer simulation in a pharmacology class in Fiji

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Science, College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji. christian40ezeala@yahoo.com

Abstract

PURPOSE
Active learning methods such as problem-based learning have been widely adopted in health professions education, although guided inquiry learning has been used only in limited settings. The objective of this study was to determine students' learning gain when guided inquiry learning was combined with computer simulation in a basic pharmacology course.
METHODS
The second-year pharmacy students from Fiji National University participated in the study. Following classroom lectures on pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, the students used tutor-prepared practice problems in groups of 3-4 to explore their concepts with Cyber Patient and Virtual Organ Bath software. Pre- and posttest assessments were administered to determine the learning gain from the exercises based on Hake's criteria.
RESULTS
Forty-two students participated in the study. The average normalized learning gain from the pharmacokinetics exercises was 0.68. Thirty-seven participants (88.1%) achieved a significant learning gain, while 5 (11.90%) did not. The average normalized learning gain from the pharmacodynamics exercises was 0.76. Forty-one participants (97.6%) achieved a significant learning gain, while one participant (2.4%) did not.
CONCLUSION
These results demonstrated that use of guided inquiry learning with computer simulations could produce significant learning gains with improvement in students' understanding of basic pharmacology.

Keyword

Active learning; Computer simulation; Learning gain; Fiji; Pharmacology; Pharmacy students

MeSH Terms

Baths
Computer Simulation*
Education
Exercise
Fiji*
Health Occupations
Humans
Learning*
Lectures
Methods
Pharmacokinetics
Pharmacology*
Pharmacy*
Problem-Based Learning
Students, Pharmacy*

Figure

  • Fig. 1 Mean pretest and posttest scores in the pharmacokinetics exercises for the 42 second-year bachelor of pharmacy students of the 2011 and 2012 classes of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji, P<0.001.

  • Fig. 2 Mean pretest and posttest scores in the pharmacodynamics exercises for the 42 second-year bachelor of pharmacy students of the 2011 and 2012 classes of the College of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Fiji National University, Suva, Fiji, P<0.001.


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