Implementation and Evaluation of Active Learning Tools in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

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Conference Proceeding

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Objectives: To implement and evaluate the effectiveness of group based active learning tools in a Pharmaceutical Biotechnology elective course. Method: A total of 16 students enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology elective course during spring 2013. The course involved in-class lectures, webinars, group projects and poster/in-class presentations. Student performance was evaluated based on class attendance/class participation (20%), in-class presentation (25%), group project/poster presentation (35%) and webinar report (20%). End of the semester course evaluation was administered through E-Value online system. An anonymous supplemental Qualtrics survey was conducted seeking feedback regarding the effectiveness of group based active learning tools (including group project/ poster presentations). The survey included six Likert (1 = Low, 5 = High) and two open-ended questions. Results: All 16 students successfully completed the course. Of the 16 students, 13(81%) responded to both the course evaluations and the supplemental Qualtrics survey. Overall the course was well received and survey results showed that the group based active learning techniques assisted student learning. An average score of 4.4 was reported for the effectiveness of group projects/presentations as a tool for active learning.Students reflected by sharing that the “group projects were great”, “good learning experience” and “more group activities should be included”. However, one student also shared the concern of group dynamics influencing the distribution of work-load and outcome of group projects. Implications: Group based active learning tools were effectively implemented in the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology elective course and were well received by the students. Further revisions and applications of these activities will be considered.



Presented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) annual meeting in Grapevine, Texas, in July 2014. Abstract published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 2014; 78 (5) Article 111:

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