THE IMPACT OF VIRTUAL PRACTICAL PBL LESSONS ON STUDENTS' KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION IN URINARY SYSTEM ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY. A PRE-TEST AND POST-TEST STUDY

Objectives:
The aim of this study was to determine if the inclusion of Problem Based Learning (PBL) on practical virtual learning approaches has an impact on students' knowledge acquisition by using a quasi-experimental Pre-test and Post-test.

Background:
The integration of practice curricula within Degree in Pharmacy is crucial in generating graduates able of solving therapeutic problems. PBL is used as a strategy which allows to students to acquire knowledge through an active learning environment by training them to identify to solve professional reality problems. We have designed a new blended learning methodology, in which traditional teaching and problem-based learning (PBL) converge, to improve students’ ability to study Physiology and Physiopathology subjects.

Methods:
The present method was applied to the Urinary System Anatomy practical lesson. Groups of 15-42 students of first- and second-year Pharmacy were divided into smaller groups (n=3-4 students). A case problem was designed and delivered in the Virtual Campus with enough time for its completion by self-learning using student’s own bibliography. At the beginning of the practical session, all the students were given pre-test. The progressive resolution of a clinical case relative to factors that modify glomerular filtration rate in a simulated environment by making a clinical diagnosis will be the basis of learning. Thus, students will be able to solve the following curricular objectives: 1) identification of the anatomy and morphology of the urinary system by using Practice Anatomy Lab™ (PAL™ 3.1) software; 2) microscopy study of the renal tissues by using Practice Histology Lab™ (PAL™ 3.1) software; 3) measurement of the effects of changes of arterial pressure and arteriolar resistance on glomerular filtration by using simulation PhysioEX 9.0 software. At the end of the practical class, post-test with the same ten pre-test questions was conducted. The contribution of the acquired knowledge from each learning strategy was relative to the total scores from pre- and post-test. Paired t-test and a repeated-measures ANOVA were used to analyse the data obtained from pre- and post-test.

Results:
Mixed PBL teaching strategy led a significant improvement in the post-test score, in the percentage of students who obtained the highest post-test score compared to pre-test (P= 0.0001).

Conclusion:
The effectiveness of this integrated pedagogic methodology has been demonstrated. Pre-tests gave students a preview of what to expect from the urinary system practical unit and of their previous knowledge acquired by self-study. The interaction between traditional learning resources and clinical cases with student-led debates improved the students’ knowledge acquisition and achieved better understanding of anatomical and physiological concepts.

Acknowledgment:
This work is supported by PIMCD 349, 2020. Complutense University of Madrid. Spain.