Saint Joseph College, School of Pharmacy (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 6098-6102
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
With diffusion of new technologies, distance education is promoting creative and critical approaches to teaching. The emphasis has shifted from traditional lectures and reading assignments to the use of interactive tools and on-line discussions. The learner-centered nature of on-line teaching combined with problem based learning creates unique opportunities for many professionals and adult-learners.

To provide access to information is not the same as to ensure a successful learning experience. At the same time, if the distance learner is ready to succeed, the faculty must do more than provide the access to information sources. There are the responsibilities for teachers not only to understand the learners, but also to design learning environments that facilitate learning. There is still a need to assess the difference in learning outcomes by comparing the delivery of traditional lectures and reading assignments to the use of interactive tools and on-line discussions.

Therefore, a few science courses were offered using both ways of delivery of lectures: traditional – in the classroom and alternative – on-line by using Blackboard. All students had to attend Labs on campus. The comparison of students’ performance in our case of the study showed that students who were taking lectures on-line were significantly more independent and better focused on performance in the Lab than students who attended lectures in the classroom.

Based on our experiences one of the most important tools to keep under control the performance of students is an effective assessment. Despite there are various strategies for using assessment in order to maximize student learning, such as, matching the assessment tasks to the learning outcomes, keeping the criteria of assessment simple, being fair, reliable, and valid in grading, and providing meaningful, timely feedback was a part of success working with students taking science courses offered by different methods of delivery.

The issue of effectiveness of problem solving in stimulating the intended learning outcomes has been of interest to researchers, as well as problem developers. The investigators have focused primarily on the congruency between student-generated learning issues and predetermined faculty objectives established for a given problem.

Based on our observation, incorporation of problem-based learning by using case studies, and by adding the assignments related to solving of cases presented as clinical problem enhanced teaching and learning environment and had many beneficial outcomes. Most students showed much more willingness to undertake additional homework in order to solve problem related cases. In general, the students became much more engaged in the study of the subject.

Maximizing the potential of teaching-learning environment and adding new creative teaching strategies we can achieve that our students as distance learners would be successful in their academic pursuits.
On-line delivery, teaching strategies, problem-based learning.