DEVELOPMENT OF AN OPEN SOURCE PLATFORMS FOR IMPROVING THE LEARNING PROCESS IN PHARMACY
Pharmaceutical Technology I is a central subject of the Pharmacy Degree of 12 ECTS. The subject of Pharmaceutical Technology I contemplates the basic physical-chemical aspects of stability of solid forms and systems dispersed, all the pre-formulation aspects that must be considered to obtain forms quality pharmaceutical companies and also the pharmaceutical operations and methods used in preparation of orally administered drugs. The subject is divided into theoretical classes (60 hours), laboratory sessions (28 hours), seminars (10 hours), practical sessions with computers (7 hours) and tutorials (6 hours). Among other aspects, the practical sessions with computers delve into practical aspects of dissolution models. Currently, the use of teaching methodologies on free and interactive platforms has a relevant impact on student learning, but also in a way that the teacher imparts practical content. The implementation of the activities in free and interactive software would help students' learning, by increasing the number of activities to be carried out in the classroom, their motivation and capacity for analysis, exploring scenarios in a more dynamic way.
The preparation of the teaching material was carried out by implementing the different kinetic models of in vitro dissolution of solid pharmaceutical forms that, according to the Pharmaceutical Technology I teaching guide, are part of the content taught in the practical classes. The generated web application, through the Shiny package included in the R software, allowed to evaluate different parameter conditions. The platform includes an interactive menu, with different tabs for each of the activities, where the data of the variables introduced, the graphic representation and the relevant parameters resulting from the simulation step appeared. Parameter values were included in scroll bars, which allowed to assess their impact in kinetic terms (graph).
The link to the open source platform can be accessed through the following link: https://vmang.shinyapps.io/Dissolution_Models/
Four dissolution models were incorporated: first-order, zero-order, Hixon-Crowell and Weibull model. Two different graphs were included:
(i) dissolved amounts versus time, and
(ii) log-transformed amounts dissolved versus time.
On the right side, a table includes the amounts dissolved versus time to compare the influence of dissolution parameters on the rate of dissolution.
These types of tools allow a better understanding of advanced concepts and, in addition, avoid the limitations inherent in the use of more sophisticated computer programs. On the other hand, it makes content and methodologies readily applicable to other higher education settings available to the educational community, thereby facilitating the teaching activity. Students appreciated the renovation of the teaching material and concluded that it allowed to a better understanding compared to classical Excel tools. The overall satisfaction confirms the use of open source platform and encouraged our teaching group to implement further other activities to enrich the learning process of students in Pharmacy.