NEW METHODOLOGIES IN PHARMACEUTICAL LAW COURSE TO INCREASE STUDENT’S MOTIVATION
Pharmaceutical Law is a compulsory subject in the Pharmacy Degree at all Spanish Universities. This subject is of enormous practical interest, due to the strict regularization of all pharmaceutical activities within the European Union framework, to guarantee the safety, efficacy and quality of drug development, manufacture, distribution and use. However, from the point of view of the average Pharmacy student, the subject is a priori regarded as unattractive and useless.
To improve the student’s opinion about the subject and reduce the absence and abandonment, the lecturer’s team in charge of the subject has developed and implemented a new course design, based on different methodologies. Within this approach, the theory units are presented to the students through master classes, trying to obtain an active participation from them through questioning and suggesting to solve case-proposals. Among these methodologies, problem solving, use of TICs, debate, role-playing activities and practical exercises have been used. In total, ten activities were developed to show the practical implications of each theory units and deepen in the knowledge presented in the master classes.
To observe the efficacy of the new approach for all kinds of groups at the University level, it was implemented in two heterogeneous groups in terms of size. One group was composed by 20 students, and the second, by 80. Furthermore, the initial opinion about the subject and the satisfaction degree from the students was evaluated at the beginning and end of the course, respectively. Finally, the adhesion degree to the subject, participation in the final exams and results in the final evaluations were measured.
Both groups showed very similar results, independently of the group size. As expected, the initial opinion of the students was found as very low in interest and more than 30% manifested to probably quit before the end of the course in both groups. After the 70% of the activities were done, still more than 80% of the students attended the activities regularly in both groups. 92% participated in the final exam and 83% did pass the subject at the first attempt in the 20 students group, while 79% did the same in the 80 students group. By the second call, only 4 students in both groups had not passed the exam. The satisfaction poll at the end of the semester revealed that 51% of the students had a satisfactory opinion of the subject comparing to the initial 14%, and over 85-88% regarded the subject as crucial in their academic plan, in both groups. In addition, the students were encouraged to value their improvement in Pharmaceutical law knowledge. The result showed an improvement (in a numeric scale 1-10) from 2.08 to 4.23 in the 20-students group, and from 1.65 to 6.2 in the 80-student group.
In general, it can be outlined from this approach that the new model had a significant positive impact on the comprehension of the subject by students, on their attitude towards the topics treated and the planned activities, which reverted into a better adhesion to the course and a good performance in terms of academic results.