CONSTRUCTING PHARMACOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE ON THE MEANINGFUL LEARNING OF DRUG ACTION MECHANISMS
Universidad Complutense de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2011 Proceedings
Publication year: 2011
Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain
Abstract:Taking into account the changes in education philosophy, the main teaching objective must be to help to students to acquire organized and integrated knowledge and learn to think and to construct new understandings.
In the Pharmacology subjects, medical and veterinary students must retain and integrate vast amounts of information for the acquisition of a lifelong learning. This paper presents an alternative teaching strategy that was stablished during the last academic course and that will be continued and tested for the next one with the students enrolled in our “Virtual Classroom of Pharmacology” (VCP), a b-learning experience for pharmacology and veterinary therapeutics teaching in our Faculty. In this VCP environment, three educational experiences have been planned to improve the meaningful learning in the students. Previously to this experience, a workshop to make pharmacological “sheets” (A3 size posters about particular topics) was carried out with the objective to teach students in integrated knowledge. The second activity involves the construction of pharmacological knowledge on drug action mechanisms. The construction of concept maps is the third meaningful learning project which is being prepared to overlap with the present project and its objective is to represent the relationships between relevant concepts and to integrate basic (pharmacology) and clinical (therapeutic) knowledge.
The aim of the present work is to help students with the evolution of their learning in this complex matter in order to permit them to construct a solid pharmacological knowledge and to achieve a meaningful learning of the subject. Furthermore, beyond the knowledge acquisition, this experience provides the opportunity for students to practice collaboration in the context of the academic world.
Firstly, students must attain a solid knowledge about the different pharmacological targets and know the different types of action mechanisms of drugs. Based on the comprehensive analysis of the action mechanisms, and using the role model as teaching method, students learn to construct the pharmacological knowledge for multiple drug groups. The construction strategy is based on an inductive scheme and combines teaching and learning strategies and also individual and collaborative work. In a second phase, students develop own intellectual work and critical thinking and teachers supervise the boost in student self-learning. Finally, all the students taking part in the experience discuss their pharmacological knowledge and reach a consensus to construct a physical scheme ready to share with other students in a collaborative experience. During the learning process, students achieve collaborative abilities and emphasize both multiple perspectives and individual reflection. The educational experience improves the student reasoning ability, promotes meaningful learning acquisition and contributes to a new study strategy, creating an additional resource for forthcoming students. Furthermore, during the tutorials, instructors can provide feedback to students and make the learning methodology assessment.
Keywords: Meaningful learning, pharmacology, drug action mechanisms.