A STUDY TO EXPLORE LEARNING STYLE PREFERENCES OF PHARMACY STUDENTS WITH REGARD TO PHARMACEUTICAL CALCULATIONS
Keywords:Pharmaceutical, Calculations, Learning styles, University, Preference, Academic performance
Objective: Pharmaceutical calculations are an essential aspect of learning for pharmacy students in order to avoid drug dose errors and maintain patient safety in future practice. Learning styles influence how lecturers approach the teaching-learning process. So far no specific learning preference is believed to be most appropriate for the pharmacy curricular; however certain learning styles are favoured by students as they improve their understanding of course material, knowledge and performance.
Methods: 148Master of pharmacy participants from the second and third year were given a questionnaire to complete during a compulsory Individual Readiness Assurance Test session. Participants were restricted to just one option.
Results: Workshops with a tutor was the most selected (36%) followed by 25% of participants favouring formative assessments, 28% selected workbooks alone, 37% for whole-class lecturers and videos option was the least selected. Reasons for the most and least preferred learning styles were highlighted and separated into advantages and disadvantages using themes. In the knowledge test; 92% of participants selected “unsure” or “didn’t know” the answer, 29% had a partially correct answer and 19% selected incorrect answers.
The overall order of ranking arose in regards to the most beneficial learning style which enhances performance. The responses revealed a variety of advantages and disadvantages which were reflected between year groups and similar to views obtained from recent literature. Students reflected a lack of understanding on extemporaneous preparation (EPs) terms used in pharmaceutical compounding practices, thus the university should consider addressing the lack of awareness and consider the best teaching-learning style in doing so.
Conclusion: Overall the findings suggested that the sample students have similar views on the learning styles used to deliver pharmaceutical calculations on their academic performance to that expressed by the authors from recent published literature.
2. Fleming S, Brady A, Malone A. An evaluation of the drug calculation skills of registered nurses. Nurse Educ Practice 2014;14:55–61.
3. Mehvar R. The importance of active learning and practice on the students' mastery of pharmacokinetic calculations for the intermittent intravenous infusion dosing of antibiotics. BMC Med Educ 2012;12:116.
4. General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). About the papers: Find out about changes to 2016 registration assessment. Available from: https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/about-papers. [Last accessed on 02 Oct 2016]
5. Batchelor H. A constructivist method for teaching concentration calculations to pharmacy students. Pharm Educ 2007;7:69–76.
6. University of Wolverhampton. M Pharm (Hons) Master of pharmacy (M Pharm). Available from: http:// courses.wlv.ac.uk/course.asp?code=PY003Q01UVU [Last accessed on 02 Oct 2016]
7. Williams B, Brown T, Etherington J. Learning style preferences of undergraduate pharmacy students. Curr Pharm Teach Learning 2013;5:110–9.
8. Giuliano CA, Moser LR, Poremba V, Jones J, Martin ET, Slaughter RL. Use of a unified learning style model in pharmacy curricula. Curr Pharm Teach Learning 2014;6:41–57.
9. Ofstad W, Brunner LJ. Team-based learning in pharmacy education. Am J Pharm Educ 2013;77:70.
10. Preszler RW, Hoopes LLM. Replacing lecture with peer-led workshops improves student learning. CBE Life Sci Educ 2009;8:182–92.
11. Sawbridge JL, Qureshi HK, Boyd MJ, Brown AM. Revision workshops in elementary mathematics enhance student performance in routine laboratory calculations. Adv Physiol Educ 2014;38:239-45.
12. Wright K. Can effective teaching and learning strategies help student nurses to retain drug calculation skills? Nurse Educ Today 2008;28:856–64.
13. Bergen P, McDowell J, Elliott RA, Roller L, Kong D. Development of an online pharmaceutical calculations learning module learning module. Pharm Educ 2011;11:21–5.
14. Branch C, Rodgers R. Case study: pharmaceutical calculations without tears. Medway School Pharm 2013;1:1-4.
15. Van LA, Baldewijns K, Verhaeghe R, Robays H, Buyle F, Colman R, et al. The effectiveness of an e-learning course on medication calculation in nursing students: a clustered quasi-experimental study. J Adv Nurs 2016;72:2054-64.
16. Karyn I, Cotta KI, Shah S, Almgren MM, Macias Moriarity LZ, Mody V. Effectiveness of flipped classroom instructional model in teaching pharmaceutical calculations. Curr Pharm Teach Learning 2016;8:646-53.
17. Fike DS, McCall KL, Raehl CL, Smith QR, Lockman PR. Achieving equivalent academic performance between campuses using a distributed education model. Am J Pharm Educ 2009;73:88.
18. Powers MF, Bright DR, Buqai PS. A brief report on the use of paper-based computing to supplement a pharmaceutical calculations course. Curr Pharm Teach Learning 2010;2:144–8.
19. Glaister K. Exploring the impact of instructional approaches on the learning and transfer of medication dosage calculation competency. Contemporary Nurse 2005;20:3-13.
20. Hegener MA, Buring SM, Papas E. Impact of a required pharmaceutical calculations course on mathematics ability and knowledge retention. Am J Pharm Educ 2013;77:124.
21. Enz S, Frosch DR. Effect of collaborative vs. noncollaborative quizzes on examination scores in a pharmaceutical calculations course. Am J Pharm Educ 2015;79:66.
22. Gums TH, Kleppinger EL, Urick BY. Outcomes of individualized formative assessments in a pharmacy skills laboratory. Am J Pharm Educ 2014;78:166.
23. Nutan MTH, Demps EL. Online assessments in pharmaceutical calculations for enhancing feedback and practice opportunities. Curr Pharm Teach Learning 2014;6:807–14.
24. Lacroix M, McCall III KL, Fike DS. The keller personalized system of instruction in a pharmacy calculations course: a randomized trial. Curr Pharm Teach Learning 2014;6:348–52.
25. Gleason BL, Peeters MJ, Resman Targoff BH, Karr S, McBane S, Kelley K, et al. An active-learning strategies primer for achieving ability-based educational outcomes. Am J Pharm Educ 2011;75:186.
26. Brown MC, Hanggi A. Pharmaceutical calculations instruction and assessment in us colleges and schools of pharmacy. Am J Pharm Educ 2007;71:87.
27. General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). Results of September 2016 registration assessment. Available from: http://www.pharmacyregulation.org/news/results-september-2016-registration-assessment. [Last accessed on 10 Feb 2017]
28. Pope C, Nicholas M, Popay J. Synthesizing qualitative and quantitative health evidence. Berkshire: Open University Press; 2007.
29. Fereday J, Muir-cochrane E. Demonstrating rigor using thematic analysis: a hybrid approach of inductive and deductive coding and theme development. Int J Qualitative Methods 2006;5:1-11.
30. Leininger MM. Ethnography and ethnonursing: models and modes of qualitative data analysis. Qualitative Res Methods Nursing 1985;3:33-72.
31. Meyler L, Ramtoola Z, Barlow J. Evaluation of the ability of pharmacy and medicine students to calculate drug dosage. Pharm Educ 2011;11:186–9.
32. Wright K. Do calculation errors by nurses cause medication errors in clinical practice? A literature review. Nurse Educ Today 2010;30:85-97.
33. Smith F. Research methods in pharmacy practice. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2002.
34. Wright KB. Researching internet-based populations: advantages and disadvantages of online survey research, online questionnaire authoring software packages, and web survey services. J Computer Mediated Communication 2005;10:11.
35. Alshenqeeti H. Interviewing as a data collection method: a critical review. English Linguistics Res 2014;3:39-45.
36. Llieva J, Baron S, Healey NM. Online surveys in marketing research: pros and cons. Int J Market Res 2002;44:361-7.
37. Andrews D, Nonnecke B, Preece J. Electronic survey methodology: a case study in reaching hard-to-involve internet users. Int J Human Computer Interaction 2003;16:185-210.
38. Bachmann D, Elfrink J. Tracking the progress of e-mail versus snail-mail. Marketing Res 1996;8:31-5.
39. Couper MP. Web-based surveys: a review of issues and approaches. Public Opinion Quarterly 2002;64:464-94.
40. Yun GW, Trumbo CW. Comparative response to a survey executed by post, email, and web form. J Computer Mediated Communication 2002;6:1-2.
41. Sudman S, Greeley A, Pinto L. The effectiveness of self-administered questionnaires. J Marketing Res 1965;2:293-7.
42. Reja U, Manfreda KL, Hlebec V, Vehovar V. Open-ended vs. close-ended questions in web questionnaires. Dev Appl Statistics 2003;19:1-19.
43. Harzing AW. Rating versus ranking: what is the best way to reduce response and language bias in cross-national research? Int Business Rev 2009;18:1-32.
44. University of Loughborough. Questionnaire Design. Available from: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/services/library/students/learningsupport/topics/questionnairedesign/. [Last accessed on 02 Oct 2016]
45. Boynton PM, Greenhalgh T. Selecting, designing, and developing your questionnaire. Br Med J 2004;328:1312–5.