Active Learning in a Pharmacology Classroom (Pharmacology Education l)
Pharmacology teaching in Nigeria is extremely teacher-centered and does not meet the educational needs of Pharmacy students. Despite the numerous advantages of active learning, Pharmacy schools in Nigeria are yet to adopt this teaching method. This action research was carried out to introduce and determine the effectiveness of active learning in a pharmacology classroom. Twenty-four Pharmacy students in their third year participated in the study. Randomized control-group pre-test post-test design was used. A pre-test was administered to the control and treatment groups. Traditional lecture method was employed in teaching twelve students (control group) while three active learning strategies; Think-pair-share, Student presentation and Socratic questioning was used in teaching a cardiovascular module to twelve students (treatment group). A Post-test was given to both groups after four weeks of instruction. We administered a structured questionnaire to obtain information on students’ perception of active learning strategies. A higher mean score was obtained from the post-test of students taught with active learning strategies. Majority of the respondents agreed active learning enhanced team work, increased their knowledge and confidence. Inadequate pre-class preparation by the students was a major barrier encountered with use of active learning strategies and more time will be required to depart from passive to active learning. In conclusion, students were involved in the learning process and effective instruction was achieved. These findings will be of value to educators who plan to adopt active learning strategies in small classrooms.
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