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Implementing Active Learning Strategies in a Large Class Setting. Travis White, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor Kristy Lucas, Pharm.D., Professor Pharmacy Practice Department. Outline. Background: Why change? Course description: What changed? Outcomes: Student and Faculty response

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Implementing Active Learning Strategies in a Large Class Setting


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    1. Implementing Active Learning Strategies in a Large Class Setting Travis White, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor Kristy Lucas, Pharm.D., Professor Pharmacy Practice Department

    2. Outline • Background: Why change? • Course description: What changed? • Outcomes: Student and Faculty response • Future direction: How to make it better?

    3. Background: UCSOP • 4 year Doctor of Pharmacy graduate program began in 2006 • Class size 70-80 students • First 1.5 yr = basic sciences • Clinical content (pharmacotherapy course) begins in 2nd yr • Team-taught • 4th year: Experiential clinical rotations

    4. Pharmacotherapy Course • 3 semesters x 8 hour course each • 24 hr of Pharm.D. curriculum • Historically: • slides-based lectures • Assessment: M/C exams ~ 6 per semester

    5. Why Change? • Students unfamiliar with content provided outside of slides (i.e., not reading textbook) • Exam preparation consisted of memorizing slides • Application of content & recall tested in 4th year (clinical rotations): seek improvement

    6. Why Change? • GOAL: • Increase student abilities & clinical skills by incorporating ACTIVE LEARNING in the classroom • Strategies: • Impose penalty for not reading in advance, individual responsibility for ability to apply content • Create environment of discussion in each class session • Provide case days for team work application of content

    7. What Changed?Pharmacotherapy Course Revised • New format: • Discussion-based lectures • Class participation points allocated by answering questions from required reading • IRATs (guide student preparation for class) • CP points = 20% of course grade • Text geared toward application: case-based

    8. Pharmacotherapy Course Revised • Continued M/C exams (5), added comprehensive final exam (52% course grade) • Required to achieve exam average 70% or higher to pass course • Built in team case days (every other week) • Create a patient’s therapy management plan • IRATs & TRATs • Self & Peer evaluations • Overall 28% of course grade

    9. Outcomes • Student Responses • Based on course evaluations • Faculty Responses • Faculty Attitudes Toward Teaching Survey (FATTS)

    10. Faculty Responses • Faculty Attitudes Toward Teaching Survey • Administered twice with minor differences • Prior to beginning of course • 11 surveys returned • Following course completion and before the next semester • 5 surveys returned

    11. Survey Content • Teaching experience of the instructor • Responsibility for learning • Concerns about the new format • Positive aspects of the change • Feeling of instructor preparedness

    12. Survey Content Continued • Thoughts on expanding format to other courses • Faculty development needs • Opinions about benefits of active learning strategies • Other comments section

    13. FATTS Experience

    14. FATTS Active Learning

    15. FATTS Responsibility Primary Responsibility for Student Learning % Respondents

    16. FATTS Concerns Scale: 1= Not concerned at all 5= Extremely concerned

    17. FATTS Positives Scale: 1= Not positive at all 5= Extremely positive

    18. Student Responses • Based on course evaluations • Three different perspectives • Pharmacotherapy 2 (Fall) • Pharmacotherapy 3 (Spring) • Pharmacotherapy 1 • Spring semester 2011 • Second year students Both third year students

    19. First Impressions • Most Positive • Learning/Retaining • More discussion • Helping my grade • IRAT • Reading • Most Negative • Class participation points • No lecturing • Case grading • IRAT • Amount of reading

    20. Moving Forward • Changes Based on Student Feedback • Class Participation Points • Individual Readiness Assessment Tests • Patient Case Grading Rubric

    21. Class Participation Points • Originally 20% of final grade • 70% class participation questions • 30% IRATs and other assignments • Changed to 15% of final grade • Class participation questions • Other assignments • Eliminated IRAT altogether

    22. Patient Case Rubric • Changed point structure • Previous rubric resulted in large gap in student grade with little gap in information • Collaboration between faculty to encourage consistency

    23. Round Two • Continued course structure during Spring semester with changes implemented • Pharmacotherapy 3 (Third year students) • Student Feedback • Course evaluations were much improved • Focused on course content rather than course structure

    24. Differing Perspectives • Second Year Students • First experience with course and format • Very positive evaluations • Minimal negative feedback • Positives • Class Format • Active Learning Strategies • Class Participation Questions • More prepared for exam • Retained material better

    25. Conclusions • Challenges are likely when switching teaching strategies but can be overcome • Faculty have done well adapting to the change and enjoy the increased interaction • Students had differing opinions at first but have done well with the new format