Effectiveness Of A Chemistry Online Module As Didactic Tool
In The Pharmacodynamics Course
Maria A. Hernandez, Ph.D. And Jolanta Czerwinska, Ph.D.
Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, College of Pharmacy, Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
- NSU College of Pharmacy offers didactic courses to students on the main campus (Fort Lauderdale) and at distance, via compressed video lectures and internet communication tools. There are two distant sites for the Entry Level PharmD program – in West Palm Beach (Florida) and Ponce (Puerto Rico).
- The “Acid-Base Properties of Drugs” module was developed to initiate, test the feasibility and create a framework for further development of internet based e-learning tools for Pharmacy students at NSU. The main purpose of this initiative is to help students gain understanding of difficult pharmacodynamic/pharmacokinetic concepts, as well as to minimize any possible disadvantage of compressed video delivery of lectures.
- The module is the first of many being developed and will be used as model or template for online modules in other courses in the College of Pharmacy. It is an internet-based course content resource that implements the learning-by-doing pedagogical approach. The basic elements of the module are:
- Lecture material
- Emphasized key concepts
- Online exercises with solutions
- Links to additional learning resources
- Randomly generated self-test
- The images shown below are screen captures of some of the key pages in the online module. Here we report on the effectiveness of the online module as a didactic tool, using quizzes and surveys as evaluation tools.
- The effectiveness of the online module as a didactic tool was measured by the following method:
- Quiz 5 was administered 5 days after the lecture material was completed in class.
- Access to the online module was granted on the evening of the same (5th) day via WebCT, and students then had free access to it for 5 consecutive days.
- Quiz 6 was administered 5 days after allowing access to the online module.
- Quiz 5 and Quiz 6 both had 5 multiple choice questions, however Quiz 6 was deliberately made more difficult in order to compensate for the additional exposure to instructional material.
- Both quizzes were scored by NSU’s testing center and test statistics were obtained.
- A survey was administered to all students at the three sites to ascertain their use of the online module prior to Quiz 6 . The students’ opinion of the suitability of the online module as a learning tool was also obtained.
- The scores for Quiz 5 and Quiz 6 are shown below,
- with representative statistics per site.
- The class averages for the Davie and WPB sites
- were essentially the same.
- The average for Ponce students was slightly lower.
- This may be a reflection of a language difficulty.
- An interactive online module titled “Acid-Base Properties of Drugs” was developed, implemented in the Pharmacodynamics class, and evaluated for its effectiveness as didactic tool.
- The % improvement in Quiz grades as reflected in the class average for students at the various sites proves the usefulness of the online module as a didactic tool .
- The % improvement in the Quiz grade for students at the Ponce site was very similar to the one for students at the main (Davie) campus (11% vs 12%).
- The % improvement in the Quiz grade for students at the West Palm Beach site was the lowest of the three (9%).
- The majority of questions in both Quizes had positive point biserials larger than 0.3, indicating that Quiz 5 and Quiz 6 were effective evaluation tools.
- Further work will include incorporating more interactive exercises into the module, and additional testing to evaluate more accurately the value of the online module versus the lecture material and/or preknowledge.
The results of the survey are shown in the table below. Overall 80% or more of the students at all three sites used the online module prior to Quiz 6 and found it useful as a learning tool.
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- The most frequent comments offered by students taking
- the survey were:
- Was an excellent tool – need more online modules
- The modules need to have more exercises
- The module needs to be available before the lecture material
- Other resources available online could be sample exams
- Quiz 5 and Quiz 6 were scored by the testing center
- at HPD. Quiz statistics and the point biserials (rpb) for
- each question were obtained. All questions in both
- quizzes had biserials larger than +0.3. The only
- exception to this was question 1 in Quiz 5 for Ponce
- Students, with an rpb of –0.1. These results indicate
- that the Quizzes could discriminate good from bad performers.
This work was supported by NSU’s College of Pharmacy
Educational Fund. The assistance of HPD’s Testing Center
is greatly appreciated.