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Factors influencing successful integration of computer-based learning (CBL) materials into pharmacology courses

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Factors influencing successful integration of computer-based learning (CBL) materials into pharmacology courses. Ian Hughes School of Biomedical Sciences University of Leeds, UK What CBL materials are available?. Simple drill software Electronic books

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Factors influencing successful integration of computer-based learning (CBL) materials into pharmacology courses

Ian Hughes

School of Biomedical Sciences

University of Leeds, UK

what cbl materials are available
What CBL materials are available?
  • Simple drill software
  • Electronic books
  • Tutorial type programs
  • Simulations
  • Video material
  • Internet-based teaching resources
  • Electronic learning environments
what affects successful use
What affects successful use?
  • Usability
  • Suitability
  • Integration
  • Quality, presentation & internal navigation
  • Does it fall over?
  • Do you have enough screens?
  • Can the network cope?
  • Will it be there tomorrow?
  • Will they charge you for it?
  • Is it in your control?
  • Can the students access it?
  • Content?
  • Level?
  • Culture?
  • Language?
  • Learning style?
  • Added value compared to other delivery mode
  • Is there an alternative?
  • Students simply provided with access to software over a network DON’T USE IT. Only 12% of students on a module actually accessed a piece of software associated with a module.
  • Use (and student satisfaction) increased to:
  • >40% when the software was demonstrated in class
  • >70% when associated with a set task
  • >90% when associated with an assessed task
  • There is a need to integrate software with the rest of the teaching material
  • Analogy with the laboratory class
so why don t teachers do it
So why don’t teachers do it?
  • It takes time to produce material to integrate software into courses
  • Do teachers have the time to do this along with the other pressures we all feel?
  • 86% of pharmacologists identified shortage of time and lack of recognition and reward from their institution as the prime reasons why they did not introduce innovative teaching methods into their teaching.

[TIPS 19, 257-262 (1998)]

so why don t teachers do it1
So why don’t teachers do it?
  • Do all teachers have the expertise to do this?
  • Attempts to integrate software into modules are often un-imaginative and do not enthuse students (e.g. look at the software and then answer these MCQ)
  • Of 8 groups developing support material 6 found significant difficulty in thinking of types of innovative materials which integrated software into courses.
  • All groups found devising methods for effective integration easier the second time around.
so what s the answer
So, what’s the answer?


(Teaching and Learning Resource Pack)

  • a pre-prepared package of editable materials supplying teachers with a choice of methods with which to integrate a software package into a course
  • an editablewrap-around for a software package
  • TLTP project: Implementing technology based teaching and learning in pharmacology; 1998-2001; USD500k.
what do tlrps contain
What do TLRPs contain?
  • Prepared editable exercises and tasks - complete with questions, answers, instructions, marking schedules,

- everything you, as a teacher need -

  • e.g. MCQ, EMSQ (questions, answers, explanations, instructions to set, provided stems)
  • poster titles, web pages, crosswords, fill-ins, workbooks
  • PBL tasks, guided scenarios, drug profiles, disease profiles
  • essay titles, practical schedules and marking schedules, glossary construction, definitions……………..,
do they work for staff students
Do they work for staff & students?
  • TLRPs evaluated in
    • staff & students in development universities
    • staff & students in universities external to project
      • pre- and post-TLRP use questionnaires
      • structured interviews
      • knowledge tests
      • staff diaries/logs of development process

[Dewhurst & Noris]

evaluation results
Evaluation - Results
  • Students(data from 12 universities)
    • positive about using CBL/TLRP as adjunct to normal teaching rather than replacement
    • liked explicit learning objectives
    • some preferred CBL practical to the ‘real thing’
    • some had concerns about loss of tutor contact
    • good scores in knowledge assessments
      • mean marks (%  SD, n); 76  13 (42); 53  16 (55); 58  7 (6); 61  13 (60)
evaluation results1
Evaluation - Results
  • Staff (developing TLRPs)
    • enjoyed collaboration with colleagues
    • enjoyed the intellectual challenge
    • each TLRP takes an average of 70h to put together
    • the development time is shortened with experience
  • Staff (using TLRPs)
    • need to use new teaching methods and student-centred learning
    • very positive about the resulting teaching sessions
    • TLRP made introducing CBL and new teaching methods easier
    • big reduction in time needed to prepare materials:------
      • Simulation; 8-10 hours ---> 2 hours
      • Problem based learning; 30 hours ---> 3 hours
      • Case study; 60 hours ---> 2 hours
      • Work book; 32 hours --->0.5 hours
are tlrps useful to new users
Are TLRPs useful to new users?
  • Carried out in-depth interviews with 6 first time users.
    • all found them really helpful - good example of how to use CBL e.g. good activities, ideas, assessments; good practical schedules; liked the glossaries
    • saved them considerable time - several days work achieved in a few hours
    • stimulated them to write their own TLRPs for other CBL programs
    • would definitely choose future CBL programs if TLRP available
does it matter how cal is integrated
Does it matter how CAL is integrated?

YES!!!! ONE CAL program; used in 3 universities; all with year 2 students of pharmacology; approval rating by students:----

  • provided with workbook which was assessed and a required part of the course; approval = 90%
  • provided with MCQ which had to be completed in pairs and a joint submission made; marked and marks count; approval = 78%
  • shown in a lecture and provided on the intranet; approval = 59%
  • simply made known that the material was available on the intranet but that use was voluntary; approval = 46%

[response rate to questionnaire different; not at same stage in year 2; different numbers and mixes on courses]

so where are we going
So, where are we going?
  • 1994-1999 - development/production of CBL materials

21st century

integration/implementation of learning resources in courses

  • NOT just of CBL materials - of all types of learning resources
  • NOT doing this individually
  • Collaboration and sharing is the way forward - we no longer have the time or the resource keep re-inventing the wheel at every university
teaching and learning resource packs tlrps
Teaching and learning resource packs (TLRPs)
  • Developed collaboratively to provide editable shared materials to introduce new teaching into a course with minimal time commitment from the teacher
  • Can you afford not to be using one?
  • Can you contribute to the development of one?
  • Your LTSN will support you (£££!)
internet based resources
Internet based resources
  • Lots available - quality? Integration?
  • Will they be there tomorrow?
  • Will they charge you?
  • What if it goes down?
  • Download or use on-line?

DOG LAB: Vincenzi,

CVS MODULE: Cracowski,

COURSE: Allain:

LABS: Dempster:

MATERIALS/SITES: British Pharmacological Society:

  • software just “available” on the network was looked at by 12% of the students!
  • Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4
  • just available 37 9 2 0
  • seen in lecture 100 73 58 31
  • left out but examinable 100 95 78 62
  • specific work task 100 100 95 90
  • assessed in software 100 100 100 100
  • Does it improve learning?
  • In comparison with what? Students use in own time, spend their own money on it and complain if its not available.