Real World Problems in Developing a Critical Thinking Approach to Learning in Pharmacology

By Roselyn Rose’Meyer and Christopher Rose’Meyer.

Published by The Learner Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In science courses that require significant recall of facts and information it is often easy to neglect key graduate skills such as higher order thinking skills and critical evaluation of both data and text. Furthermore, student engagement can decline when the relevance of the learning material is not immediately evident to students. Therefore a suite of innovative and distinctive activities to promote learning in the discipline of pharmacology has been prepared. Tutorial problems were designed using materials from a variety of sources to extend student learning from recall and understanding to higher levels of thinking (including application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of information). A diverse range of source material such as newspapers, journal articles and television programs to determine contemporary issues in pharmacology, therapeutics or general medicine have been used. The study of science to societal problems is one way of engaging students. Students are challenged to review the material and complete exercises that require significant understanding of pharmacological principles.
Course evaluations following these classes showed that students found the way problems were structured helped them to understand concepts in pharmacology and provided them with a range of intellectual challenges. Over the three years that critical thinking activities were introduced into the curriculum, the program consistently obtained a score >5.6/7 for effectiveness of the teaching methods and > 5.8/7 for effectiveness of the course in helping students to learn.
Having had an opportunity to reflect on student performance, the approach outlined above advantages students to acquire a deep understanding of the subject material.

Keywords: Critical Analysis, Pharmacology

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 6, pp.679-688. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.228MB).

Dr. Roselyn Rose’Meyer

Senior Lecturer, School of Medical Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Roselyn Rose’ Meyer BSc (Hons), Grad Dip.Com. Grad Cert. H.Ed. PhD is a senior lecturer in the School of Medical Sciences Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Australia. Since obtaining her PhD in pharmacology, she has taught pharmacology at the Victorian College of Pharmacy, Monash University, Melbourne and to pharmacy and medical science students in the Faculty of Health at Griffith University. Her research interests include the learning experiences of biomedical students undertaking pharmacology and student centred learning and development of tacit knowledge in the honours (research) program.

Christopher Rose’Meyer

Policy Officer, Office for Research, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Chris Rose'Meyer has twenty years experience in secondary school education as a science teacher, head of department and school administrator. His interests include developing curriculum to maximise student engagement in critical and higher order thinking. He is currently a Policy Officer (Research Ethics, Governance and Integrity) in the Office for Research at Griffith University.

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