Pharmacology through Play: using Lego® to revise core concepts for undergraduates

Brian P Kirby, Teresa Pawlikowska
2019 MedEdPublish  
Pharmacology, while critical knowledge for healthcare professionals, is often viewed by students as dry and difficult to understand. We sought to examine the student acceptability of a Lego®-based learning session, in an attempt to improve pharmacology learning. Methods: In line with constructivist theories, students were facilitated to build, in small groups, their own Lego® shape to represent an area of core pharmacology and to use this to explain the concept to other students (e.g.
more » ... nts (e.g. agonistreceptor interactions). The validated Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) was used to gauge students' ideas on the session. Multiple choice questions were used before and after the session to evaluate knowledge. Results: Most students were positive regarding the session, finding it enjoyable, relevant for their learning and even recommending it be used to explore more complex areas of pharmacology. In addition, there was a significant increase in the MCQ scores following the session. Conclusions: This study used constructivist theory to develop a novel teaching intervention to create a more student-centred, active learning environment. This effective low-cost method could be applied to other teaching programmes to enhance student learning. Pharmacology is a core component of any health sciences curriculum, in particular, pharmacy and medicine degrees. There is an ever expanding body of pharmacological agents falling within the remit of healthcare professionals, Kirby B, Pawlikowska T MedEdPublish particularly pharmacists as recognised medication experts. Without a good grasp of the underlying basic principles of pharmacology, students, and ultimately practicing healthcare professionals, will find it more difficult to integrate this new information and use it to make informed decisions about drug use and therapeutic regimes. It is important therefore to ensure these generic, transferable skills are well taught and understood by students. Because of the increasing volume of information in the field of pharmacology, there has often been considerable focus on content rather than attending to the learning process, resulting in information overload (Achike and Ogle, 2000) . In response, attempts have been made to develop more interactive methods to teach pharmacology in order to promote more active learning and a deeper understanding (Sharma et al., 2004; Zgheib, Simaan and Sabra, 2010) . Hence, the teaching of pharmacology has become more learner-centred, with the traditional lecture-based teaching delivered in conjunction with more novel and interactive methods. These mixed approaches are important to ensure students remain engaged with their learning.
doi:10.15694/mep.2019.000201.1 fatcat:fsjfpds64vf5zbvon22euf6ec4