Teaching innovation and technology enhanced learning at UCL School of Pharmacy
By Natasa Perovic, on 15 December 2014
UCL School of Pharmacy is actively involved in the development of a number of innovative approaches to develop teaching and learning and to further embed technology-enhanced learning within the MPharm and MSc programmes. A recent example of such an initiative is our highly-successful wiki-based integrated therapeutics project, which continues to help students to integrate their knowledge across traditional discipline boundaries. The launch of a newly-designed and updated MPharm programme in 2013-14 and access to new technologies has encouraged further innovation, three examples of which will be described.
iPad-supported Workshops – Small group-based practical and PBL exercises in which students have access to iPads have become one of the primary modes of workshop-based teaching in the new MPharm programme. Students use web-based resources and information retrieval techniques to solve problems and discuss their approaches in their groups, fostering peer-supported learning. Sessions are supported by faculty and TAs as facilitators. iPads are also pre-loaded with suitable apps appropriate to the session and students can download workshop resources from Moodle then record and submit their results electronically during the session.
Research Project Assessment – Starting in 2013-14, the mode of research project assessment was fully revised to incorporate: (a) a project portfolio, in which students record their day-to-day activity with an emphasis on data management, reflection and critical review (of results and key literature); (b) a succinct research paper formatted in the style of a journal specific to the field of research; and (c) presentation of a poster at a mini-conference held at the School, at which staff and students ask questions to presenters based upon their projects. There was a tangible air of excitement and excellent engagement at the poster conference, demonstrating the success of this approach.
Green Light Pharmacy Clinical Experience – The provision of clinical pharmacy experience from the start of the First Year is a key priority for the MPharm programme. Students regularly visit our partners at Green Light Pharmacy where they can observe real-time patient-pharmacist interaction through a live video feed to a purpose-built teaching facility on-site and have the opportunity to interact with real patients under the supervision of a pharmacist. The clinical experience offered by these visits has received extremely positive feedback from students in annual module review questionnaires.
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