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Implementation of a flipped classroom model to teach psychopharmacotherapy to third-year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students

Andrew J Muzyk, Steve Fuller, Michael Jiroutek, Colleen O’Connor Grochowski, Andrew C Butler, D. Byron May

Abstract

Objective: To implement a flipped classroom model centred on student-led active learning to teach psychopharmacotherapy in a third-year pharmacotherapeutics course.

Design: The psychopharmacotherapeutic module was conducted over a two week period during the 2014 spring semester and consisted of five class sessions. One hundred and four third-year professional Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students were enrolled in the module which was taught by two instructors. Students were asked to view posted materials and to complete assignments prior to class. Class time was solely used for active learning with facilitation from the instructors. The course used individual and group readiness assessment tests (iRATs and gRATs, respectively), “muddiest point” reflection and repeated testing with open-ended questions to assess student mastery of core concepts. Pre- and post-module attitudinal surveys were administered to assess students’ thoughts on three main themes centring on active learning: learning style preference, working with peers, and participating in classroom discussions.

Assessment: The overall mean test scores between 2012 (traditional lecture) to 2014 (flipped class model) demonstrated no significant difference between the time periods, as hypothesised by the study authors. Greater than 85% of students completed the pre- and post-module attitudinal surveys. Students’ responses to “attitudinal questions” remained consistent in support of active learning from pre- to post-module assessment. The majority of students either “agree” or “strongly agreed” with all ten positive valence questions supporting active learning while they had mixed attitudes toward negative valence questions. Investigation of responses to “attitudinal” questions based on demographics revealed findings worth investigating in future research. Lastly, students’ felt posted reading materials and group work were valuable to their learning, they were supported by their peers and instructors during class discussions and greater than 75% of class time was used for active learning.

Conclusion: A flipped classroom model was successfully implemented to teach psychopharmacotherapeutics in a third- year pharmacy therapeutics course. Students’ attitudes were positive toward this teaching style prior to the start of this module and remained positive following completion. Students’ reported a high level of engagement and interaction with their instructors and peers. 


Keywords

Pharmacy Education, Flipped Classroom, Psychopharmacology, Active Learning, Team Based Learning


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