Self-directed learning through journal use in an elective pharmacy course

Melinda E Lull, Casey U Slevinski, Andrea N Traina


Introduction: The objective of this study was to implement and assess the use of electronic self-directed learning journals in a one-semester pharmacy elective course as a development tool to promote self-learning amongst students.

Description of Course: In a toxicology doctor of pharmacy elective course, students completed self-directed assignments based on in-class material in an electronic journal. Students participated in group discussions based on the assignment. Journals were graded for completeness and pursuit of individual interests was encouraged.

Evaluation: Students responded positively to journal assignments and their educational value. Faculty members also recognised a high level of learning by students based on their group discussions. Performance on course learning objectives and quality of in-class discussions also indicated that the use of journals in the elective course was successful.

Future Plans: Based on these findings, journals will continue to be used in this course, will be further assessed, and may be expanded to additional courses in the pharmacy curriculum. 


Self-Directed Learning, Reflective Learning, Teaching Innovations, Journal-Based Course

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