RESEARCH ARTICLE: Using in silico process simulation tools in pharmacy education: Considerations for pivoting to online learning




In silico Simulations, Dissolution, Online Learning, Biopharmaceutics


The COVID-19 pandemic has required identification of pharmaceutical learning content and teaching methods which can support attainment of learning outcomes through online delivery. In silico, or computer based, process simulations are ideal tools for incorporation into online programme elements, however the scaffolding of learning with in silico tools requires a structured approach. A previously developed face-to-face workshop, which used in vitro and in silico dissolution testing, was pivoted to an online learning element using an in-house dissolution simulation programme. The learning element was developed through trial and evaluation of experiences of novice, competent and expert user(s). The delivery of the learning element was planned to address three stages of simulation learning according to the Belton model, with accompanying tools developed to aid scaffolding and assessment of competency milestones. The proposed delivery and assessment is suitable for both synchronous and asynchronous learning, and is suitable for incorporation into an Advanced Pharmaceutics module.

Author Biographies

Deirdre M D'Arcy, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland & 4SSPC, The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin & SSPC, The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals

Thi Thanh Van Pham, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Marina Navas Bachiller, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland & SSPC, The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Trinity College Dublin & SSPC, The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals

Nikoletta Fotaki, University of Bath, United Kingdom

Deptartment of Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Tim Persoons, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland & SSPC, The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals

Department of Mechanical, Manufacturing and Biomedical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin &  SSPC, The Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Pharmaceuticals


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