Distant learning challenges and solutions: Incorporation of 3D protein visualisation in an undergraduate pharmacy medicinal chemistry course

Innovation in teaching delivery or learning technology




Medicinal Chemistry, Distant Learning, Three-dimensional (3D) Visualisation, Team-based Learning, Jordan


The COVID-19 pandemic made distance learning an essential medium for teaching worldwide. The use of three-dimensional protein visualisation in teaching undergraduate medicinal chemistry courses was shown to be highly effective in increasing the students’ understanding and interest in the topic. The course was designed to use the visualisation tools in lectures, and students would then use them to study drug-target interactions and present their work as a part of the course assessment. With the pandemic induced-lockdown imposed early in the term, the faculty were faced with many challenges to keep the use of tools as part of the course. The lack of direct contact, differences in students’ computer literacy and availability of internet connections, in addition to the need for appropriate mediums for assignment presentations and assessment, were major concerns. In this case study the author presents the Faculty of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at the University of Petra’s approaches to overcome the challenges faced in the course delivery and assessment.


Abdel-Halim, H. (2020). The Effectiveness of Using Three- Dimensional Visualization Tools to Improve Students’ Understanding of Medicinal Chemistry and Advanced Drug Design Concepts. International Journal of Learning, Teaching and Educational Research, 19(4), 170-188. https://doi.org/10.26803/ijlter.19.4.11

Satyanarayanajois, S., & Hill, R. (2011). Medicinal chemistry for 2020. Future Medicinal Chemistry, 3(14), 1765-1786. https://doi.org/10.4155/fmc.11.135

Tavares, M.T., Primi, M.C., Silva, N.A.T.F., Carvalho, C.F., Cunha, M.R., & Parise-Filho, R. (2017). Using an in Silico Approach To Teach 3D Pharmacodynamics of the Drug–Target Interaction Process Focusing on Selective COX2 Inhibition by Celecoxib. Journal of Chemical Education, 94(3), 380-387. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed. 6b00288





COVID-19 Case Study