Enhancing Pharmaceutics Laboratory Classes by use of Bespoke Spreadsheets
Keywords:Laboratory classes, Information technology, Teaching
Inthispaper,wereporttheintroductionandsuccessful implementationof a series of bespoke Microsoft ExcelTM spreadsheets that expedite and enhance Pharmaceutics laboratory classes, and in particular rheology laboratory practical experiments. The use of bespoke spreadsheets for manipulation of data from two pharmaceutics laboratory classes is described;(i) rheological data obtained using U-tube and fallingsphere viscometers, and (ii) powder density data obtained using a multi-volume helium pycnometerand bycalculatingthe fluffand/or tapped bulk density.
The introduction of these spreadsheets enhances the practical classes by focusing the student on the practical skills and techniques used in the determination of data whilst avoiding the often problematic need for the student to undertake the mathematical calculations themselves. These spreadsheets also produce a ”Certificate of Analysis”, which can be dated, printed and signed off as would be required in an industrial unit. Several issues involved with implementation of a resource of this nature require addressing. These include student training, staff training, student focus, and quantitative skills enhancement.