The Rationale and Efficacy of Problem-based Learning and Computer Assisted Learning in Pharmaceutical Education


  • Maged Y Barzak University of Otago, Dunedin,
  • Patrick A Ball University of Otago, Dunedin
  • Robin Ledger University of Otago, Dunedin


Computer simulation, Pharmacy, Problem-based learning, Computer assisted learning


This paper explores two modes of teaching at schools of pharmacy and the benefits to be gained using such methods:namely, problem-based learning (PBL) and computer assisted learning (CAL). Possible advantages of PBL over traditional approaches include its greater relevance to the ability to the practice of pharmacy, its ability to promote the retention and application of knowledge and its encouragement of self-directed life-long learning. Possible disadvantages include higher costs, both in resources and staff time. The current enthusiasm for PBL seems to justified and its use is likely to increase further. CAL aims to bridge the gaps not fully covered by traditional and PBL methods. Using PBL and CAL as a supplementary resource for conventional teaching and learning is desirable for providing optimal opportunities to learn the processes needed to identify and treat drug related problems confronting today's practising pharmacist.

Author Biographies

Maged Y Barzak, University of Otago, Dunedin,

School of Pharmacy

Patrick A Ball, University of Otago, Dunedin

School of Pharmacy

Robin Ledger, University of Otago, Dunedin

School of Pharmacy





Research Article