REVIEW: Use of engaging review application exercises to enhance understanding of critical concepts prior to summative examinations


  • John K. Cusick California Northstate University, California
  • Leo Fitzpatrick California Northstate University, California
  • Parto Khansari Stony Brook School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Stony Brook, New York


TBL, immunology, review exercise, music, haikus, mnemonics, posters


Two distinct and engaging review application exercises were created in an immunology class for third-year pharmacy students that utilised the Team-Based Learning (TBL) instructional method. The goal was to enhance student understanding of critical concepts prior to summative examinations through the use of exercises that promoted creativity and teamwork. For the first application exercise, student teams created innovative and informative posters describing assigned subject matter using superheroes or other known caricatures. Student teams reviewed key concepts on posters created by fellow teams using a gallery walk format and graded the posters according to provided rubrics. For the second application exercise, teams created mnemonics, songs and haikus to highlight assigned material. These creations were displayed on a poster. The review application exercises were well received by students, with many students indicating that the review exercises greatly helped them utilise their creative talents to learn the material in a way that was fun and engaging.

Author Biographies

John K. Cusick, California Northstate University, California

College of Medicine

Leo Fitzpatrick, California Northstate University, California

College of Pharmacy

Parto Khansari, Stony Brook School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Stony Brook, New York



Anthony, M.L. (1998). Nursing students and Haiku. Nurse Educ, 23(3), 14-16

Bellezza, F.S. (1981). Mnemonic Devices: Classification, Characteristics, and Criteria. Review of Educational Research, 51(2), 247-275. doi:10.3102/0034654305 1002247

Brown, S.A. (2015). Creative Expression of Science through Poetry and Other Media can Enrich Medical and Science Education. Front Neurol, 6, 3. doi:10.3389/fneur. 2015.00003

Burgess, A., Bleasel, J., Haq, I., Roberts, C., Garsia, R., Robertson, T. & Mellis, C. (2017). Team-based learning (TBL) in the medical curriculum: better than PBL? BMC Med Educ, 17(1), 243. doi:10.1186/s12909-017-1068-z

Cirigliano, M.M. (2013). Musical mnemonics in health science: a first look. Med Teach, 35(3), e1020-1026. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.733042

Crowther, G. (2012a). The Database: An Educational Resource for Instructors and Students. Biochemistry And Molecular Biology Education, 40(1), 19-22. doi:DOI 10.1002/bmb.20567

Crowther, G. (2012b). Using science songs to enhance learning: an interdisciplinary approach. CBE Life Sci Educ, 11(1), 26-30. doi:10.1187/cbe.11-08-0068

Cusick, J. (2016). A Jeopardy-Style Review Game Using Team Clickers. MedEdPORTAL, 12. doi: 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.10485

Gurnon, D., Voss-Andreae, J. & Stanley, J. (2013). Integrating art and science in undergraduate education. PLoS Biol, 11(2), e1001491. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio. 1001491

Gustafson, M.B. (1979). Methods of teaching--revisited. Try Haiku. J Contin Educ Nurs, 10(4), 59-60

Ingber, D.E. (1998). The architecture of life. Sci Am, 278(1), 48-57

Khansari, P.S. & Coyne, L. (2018). An innovative addition to team-based-learning pedagogy to enhance teaching and learning: Students' perceptions of team exams. Curr Pharm Teach Learn, 10(1), 90-95. doi:10. 1016/j.cptl.2017.09.009

Kim, Y.E., Morton, B.G., Gregorio, J., Rosen, D.S., Edouard, K. & Vallett, R. (2019). Enabling creative collaboration for all levels of learning. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 116(6), 1878-1885. doi:10.1073/pnas. 1808678115

Krathwohl, D.R. (2002). A revision of bloom's taxonomy: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212-218. doi:DOI: 10.1207/s15430421tip4104_2

Lee, M.S. (2017). Elemental haiku. Science, 357(6350), 461-463. doi:10.1126/science.aan2999

Lewis, H.A. (2018). Haiku to enhance student learning: Experiences from a pathophysiology classroom. Nurse Educ Today, 60, 98-100. doi:10.1016/j.nedt.2017.09.018

Lofgren, E.T. (2016). Unlocking the black box: teaching mathematical modeling with popular culture. FEMS Microbiol Lett, 363(20). doi:10.1093/femsle/fnw225

Modell, H.I., DeMiero, F. G., & Rose, L. (2009). In pursuit of a holistic learning environment: the impact of music in the medical physiology classroom. Adv Physiol Educ, 33(1), 37-45. doi:10.1152/advan.90149.2008

Ofstad, W. & Brunner, L.J. (2013). Team-based learning in pharmacy education. Am J Pharm Educ, 77(4), 70. doi:10.5688/ajpe77470

Parmelee, D., Michaelsen, L.K., Cook, S. & Hudes, P.D. (2012). Team-based learning: a practical guide: AMEE guide no. 65. Med Teach, 34(5), e275-287. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.651179

Parmelee, D.X., & Michaelsen, L.K. (2010). Twelve tips for doing effective Team-Based Learning (TBL). Med Teach, 32(2), 118-122. doi:10.3109/01421590903548562

Piotrow, P T. (1994). "Entertainment-education:" an idea whose time has come. Popul Today, 22(3), 4-5

Pollack, A.E. & Korol, D.L. (2013). The use of haiku to convey complex concepts in neuroscience. J Undergrad Neurosci Educ, 12(1), A42-48

Quillin, K. & Thomas, S. (2015). Drawing-to-learn: a framework for using drawings to promote model-based reasoning in biology. CBE Life Sci Educ, 14(1), es2. doi: 10.1187/cbe.14-08-0128

Roberts, D.H., Newman, L.R. & Schwartzstein, R.M. (2012). Twelve tips for facilitating Millennials' learning. Med Teach, 34(4), 274-278. doi:10.3109/0142159X. 2011.613498

Rodenbaugh, D.W. (2015). Maximize a team-based learning gallery walk experience: herding cats is easier than you think. Adv Physiol Educ, 39(4), 411-413. doi: 10.1152/advan.00012.2015

Root-Bernstein, R.A., L., Beach, L., Bhadula, R., Fast, J., Hosey, C., Kremkow, B., Lapp, J., Lonc, K., Pawelec, K., Podufaly, A., Russ, C.,

Tennant, L., Vrtis, E. & Weinlander S. (2008). Arts foster scientific success: Avocations of Nobel, National Academy, Royal Society, and Sigma Xi members. J Psychol Sci Tech, 1, 51-63. doi:doi/10.1891/1939-7054.1.2.51

Schulkind, M.D. (2009). Is memory for music special? Ann N Y Acad Sci, 1169, 216-224. doi:10.1111/j.1749- 6632.2009.04546.x

Viswesh, V., Yang, H. & Gupta, V. (2018). Evaluation of a Modified Debate Exercise Adapted to the Pedagogy of Team-Based Learning. Am J Pharm Educ, 82(4), 6278. doi:10.5688/ajpe6278

Whitley, H.P., Bell, E., Eng, M., Fuentes, D.G., Helms, K.L., Maki, E.D. & Vyas, D. (2015). Practical Team- Based Learning from Planning to Implementation. Am J Pharm Educ, 79(10), 149. doi:10.5688/ajpe7910149

Zehr, E.P. (2014). Avengers Assemble! Using pop-culture icons to communicate science. Adv Physiol Educ, 38(2), 118-123. doi:10.1152/advan.00146.2013




How to Cite

Cusick, J. K., Fitzpatrick, L., & Khansari, P. (2019). REVIEW: Use of engaging review application exercises to enhance understanding of critical concepts prior to summative examinations. Pharmacy Education, 19(1), p 232–241. Retrieved from



Research Article