RESEARCH ARTICLE: Teaching asthma first aid to pharmacy students: A comparative study between an online course and simulation by role-play


  • Dalia Bajis University of Sydney, Australia
  • Betty Chaar University of Sydney, Australia
  • Iman Basheti Applied Science Private University, Jordan
  • Rebekah Moles University of Sydney, Australia



Active learning, asthma first aid, competency-based assessment, pharmacy education, Blended Learning


Objective: To assess the impact of a bimodal workshop on pharmacy students’ ability to perform asthma first aid (AFA) and their preferred method of learning.

Method: Pharmacy students from the Applied Science University (ASU) in Amman, Jordan were invited to participate in an AFA training workshop, comprised of an online training course and simulation by role-play. Students were randomly allocated to one of two groups to start with either a simulation-based session or an interactive online course. After completion of the first session, groups were switched. Student ability to perform AFA was assessed by role-play using an AFA checklist. Students’ preferences on methods of learning were investigated by evaluation forms and focus group discussion using a semi-structured survey.

Results: Fifty students enrolled in the study, 35 (70%) completed the evaluation forms on self-perceived confidence and overall satisfaction with the workshop. Performance in the role-played scenarios was not significantly correlated to whether students received the online training prior to assessment. Students (n=35, 97%) agreed the AFA workshop increased their knowledge and confidence in managing a patient experiencing asthma exacerbation. When asked about their preferred method of learning, 77% stated a combination of online coursework and role-play.

Conclusion: Students valued the novelty of combining learning methods, and hands-on training was perceived as necessary to consolidate knowledge into practice. Thus, blended learning was preferred by pharmacy students attending ASU in Jordan for learning how to perform AFA, and their performance was not affected by the mode of learning in this study.

Author Biographies

Dalia Bajis, University of Sydney, Australia

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health

Betty Chaar, University of Sydney, Australia

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health

Iman Basheti, Applied Science Private University, Jordan

Faculty of Pharmacy

Rebekah Moles, University of Sydney, Australia

School of Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine and Health


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How to Cite

Bajis, D., Chaar, B., Basheti, I., & Moles, R. (2021). RESEARCH ARTICLE: Teaching asthma first aid to pharmacy students: A comparative study between an online course and simulation by role-play. Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 92–104.



Research Article