Analysis of methods of active learning implemented in infectious disease curricula
Purpose: The role of the student pharmacist has transitioned from dependent to the independent learner. The 2016 ACPE standards place an emphasis on active learning (AL). It is important for colleges of pharmacy to share innovative ways of teaching to prepare students for patient-centered care. This descriptive study examined infectious disease (ID) curriculum to see what role AL plays.
Methods: An email survey was sent in March 2015 to 126 colleges of pharmacy. The emails included deans, department chairs, and professors that coordinated ID. The emails explained the purpose and linked to an anonymous 14-item IRB approved Qualtrics survey. Demographics were gathered with questions asking how ID is incorporated into the didactic and experiential curriculum. The emphasis was to assess the incorporation of AL . Two follow-up emails were sent reminding them to complete the survey.
Results: Sixty colleges responded. 54.4% of the schools were private compared to 45.6% public. 47.3% had separate courses for ID while the remaining taught it as a therapeutic module. On average 29.8% of lecture hours were devoted to AL versus standard note taking. The most common types of AL were case studies (95%), required readings (86.7%), and student response systems (53.3%). Colleges on average incorporated 4 different methods of AL in the course. Case studies were incorporated with lecture format 70% of the time while reviewing cases in recitations and presentations/team-based learning was 21.7% and 18.3%, respectively.
Conclusion: AL is an essential component for preparing lifelong learners for rotations, residencies, and careers. In addition to case studies, faculty are engaging students with innovative AL exercises. Students will be required to become independent learners and these methods will prepare student pharmacists to be providers of patient-centered care.