A STUDY TO EXPLORE LEARNING STYLE PREFERENCES OF PHARMACY STUDENTS WITH REGARD TO PHARMACEUTICAL CALCULATIONS
Objective: Pharmaceutical calculations are an essential aspect of learning for pharmacy students in order to avoid drug dose errors and maintain patient safety in future practice. Learning styles influence how lecturers approach the teaching-learning process. So far no specific learning preference is believed to be most appropriate for the pharmacy curricular; however certain learning styles are favoured by students as they improve their understanding of course material, knowledge and performance.
Methods: 148Master of pharmacy participants from the second and third year were given a questionnaire to complete during a compulsory Individual Readiness Assurance Test session. Participants were restricted to just one option.
Results: Workshops with a tutor was the most selected (36%) followed by 25% of participants favouring formative assessments, 28% selected workbooks alone, 37% for whole-class lecturers and videos option was the least selected. Reasons for the most and least preferred learning styles were highlighted and separated into advantages and disadvantages using themes. In the knowledge test; 92% of participants selected “unsure” or “didn’t know” the answer, 29% had a partially correct answer and 19% selected incorrect answers.
The overall order of ranking arose in regards to the most beneficial learning style which enhances performance. The responses revealed a variety of advantages and disadvantages which were reflected between year groups and similar to views obtained from recent literature. Students reflected a lack of understanding on extemporaneous preparation (EPs) terms used in pharmaceutical compounding practices, thus the university should consider addressing the lack of awareness and consider the best teaching-learning style in doing so.
Conclusion: Overall the findings suggested that the sample students have similar views on the learning styles used to deliver pharmaceutical calculations on their academic performance to that expressed by the authors from recent published literature.
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