Students' attitudes toward integrating problem-based learning into a D.D.S. pharmacology curriculum.J Dent Educ. 2010 May; 74(5):489-98.JD
The purpose of this study was to determine student perceptions of the methods used to teach pharmacology content via problem-based learning (PBL) cases with respect to students' comprehension and application of pharmacology content, confidence in their own pharmacology knowledge after completion of PBL instruction, and confidence in treating clinical patients who are taking multiple medications. Our hypothesis was that the most effective presentation of pharmacology content is one that focuses on broad drug classes and includes a pharmacology assignment, a post-assignment group discussion and consensus, and a graded group response for the assignment. Via a five-question survey instrument, we assessed the students' perceptions of pharmacology education and learning of pharmacology concepts through PBL. Survey responses were anonymous, and results were reported as aggregate data. The survey statements were answered on a five-point Likert scale with 1 indicating strong disagreement and 5 indicating strong agreement. The percentage of each class that completed the survey was as follows: first years, 96 percent (n=97); second years, 92 percent (n=94); third years, 87 percent (n=91); and fourth years, 95 percent (n=73). A trend in the data shows that the closer the student is to graduation, the less he or she valued the pharmacology knowledge taught in PBL. Their responses seem to indicate that the newer teaching methods, a pharmacology assignment, a post-assignment group discussion and consensus, and a graded group response for the assignment employed in PBL cases lead to better understanding of pharmacology concepts and confidence in the students' own pharmacology knowledge.