Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

A flipped classroom approach to teaching drug calculations

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Clare GuildingORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Background and aims The wrong dose, strength or frequency of a medication accounts for almost athird of medication errors in the NHS (1). To strengthen teaching of pharmaceutical numeracy tomedical students a range of ‘drug calculation’ outcomes were recently introduced to the MBBScurriculum (2). However, guiding the learning of a large class (>200) with mixed mathematical abilitiesis difficult, especially within a traditional didactic lecture format. The ‘flipped classroom’ is apedagogical model in which students learn the core content of a topic outside of the classroom,freeing up class time for problem solving and interactive learning activities. This project aimed todevelop a flipped classroom approach to teaching mathematical concepts around drug dosagecalculations.Summary of work A one hour Stage 1 MBBS ‘Drug Calculations’ session was flipped. A workbookwas produced containing the theory, worked examples and a series of questions for students tocomplete before their classroom session. Workbook answers were provided in advance of thissession in two formats: a fully completed workbook and vlogs of the lecturer completing the workbookwhile talking through how they approached the calculations (to model metacognition). In theclassroom, students had to apply the knowledge learned beforehand to a series of increasinglydifficult clinically based questions. This was run as an inter-seminar group quiz using interactivevoting technology.Outcomes Students responded very positively to the flipped classroom approach. 90% of students(n=167 out of 188, 88% response rate) agreed or strongly agreed with the statement ‘I found theCPTP1.5 flipped classroom approach, completing the ‘Drug Calculations Workbook’ in advance of thesession then applying the principles to examples in class, a more effective approach than learning themaths principles in a standard lecture format’.Discussion and conclusion An increasing body of evidence indicates that the flipped classroomapproach can be more effective than a traditional didactic lecture, especially when ability in corecontent differs (3). The flipped classroom approach enabled each student to learn how to docalculations in their own way and at their own pace freeing class time for interactive application of thisknowledge. Satisfaction with this approach was high and we are currently developing morepharmacology content for delivery in this format.References 1. Cousins et. al., 2012. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 74, p597-604 2. Guilding, 2016. pA2Online 13(3) 3. Abeysekera and Dawson, 2015. Higher Education Research & Development 34, p1-14

Publication metadata

Author(s): Guilding C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: pA2 Online: E Journal of the British Pharmacological Society

Year: 2017

Volume: 16

Issue: 1

Online publication date: 04/11/2017

Acceptance date: 04/03/2017

ISSN (electronic): 1741-1157

Publisher: British Pharmacological Society