|Developing Effective Strategies for Enhancing Higher Order Learning in Pharmaceutical Sciences
|Year 1: Project Title
|Infrastructure Development for the Implementation of the “Cases in Pharmaceutical Sciences” (CAPS) Course Stream
|Year 1: Project Year
|Year 1: Funding Year
|Year 1: Project Type
|Year 1: Principal Investigator
|Year 1: Funded Amount
|Year 1: Team Members
Ingrid Price, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
|Year 1: Summary
Objectives: The global objective of this project is to provide essential infrastructure support for the implementation of the Cases in Pharmaceutical Sciences (CAPS) course stream. This objective will be met by completing three specific aims:
Rationale: As part of the new curriculum in Pharmaceutical Sciences, CAPS (first year enrollment: 140) is an innovative, learning-centred series of courses focused on the integration and application of knowledge learned in discipline-based courses (first year courses: anatomy, physiology, statistics, pharmaceutics, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacology, pharmacy practice) and the development of higher order learning skills as identified by the ability-based outcomes of the new curriculum (critical thinking, information access and retrieval, communication, scientific inquiry, self-directed learning, interpersonal and teamwork skills) and recognized as important for the practising pharmacist in Canada (AFPC, 1998).
CAPS will allow students to integrate and apply knowledge learned in discipline-based courses through engaging students in complex, "real life" cases and problems while providing the structure and process necessary to allow students to develop effective problem solving and critical thinking skills. Further, CAPS aims to support the development of problem solving and critical thinking skills in concert with the development of effective communication, presentation and group functioning abilities. CAPS has been structured for three hours/week including a one-hour large group activity that is complemented by a two-hour small group activity and/or an on-line activity. Learning opportunities range from case-based and problem-based learning (either face-to-face or on-line) to giving a formal presentation in a small group to engaging in large class activities such as tutorials, lectures and solving problems. The individuals who will be invited to tutor or facilitate the small groups will be primarily selected based on their content knowledge and expertise (e.g., practising pharmacists, graduate students, faculty). Students enrolled in CAPS will also be engaged in web-based learning activities, through the Web-based Learning Centre (WBLC) in Pharmaceutical Sciences, which will complement and enhance the face-to-face learning in the course. This mixedmode approach to delivery is intended to provide more opportunities to practise problem solving and critical thinking skills while developing on-line learning and communication skills. In addition, on-line learning will also provide flexible access for tutor support. Finally, connections through the internet (for example, through web-based discussions) will increase the accessibility of experts to the students. The CAPS course, while essential to the success of our new curriculum, is resource intensive and requires considerable planning and monitoring to ensure that the learning experience provided to the students is as meaningful as possible.
|Year 2: Project Year
|Year 2: Funding Year
|Year 2: Project Type
|Year 2: Principal Investigator
|Year 2: Funded Amount
|Year 2: Team Members
Ingrid Price, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences
|Year 2: Summary
Objectives: Based on progress made on the TLEF-funded CAPS I project (see attached progress report), the objective of this project is to revise CAPS I to further develop effective learning opportunities that support the higher order learning skills important to this course stream and the new Pharmacy curriculum (e.g., problem solving, critical thinking, scientific inquiry). This objective will be achieved through:
These changes will support the development of CAPS II that begins in September 2004. Active learning strategies developed will be shared with other faculty members in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Rationale: The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences is implementing a new curriculum that began in the fall of 2003. Students in this curriculum are meant to achieve a set of clearly articulated ability-based outcomes (e.g., critical thinking skills, information access and evaluation skills, communication skills, scientific inquiry skills). The CAPS course stream is designed to allow students to integrate and apply knowledge learned in discipline-based courses through engaging students in complex, "real life" cases and problems while providing the structure and process necessary to allow students to develop effective problem solving and critical thinking skills in concert with the development of effective communication, presentation and group functioning abilities. The CAPS course, offered in each year of the undergraduate curriculum, has been structured for four hours/week including a three-hour small group or on-line tutorial and a one-hour large group activity. The individuals who tutor the small groups are primarily selected based on their content knowledge and expertise (e.g., practising pharmacists, graduate students, faculty). Given that much of the learning in CAPS occurs in the tutor-devoted small group setting, tutors must have training opportunities that allow them to develop the necessary skills to do this effectively. Further, finding time for extensive face-to-face tutor training is challenging therefore, we propose to develop web-based opportunities for our tutors to increase their skills (i.e., on-line tutorials and discussion forums) in a manner that complements and enhances the face-to-face tutor training workshops.