Exploring the Use of Computer-aided Learning Modules (CAL) to Enhance the Teaching and Learning of Pharmacokinetics to Pharmacy Students

    Published on:December 2020
    Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2020; 12(4):354-359
    Original Article | doi:10.5530/jyp.2020.12.91

    Mumtaz Hussain1, Shariza Sahudin2,*, Izzati Yussof2

    1Boots the Chemist, 12-18 Whitgift Centre, Croydon CR0 1SN, UK.

    2The Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Puncak Alam Campus, Selangor, MALAYSIA.


    Objectives: To develop an integrated software package to augment the teaching and learning of pharmacokinetics to undergraduate pharmacy students, covering various aspects of pharmacokinetics from basic principles, calculations and their application, including therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) in clinical practice and bioequivalence calculations for industry, as well as several computer-aided learning modules (CAL). Materials and Methods: JAVA was utilized to allow for a modular design and the ability to build future functionality into the system. A database of patient information with multiple drugs of interest, with plasma concentration values, was constructed to allow students to appreciate the variability of pharmacokinetic parameters in different clinical conditions. Computer-assisted learning (CAL) modules were prepared to assist students in understanding selected pharmacokinetics topics. Software testing, validation, system testing and user satisfaction surveys were conducted to evaluate suitability and accuracy. Results: A comprehensive and modular pharmacokinetics computer program was successfully developed using Java and NetBeans. The program produced accurate and reproducible values for numerous pharmacokinetic parameters, based on a user satisfaction survey, the average usability score of 68.8 indicating good usability status among undergraduate students. Conclusion: The software is the first attempt to produce a comprehensive package with multiple points of calculation including compartmental and non-compartmental analysis, TDM and bioequivalence, as well as learning modules, all integrated into one environment suitable for both pharmacy students and pharmacists. End users were generally satisfied with the software and provided feedback and recommendations to further improvements with the ultimate aim of introducing the system to undergraduates for teaching purposes.

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