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Objective: Although the use of computer simulations in pharmacokinetics courses is not new, the data on the effects of simulation on student learning are scarce. The objective of this study was to design and evaluate the use of Web-based simulations on the learning of pharmacokinetic concepts by doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students.

Method: Six online modules were designed to allow the instructor and students to use “what-if” scenarios for understanding the effects of various dosage regimens and/or pharmacokinetic parameters on the plasma concentration-time courses of drugs. The designed modules were intravenous and oral pharmacokinetic concepts, bioavailability, intravenous infusion, multiple dosing, nonlinear pharmacokinetics, and hepatic clearance. The effects of simulation modules on student learning were tested in pre/post tests for the multiple dosing module and in mid-term assessments for the hepatic clearance concepts. Additionally, the students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the modules were determined using a survey.

Results: Compared with a pretest, a 10-min use of the multiple dosing module in class by students resulted in a 21% improvement in the performance of the students in a posttest. Additionally, the use of the hepatic clearance module outside the classroom was associated with a 16% improvement in their performance in a mid-term assessment. Finally, the students’ responses to an attitudinal survey indicated that students believe the use of modules improves their learning of pharmacokinetic concepts.

Conclusions: Online simulation modules dealing with pharmacokinetic concepts improve student learning of pharmacokinetics.


NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning, volume 4, issue 4, in 2012. DOI: 10.1016/j.cptl.2012.05.008.





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