Learning Bridge: Curricular Integration of Didactic and Experiential Education

Pacific University Oregon School of Pharmacy, Hillsboro, OR, USA.
American journal of pharmaceutical education (Impact Factor: 1.08). 04/2010; 74(3):48. DOI: 10.5688/aj740348
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To assess the impact of a program to integrate introductory pharmacy practice experiences with pharmaceutical science topics by promoting active learning, self-directed learning skills, and critical-thinking skills.
The Learning Bridge, a curriculum program, was created to better integrate the material first-year (P1) students learned in pharmaceutical science courses into their introductory pharmacy practice experiences. Four Learning Bridge assignments required students to interact with their preceptors and answer questions relating to the pharmaceutical science material concurrently covered in their didactic courses.
Surveys of students and preceptors were conducted to measure the effectiveness of the Learning Bridge process. Feedback indicated the Learning Bridge promoted students' interaction with their preceptors as well as development of active learning, self-directed learning, and critical-thinking skills. Students also indicated that the Learning Bridge assignments increased their learning, knowledge of drug information, and comprehension of relevant data in package inserts.
The Learning Bridge process integrated the didactic and experiential components of the curriculum, enhancing student learning in both areas, and offered students educational opportunities to interact more with their preceptors.

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    ABSTRACT: To implement a Learning Bridge tool to improve educational outcomes for pharmacy students as well as for preceptors and faculty members. Pharmacy faculty members collaborated to write 9 case-based assignments that first-year pharmacy (P1) students worked with preceptors to complete while at experiential sites. Students, faculty members, and preceptors were surveyed about their perceptions of the Learning Bridge process. As in our pilot study,(1) the Learning Bridge process promoted student learning. Additionally, the Learning Bridge assignments familiarized preceptors with the school's P1 curriculum and its content. Faculty teamwork also was increased through collaborating on the assignments. The Learning Bridge assignments provided a compelling learning environment and benefited students, preceptors, and faculty members.
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