Constant innovation search, implementation of advanced educational technologies into the educational process is inherent in the Department of Pharmacology and Medical Prescription of ZSMU. Its employees began 2020-2021 academic year with interesting novelties, which have already served both teachers, and students. Students of different courses and faculties — future physicians, pediatricians, dentists, pharmacists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists — study at the Department. After all, no medical or pharmaceutical specialist can do without a thorough knowledge of pharmacology.
Professor Ihor Bielenichev, Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Medical Prescription, talks about the current process of acquiring knowledge:
"We continue to work in the distance learning format, which proved itself well last semester. We have adopted the best of our experience, and we always strive to improve the methods of conducting lectures and practical classes. For example, if before, working in the Teams, you assigned tasks to students and received answers from them in the same way, which it was a real remote work, now we use video communications, which allows not only to hear but also to see students, their live reactions, thus creating the participation effect. This makes a perfect contact with students, which works for the effectiveness and efficiency of the learned material.
This semester, the process of studying disciplines has been significantly livened up by the introduction of such innovations as role-playing games. We have developed an algorithm for an innovative form of intermediate control during classes. At the preparatory stage, the teacher prepares the structure of control: questions on the topic in accordance with the guidelines, and additional questions in accordance with the guidelines students' individual assignments, as well as questions of increased complexity, based on sources from the list of additional literature. Questions can be formed not only in the form of text, but also in the form of a graph or picture. They are formed taking into account the coherence of knowledge. For example: Anatomy-Physiology-Pathophysiology and Pathoanatomy-Pharmacology. The teacher acquaints students with the questions in advance, and in the course of the lesson they are given roles: examinees, consultants and examiners. Two or four students who have demonstrated deep knowledge and interest in the subject are appointed as consultants and examiners. Then, using an interactive whiteboard, the question is asked. The examined student answers (enters the missing words, completes the scheme, writes the recipe), justifying the answer. Consultants may help, if needed. The student may address each consultant once without penalty. After that it will reduce the score by one point. Examiners listen and record errors. After the answer and the work of the consultants, the examiners, reviewing the answers, announce their comments and verdict. The lecturer evaluates the work of all participants, commenting on the decision.
I have a report with an analysis of the experience of the Department and the effectiveness of classes in this format. By the way, now we have agreed on developments that we worked on long before quarantine, introducing a format of interactive classes. My assistant at the Department is Associate Professor Iryna Samura, who acts as the Head of the Department.
It should be noted that in the process of distance learning interesting ideas are produced and implemented by the young generation of our Department — Assistants Pavlo Bak, Kristina Korostina, Senior Lecturer Artem Yehorov. They enthusiastically arrange classes with students — debates, quizzes, practice structuring classes, and when the teacher offers a topic with appropriate segments, students have to make a mosaic of them. Now Pavel Bak and I are developing a script using videos that will demonstrate the effects of drugs on the human body. This should help to better process the information provided in the classroom.
Also this semester, students' work was facilitated by freeing them from writing answers, instead we prefer oral communication, dialogues. This allows the teacher to evaluate the preparation more objectively and the student to prepare more at home. Accordingly, adjustments were made to the work programs with an increase in the number of hours for their independent work.
The Department pays great attention to the development of student research. In no way can the distance learning obstruct it. In the Teams, we have created a platform where students work on research topics, and present reports. Unfortunately, they are currently unable to conduct experiments, yet they have unlimited access to library and other resources. Young researchers seek information on a key issue in the aspect of pharmacology, make a report, then discuss in a debate format, and the lecturer as moderator keeps track of this.
Another novelty is the cooperation with other departments on the continuity in the study of such sections as Fundamental Pharmacology, Pharmacology of Prescriptions. After all, for it is necessary to have a thorough knowledge of such disciplines as Normal Physiology, Biophysics. Therefore, we already have prospects for cooperation with these departments, joint lectures and more.
Thanks to the care of the University Administration about the implementation of advanced technologies in the educational process, we have a well-equipped lecture hall at the Department, which is used by colleagues from other departments and has everything you need for quality practical classes. The equipment allows two batches of students to join the lecture at the same time, and this is more than a thousand people, these are just fantastic opportunities.
The current semester is marked by hard work. We also prepared third-year students (now they're in the fourth year) to pass KROK-1: developed manuals with explanations for the tests, detailed consideration of topics and selection of keywords for the correct answers, we hope it was of use during the recent exam. We continue to work according to the curricula and prospects, so that distance learning does not disappoint our students, but on the contrary, brings pleasure and opens new horizons in mastering the profession."
28 September 2020