Effectiveness of blended learning in pharmacy education: An experimental study using clinical research modules

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Background &objectives Though there are studies to evaluate the effectiveness of blended learning in pharmacy education, most of them originate from USA and have used previous year students’ scores as control. Also there is less research in comparing use of self -regulated learning strategies between blended and other learning strategies. Primary aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of blended learning on knowledge score using clinical research modules. Secondary objective was designed to compare the use of self-regulated learning strategies between blended learning, web-based e-learning and didactic teaching. Materials and methods A prospective cluster randomized trial was conducted with didactic teaching as control and web-based e-learning and blended learning as interventions. The target population was final year Pharm D students. Outcome was assessed using a validated knowledge questionnaire, a motivated strategies for learning questionnaire and a feedback form. All statistical analyses were carried out using Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) Version 20. Results A total of 241 students from 12 colleges completed the study. Mean knowledge score of students in blended learning group was higher than those in the didactic teaching and web-based e- learning program (64.26±18.19 Vs 56.65±8.73 Vs 52.11±22.06,p<0.001).Fre-quency of use of learning strategies namely rehearsal, elaboration, organization and critical thinking was statistically significantly higher in the blended learning group compared to those of didactic and web-based e-learning group (p<0.05) But there were no statistically significant difference of motivational orientations between didactic and blended learning group except strategies of extrinsic goal orientation and self-efficacy. Students preferred blended learning (86.5%) over didactic and web-based e-learning.



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