Crossing the threshold: the use of simple model practicals to enhance the student experience in pharmacokinetics

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster


Within the pharmacology curriculum, pharmacokinetics represents a threshold concept that both UG and PG students are challenged by. The subject involves complex numerical manipulations, equations and graphical presentation describing drug behaviour in the body and pushes students outside their learning comfort zone. Traditional teaching methods typically involve lectures and tutorials, and based on student feedback, this dry approach is far removed from the clinical use of drugs and is therefore ineffective.
The development of a practical class that utilises a simple model system representing the addition of a measurable drug to an organism and its subsequent excretion has helped to bring the numbers to life and has been favourably received by the students. By allowing students to visualise, observe and measure the drug in the system, they generate their own data and thus see directly where the data came from and this provides a strong link towards what it means. Contextualised practical classes like this have revolutionised the understanding and grasp of this area of pharmacology teaching and learning and has helped student transition towards higher levels of applied understanding. This poster will describe the design, implementation and assessment of this exercise and will assess its usefulness from a student perspective using feedback. Furthermore, it will describe current work (funded by the British Pharmacological Society)on developing the model system flexibly to cover additional, more complex areas of the pharmacokinetic intended objectives. Overall, this specific targeted assessment approach provides a means of enhancing student learning and experience of this concept and a reliable means of assessing progress too.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
EventHEA STEM Annual Conference: Enhancing the STEM student journey - Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Apr 20141 May 2014


ConferenceHEA STEM Annual Conference: Enhancing the STEM student journey
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

Poster presentation, HEA STEM 2014, University of Edinburgh


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