Background : Active learning practices improve student achievement on average in college. Blended adoption of some form of research-based teaching methods for active learning at the tertiary level is rapidly expanding. Nevertheless, there have been few studies to date on the effects of detailed factors such as the blending ratio of the teaching components, impacts of learning resources and formative evaluation methods. The aim of this study was to develop a blended teaching strategy by incorporating methods of team-based learning (TBL) and e-learning into a Pharmaceutical Analysis course for student active learning, and to explore how the practice impacts student learning outcomes.
Methods: Two blended teaching programs with different blending ratios of TBL and e-learning methods were developed and compared in this study. Students from four experimental classes enrolled in different majors were recruited. Student outcomes related to active learning goals, such as achievement, logic development or sense of accountability at the tertiary level, were analyzed and evaluated using a formative evaluation method. A survey administered after the study was completed by each student.
Results: Student e-learning performance was positively correlated with the final scores, suggesting that exercises and tests provided by the e-learning platform made a positive contribution to student knowledge achievement. On surveys a large majority of students reported that working on instructor-posed questions in a TBL setting improved their higher-order cognitive skills, social cohesion and, through that, feelings of accountability. Final scores showed significant differences among students from different majors, which implied that the effectiveness of active learning depends on the characteristics of students and their activities outside of class.
Conclusions: The blended teaching strategy developed in this study was effective in improving student achievement in either formative or summative assessments, which provides an accessible and informative entry point for implementing active learning in higher pharmacy education.