Ways of activation of the students' independent work at the department of pharmacology

Innovative methods and forms of the students' training at the Department of Pharmacology are discussed in this article for activation of the students' independent work. The peculiarities of main competencies and their formation in students during the learning of discipline are considered. Methods of assessment and control of competencies are represented.

Introduction. The signing of the Bologna Declaration by Kazakhstan entailed the inclusion of national universities in the process of reforming of higher education, whose main aim is to improve the quality of education. The need for new solutions is dictated by the changes that occur in the world nowadays [1]. First of all, it is the globalization of the economy and the rapid development of new technologies.

In order to be a qualified expert not only the disciplinary, but also interdisciplinary knowledge and skills are needed [2]. It is obvious that such knowledge have to be formed and developed, and high school is an institution which can and has to solve this problem [3,4].

Changing of education in accordance with the modern needs of society has to be accompanied by the changes in learning strategies as well. The new approach in learning involves a preliminary determination of the list of competencies that have to be formed in medical institutes.

It is known that the main characteristics of a graduate student are his/her competence and mobility. In this regard, the emphasis in the study of educational disciplines are transferred to the process of learning, the effectiveness of which depends entirely on cognitive activity of the student [5,6].

Competence-based approach can be considered not only as a mean of updating the content of medical education, but also as a mechanism that brings it to the accordance with the requirements of modernity [7].

Actuality. Key and general competencies distributed by the levels of learning for particular disciplines are determined in Asfendiyarov Kazakh National Medical University [8]. In this regard, the competence approach introduced by the Department of Pharmacology is the competencies that were chosen by university. So, there are five main competencies: cognitive, axiological, operational, legal competencies, and the competence of continuous learning and education (self-improvement and self-development). The above competences for students of different majors can optimize the learning process at the department, focus the teachers on final result and improve the educational system. Moreover, they are aimed to improving the psychological and communicative competence of students, strengthening and development of informational and material- technical base of the department and suggest the concentration of resources for its implementation. This approach corresponds to new requirements in the health care system and it will lead to the forming of professional and competent, competitive specialist.

It is known that the teaching methods are one of the most important components of educational process as well as its aims and tasks, content, organizational forms and results [9,10]. The task of a teacher is to teach the practical use of theoretical knowledge. She is a facilitator who creates the psycho- pedagogical conditions for self-development; meaningful learning of the basics of professional activity and development of the professional activity of future doctors.

It is known that a variety of classroom and extracurricular forms of learning, such as lectures, practical sessions, consultations, examinations, competitions of students' works and other are used in high school educational practice. The forms are in interrelationship and in logical sequence. None of the forms can be considered as universal and capable for replacing the other ones. The choice of forms depends on the educational goals, tasks of a specific theme, the individual style of a teacher and students' experience.

Basic part. Variety of innovative teaching methods and forms for classes and for the extracurricular time are used at the Department of Pharmacology a [11].

Lectures contain new directions in science which have not been included to the textbooks yet; if necessary, correction of materials that are described in textbooks; explanations of different contradicting approaches in which it is difficult for students to understand it by themselves. Different methods of students' activation are used in lectures. The examples from practice are provided at the lectures; it allows students to develop the elements of clinical thinking, i.e. to involve them to professional activities.

In the study of pharmacology different types of business and educational role-playing games that are represented by different methods are used. This is one of the most effective methods which provide an opportunity for students to apply the theory: what they learnt during the classes and from the textbooks to use in practice and generate a certain level of skills. Using the games and role-play closes learning sessions to real situations of the doctor's work. They are exciting and entertaining; it significantly increases the interest and activity of students.

One of the effective methods for involving all students to the group analysis of a task is “Brainstorm”. The result of “Brainstorm” is a list of creative solutions, or solutions to the problem created by the participation of students, including the use of the interactive whiteboard. At the applying of “Brainstorm” method a teacher gives a practical problem to students, whose solution requires the mobilization of all necessary knowledge “right now”, right this minute.

Education at the Department is also carried out by using the elements of TBL method, which includes work in small groups, enabling a coordinated interaction between students, allows acquiring the skills of cooperation, mutual responsibility and other important interpersonal skills that allow students to resolve differences in their opinion. The process of performing tasks in the group is based on the exchange of opinions, estimates.

Moreover, the solution of situational tasks that simulate the clinical situation with the use of methodological material is widely used in the classes. At the studying the accent is done to the solution of simulated situations; they are as close as possible to the professional activities and contribute to the formation of exploratory thinking style in students, equips them with the methods of mastering and synthesis of new knowledge in any subject area for the effective use in practice; this determines the use of innovative methods of learning. Practical or modeling practice problems and exercises solved by students direct their mental actions to the right direction, lead to the acquisition of the general method of focused analysis of the situation conditions and, ultimately, to the development of professional activity. Group discussion problem solving process is particularly interesting and at the same time, it is the complex form of work, as it requires the teacher and the students' attention and constant readiness for action. In medical school such work is especially important because a doctor has to be able to formulate his/her ideas correctly, clearly justify decisions; these both moments are taught by teamwork.

On “Round Table” classes the main themes of discipline are discussed, learning of which determines the quality of professional learning; questions that are most difficult for understanding and mastering are submitted, such topics are discussed collectively; it provides active participation of each student. Round table assumes an equal exchange of opinions on the studied topic among the participants. For a small amount of time and in live communication it is possible to identify and understand the points of contention, and sometimes significantly go beyond the boundaries of the question.

Consequently, the use of innovative forms and methods of teaching allows developing the skills of generalization, independence of thought and they are the prerequisite for the preparation of highly qualified specialists.

New approaches and new tasks given to universities in connection with the process of integration into the world educational space require the revision not only of educational programs, but also the quality control criteria of the educational process.

Various types (current control, midterm control, final control) and methods (oral questioning, independent work, written work, computer-based testing) of control are used at the department.

The current control is an organic part of the whole learning process. It is held in the form of oral questioning and written work at the department. Oral questioning on the theme of a class allows defining the initial level of knowledge and skills of students, identifying which questions should be given more attention to in the class with a particular group, and also outlines the ways of eliminating the problems identified in the knowledge of students. A teacher by method of individual and frontal survey consolidates and at the end of lessons summarizes the passed material.

One of the methods of control at the Department is written work, which includes writing prescriptions for commonly used drugs with their analysis. Furthermore, written work includes test tasks on material of the subject. Written control allows present the same requirements to all students; it increases the objectivity of assessment of results of learning and provides an opportunity to check the mastering of learning material by all students of a group during the shortest time simultaneously; it makes possible to determine the direction for individual work with each student. Independent work of students which includes the solving of situational problems, tasks by the outlines for practical classes on pharmacology, work in a small groups, the analysis of tables, figures, solving the crosswords, scanwords, work with electronic equipment, the Internet and etc. forms the critical attitude of students towards the results of their work, exactingness to themselves, instills in students the skills of self-control.

Midterm (periodic) control allows determination the quality and strength of mastering the competencies by students on the certain sections of pharmacology. This control is carried out 3-5 times during the process of learning, depending on the specifics of the faculty. This type of control includes a significant volume of course sections; it reveals the logical interrelations with other sections and subjects. Midterm control is carried out in the form of oral questioning, written work, including prescribing of medications with their analysis, tasks solving in test form. Control in the form of tests is the most convenient for creating of immediate feedback and it makes the process of pedagogical control more effective, focusing it on the use of modern information technologies.

The final control is directed to the checking of particular learning results, to determination of the degree of mastering the competencies obtained in the course of studying the discipline by students. The final control at the Department is carried out at transfer exams that consist of two stages: in the form of tests tasks performing in the test center, and also in oral form that allows the determining of acquisition the operational and communicative competencies by students.

At the department the modern and objective form of assessment of learning outcomes of students is introduced: it is rating-point assessment system of competences, which is more flexible and efficient, encourages them to quantitative measurement of the quality of teaching. Depending on number of points got by a student for each type of performed learning activity by the completion of the course the student takes an adequate total mark. This approach allows evaluate the student's diligence, his/her educational activity and the level of mastering of material. The rating system is primarily aimed to the increasing of students' motivation to mastering of educational programs by higher differentiation of assessment of their educational work.

It is known that one of the obligatory conditions of the rating system is its openness. In this case, students have the ability to implement the self-control, to correct the own work, thereby becoming an active participant of the educational process.

The final grade for the discipline includes the marks of admission rating and final control. Final mark is the total sum of the student's work during the period of studying at the department. Each step is independent from each other; it provides the student's mobility.

Opportunities of rating system are sufficiently large. Rating system of knowledge allows to extend the range of qualitative characteristics of knowledge even within the mark by their interval limits; ultimately it allows to determine the volume, level and method of pedagogical influence to a student in accordance with his/her individual rating. The rating system provides the encourage of students for regular work. In terms of rating system the number of unmotivated absences at classes is decreased very significantly. One of the positive results of the introduction of rating is the intensification of educational-research and extracurricular activities. This method has dramatically reduced the number of students who have not completed the curriculum at the end of the semester. The rating system encourages students to deep self-study of the subject.

Conclusion. Thus, the transition to credit system with the use of new methods and forms of education, by properly chosen, competent supervision of competences allows passing to more effective level of studying at the university. This teaching approach helps to optimize the learning process and improve the efficiency of pharmacology studying.



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  2. Poholkov Ju, Chuchalin A., Mogil'nickij S., Boev O. Obespechenie i ocenka kachestva vysshego obrazovanija.//Vysshee obrazovanie v Rossii. - 2004. - № 2. – P.12-27.
  3. Baskaev, R. M. O tendencijah izmenenij v obrazovanii i perehode k kompetentnostnomu podhodu // Innovacii v obrazovanii. - 2007. - N1. -

P. 10-15.

Year: 2014
City: Almaty
Category: Medicine