Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

I can think of many ways where online education can be utilized in the field of pharmacy in both undergraduate and

 graduate education. Having a bulk of basic knowledge which one has to gather and comprehend, online video or audio lectures serve as a very valuable tool to offer lectures of basic knowledge topics online at students’ convenience. Chat or discussion boards can enhance active learning and encourage online student communication. Online assessment for oral presentations is small-scale classes is also a time saving option. For some areas in pharmacy however the online education cannot work. For example, in classes or research including experimental and laboratory work, you need to be there at the lab. facility and perform the experiment yourself. In the later example, online education role can come where you can see the techniques demonstration online or the the online resources can be used to support the theoretical part.

In general, online education is an important emerging tool that can be employed  in all fields. It helps very much in achieving many of the seven principles we discussed in earlier classes. Nevertheless, face to face education or traditional educational is indispensable in many settings and subjects and is an important part of student’ educational experience in terms of socializing and communicating.


Last class we have discussed the advantages and disadvantages of blackboard for both faculty and students. I think blackboard is a great way to display the courses material effectively, flexibly (in various forms and at different times), and paperlessly. At the same time,  Blackboard cannot be a stand alone tool and is not the best technology to use in all occasions. However, a distinction should me made between  the unsuitability of blackboard and the ineffective use of blackboard. Instructors themselves could use blackboard in a way that reduce its usefulness. For example, instructors might have technical limitation that prohibit them from posting a good material or organize this material in an effective way. Moreover, instructors could overlook the interactivity role of blackboard (such as chatting or discussion boards) and use it solely for posting papers and assignments to students , while forgetting their instructors function to provide feedback, assessment or direct students to alternative and additional resources.

So, blackboard is not without disadvantages, but the effective use of it will lead and had already contributed to the advancement in education.



I was really impressed by the discussion about large classes. Previously I couldn’t think of  any advantage for doing that. I realize how much dedication, patience, solid teaching abilities and communication skills you need to have. One of the things we have discussed about the inability to do lots of presentations. This was my thought until I saw what technology has done for us! Two words …Pecha Kucha or 20X20! . Pecha Kucha  ( yes, it’s not an  English word’s Japanese) is a short presentation format where you present 20 slides, each for 20 seconds. The slides moves automatically and you should follow them while you present your talk. I think this type of presentation is very useful in a large-class setting. You can talk about a topic of your interest in 7 minutes, you talk about most important things and do a big favor for your colleagues by saving them from boredom! I might consider this Pecha Kucha in my Grad606 presentation next week..i like it 🙂

From our class discussion, I concluded that summative assessment is more encountered in formative assessment especially in undergraduate education. Also, there was some sort of consensus the formative is better to achieve learning outcomes. Nevertheless, I believe that a successful education depends on balancing both forms of assessments. The contribution of each, however, depends on the subject taught, classroom settings, and the educational stage. For example, summative assessments in some stages or programs are tools to help evaluate the effectiveness of programs, school improvement goals, alignment of curriculum, or student placement in specific programs. While summative assessment depends on grade and provide a mean of sorting of students, we it also give an indication of student effort. We don’t have this nice bell-shaped distribution of students’ grade curved because of merely their learning ability, but also because students differ in the effort they put in learning. A student doesn’t necessary get (A) because he grasps everything in the class, but it also means that he puts more effort in memorizing, trying to understand and read the material, preparing for the exam, attending classes and paying attention.

On the other side, summative assessments can only help in evaluating certain aspects of the learning process. Because they are spread out and occur after instruction and happen too far down the learning path to provide information at the classroom level and to make instructional adjustments and interventions during the learning process. It takes formative assessment to accomplish this. Formative assessments therefore somehow unite or equalize the effort a student makes to learn. Because this pattern of students’ evaluation emphasizes on active learning and student involvement. In conclusion, i believe that after we make sure a student has mastered or at least gained a standard knowledge, then we can move forward to formative type of assessments.

When I saw education taxonomies, few questions occurred to my mind: should these thinking levels of education applied all the time or are they subject- or educational level dependent? Is it necessary to complete one level to step-up to the next or can we just start already with one of the upper levels of thinking? For example can we read information and then start applying them in our field without the need to memorize it. What is the role of technology in modifying or even skipping one of these steps? For example I thought of the availability of medical information in computers or hand-held I phones which can provide you with all what you need about drugs or surgeries. This technology might contribute to minimizing the need to remember stuff. Also, the availability of statistical analysis software which can perform thousands of tests can make some aspects of the analysis part just much easier. I am not saying that technology can do the entire job, but it can make reduce the burden of some of these levels especially remembering part. Other levels, however, like understanding, applying, evaluating or creating are almost entirely human-dependent.

I am currently in the process of writing a review paper. The usual procedure is that i will submit it to my advisor, then she will  read it, modify it and then having me (most probably) re-writing it.. From that time to the time it’s sent for publication_which we can say about 2-3 months, how many articles would be there every day writing about the topic I am doing my paper on?? too many of them..which means that everyday i have to go to pubmed or other databases and re-enter my search terms and see if there is/are new article (s) with this regard, or even to know if any one took the idea of my dissertation 🙂 When the invention of RSS was discussed in the class..i was thinking..WOW amazing..i can just rss the pubmed with my search terms and the articles come straight forward to my Google reader. Also I found a cool way to do that..please follow this link: Pubmed + RSS + iGoogle = Easy Lit Updates.

Enjoy the power of RSS+Pubmed+iGoogle !

While I was reading an article about the  general advantages of social bookmarking Social Bookmarking Even When You’re Not Social: Why I Use Delicious in the Chronicle of Higher Education, I thought what are the benefits of using bookmarking in teaching or in a course? In other terms, which of the seven good practices_discussed in yesterday’s class_ can be achieved through social bookmarking?

In my opinion, and as can be taken from the term SOCIAL bookmarking, this feature develop reciprocity and cooperation among Students. Considering the availability of online resources , students are not confined with what is said in the class, or what’s in their textbooks. They can have other resources and different points of view. Social bookmarking allows them to organize websites to these resources and SHARE them with other students in the class. Moreover, the tagging feature makes it easier to organize and categorize your saved websites. One thing we should pay attention for is the tagging terminology, many people tag websites with terms which they think relevant for them but not necessarily relevant to others. This may waste some time when trying to go to a tagged website with some term you think relevant but you read the whole thing to discover it was not what you were looking for. In addition to that, one should always keep in mind the validity and credibility of shared websites.

I cannot think of another principle which can be achieved through social bookmarking! Can you?


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  • Regina Oyesanya: I thought GRAD 602 is the best class on campus. I'm not alone! Thanks Britt and Jeff :)
  • Britt Watwood: Pat yourself (yourselves) on the back. You all recharged Jeff and I as much or more than we charged you.
  • amal: I believe that too! It just takes time for us to accept new things..I have done experiments on virtual animals and human beings during my undergraduat