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Learners’ perspectives on pure science content in vocational degree programmes: chemistry for pharmacists

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The objective of this study was to enquire how the chemistry experience of pharmacy students can be enhanced and how the virtual learning environment (VLE) for chemistry-related pharmacy modules might be improved. All MPharm students at the University of Portsmouth UK were asked to complete a project-designed online questionnaire. Data from University course module feedback questionnaires were also analysed. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were performed, using appropriate statistical evaluation. Pre-university chemistry was not correlated with current perceived relevance, difficulty or workload (p>0.05). The latter two were positively correlated (p=0.003). Students realised their study of chemistry was important (89%). Chemistry- and biology-related areas were rated equally enjoyable (p>0.05), but less than pharmacy practice areas (p<0.0001). Students’ preferred choices for VLE development were video lectures > VLE quizzes > audio content. Keeping chemistry content relevant on pharmacy programmes is important. Strategies for improving learning through extended use of the VLE have been identified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-16
JournalScience Education International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2017


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