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Now it's over to you: a workbook approach.

McFadyen, Morag C.E.


Morag C.E. McFadyen


Liz Thomas


During the oncology topic within the third year 'Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2' module (CPT2) of the MPharm at Robert Gordon University (RGU), it quickly became apparent that students had difficulty in placing complex concepts into context. As a response to these identified learning difficulties, a just-in-time, step-by-step guided workbook approach was developed using common e-learning software. The outcome was a person-centred case study, signposting the students to information they already have and aiding them to put it into context. The intention was to enable students to critically appraise the information provided and subsequently drive their own learning, rather than simply provide them with the solutions. Students should perceive their lecturers not as a transmitter of knowledge, but more as a facilitator who is guiding their learning. In constructivist learning theory, students should draw on existing knowledge, beliefs, and skills and build on these, allowing them to synthesize new understanding from prior learning and new information. The opportunity is then open for the students to create their own case studies and workbook around the solid tumours and haematological malignancies covered within the course. The basic cognitive competences that the students (future pharmacists) should successfully demonstrate were described in Bloom's (1956) taxonomy – namely knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. In tandem with these cognitive skills, students should be able to reflect on their own learning experience. Pharmacists' mandatory continuous professional development (CPD) is based on Kolb (1984) and Gibbs (1988) theories on reflection, and both these cycles were used to develop this software. These learning cycles propose that theory and practice enrich each other in a never-ending circle. In this model, students' learn more effectively if they are actively involved in the learning process than if they are passive receivers. By providing the conditions for students to learn, their learning is deep rather than mere regurgitation.


MCFADYEN, M.C.E. 2015. Now it's over to you: a workbook approach. In Thomas, L. (ed.) Compendium of effective practice in directed independent learning. York: Higher Education Academy [online], pages 85-87. Available from:

Online Publication Date Mar 12, 2015
Publication Date Mar 12, 2015
Deposit Date Feb 14, 2020
Publicly Available Date Feb 14, 2020
Publisher Higher Education Academy
Pages 85-87
Book Title Compendium of effective practice in directed independent learning
Keywords E-learning; Self-directed learning; Learning models; Teaching models; Pharmacy students
Public URL
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