Visit to a Drugstore
Anna Matthews https://openlab.citytech.cuny.edu/members/amatthews/
Activity Description: Provide a brief description of the activity
This assignment is focused on place-based learning as the activity happens outside of class. It is part of DEN 2315 course, Oral Pharmacology, taken by our second year students in a 5-week Summer session. Full description for students can be found here: Visit to a Drugstore Assignment 2015
Learning Goals: What do you aim to achieve with this activity?
1. to enhance classroom learning by observing the availability and selection of herbal and nutritional supplements, and vitamins/minerals in a drugstore or supermarket of students’ choice;
2. to work individually or in groups of 2-4, depending on the students’ preference, and learn to work in teams;
3. to investigate the claims listed on the package of the selected supplement and find information from independent academic or professional sources;
4. to explain possible adverse effects, drug interactions, and effects on dental/periodontal conditions and process of dental hygiene care;
5. to share the findings, including pictures from the visit to the drugstore, references, and personal impressions with classmates on OpenLab.
Timing: At what point in the lesson or semester do you use this activity? How much classroom time do you devote to it? How much out-of-class time is expected?
this is the 3rd of the four OpenLab written assignments and it is due at the end of week 3 of our Summer session.
Logistics: What preparation is needed for this activity? What instructions do you give students? Is the activity low-stakes, high-stakes, or something else?
as a place-based assignment, this activity requires extra time and some additional travel from students, but because they can select the drugstore to visit and choose to either work individually or in groups, it hasn’t presented any difficulties.
High-Impact Educational Practices: Which of these practices based on George Kuh’s High Impact Educational Practices (and other innovative approaches) does this activity incorporate? Choose all that apply.
Collaborative assignments and projects, Open Digital Pedagogy (the OpenLab), Wrriting-intensive projects/assignments, Place-Based Learning
Assessment: How do you assess this activity? What assessment measures do you use? Do you use a VALUE rubric? If not, how did you develop your rubric? Is your course part of the college-wide general education assessment initiative?
this assignment is 5 points of the students’ final grade in DEN2315. I did not use the VALUE rubric but evaluated the students’ work using a simple Grading rubric, which I created myself based on the examples from Bean’s “Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking and Active Learning in the Classroom” (2011). Although reading and commenting on each others’ posts was not graded, I strongly encouraged it, and many students did reflect on information shared in group. The post authors, however, were responsible to answer any questions I or the classmates asked and to provide additional information when necessary.
Reflection: How well did this activity work in your classroom? Would you repeat it? Why or why not? What challenges did you encounter, and how did you address them? What, if anything, would you change? What did students seem to enjoy about the activity?
this is my favorite assignment that I created and started using in 2014 and the students share with me that it’s their favorite as well. Visiting a drugstore for a specific purpose can be overwhelming due to the variety of available supplements, their brands, and dosages, and my goal is to let the students experience this and become aware of how our patients who don’t have background information that we know, and perhaps don’t have access to reliable and trustworthy sources of information, might feel in a similar situation. Many students describe this assignment as an eye-opening experience and share that they learn very much from it.
Here are some of the students’ quotes from this year’s posts:
“This assignment made me realize just how many conditions one drug can treat, as well as just how much side effects may occur with the use of these drugs. It really goes to show just how complex the field of pharmacology really is, and just how much there is still to learn.“
“This exercise helped me learn that before I buy such things it is important to do my own research. Trusting the words on a bottle is simply not enough!”
“With all that we have learned in class and my own research I have done, I have decided to stop taking vitamin supplements all together. This assignment has opened my eyes even more and I rather get my vitamin intakes from real food sources.”
I intend to continue using this place-based activity in the coming years and i hope my students will continue to learn from this experience and enjoy the trip!
Additional Information: Please share any additional comments and further documentation of the activity – e.g. assignment instructions, rubrics, examples of student work, etc. These could be in the form of PDF or Word files, links to posts or files on the OpenLab, etc.