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Introducing a flipped classroom in a pharmacology course

11 March 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 5



Flipped classroom pedagogy has been shown to improve nursing students' academic performance.


The study aimed to determine the effect of a flipped classroom approach on students' pharmacology assessment scores in a school of nursing in Karachi, Pakistan.


A retrospective chart review was performed. The pharmacology test scores of the BSc nursing cohort of 2020, when flipped classroom pedagogy was used, was compared with those of the BSc nursing cohort of 2019, where traditional pedagogy was employed. Students' summative evaluation for the course and their verbal feedback were analysed.


The median continuous assessment test score of the 2019 cohort was 35 (interquartile range (IQR) 32–38), while that of the 2020 cohort was 38 (IQR 35–41). The difference in the score was statistically significant (P<0.001).


The study gives an insight into a relatively novel pedagogy that was found to improve pharmacology knowledge test scores among nursing students.

Nursing students consider pharmacology a challenging subject and they find it difficult to implement learnt concepts in clinical practice (Alton, 2016; El-Banna et al, 2017; Njie-Carr et al, 2017).

Their major struggle with pharmacology is to understand the link between theoretical knowledge and clinical practice and how they integrate (Manias and Bullock, 2002; Hanson, 2016). Often, students consider the scientific principles of pharmacology (pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics) and the application of knowledge in nursing practice (patient assessment and medication preparation) as separate (Manias and Bullock, 2002). This might reduce their ability to apply theoretical concepts to patient care.

To provide safe, competent patient care regarding medications management, a thorough understanding of pharmacology knowledge is required (Sulosaari et al, 2015).

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