A Story about Pharmatopia
Let me tell you about our interactive simulation called Pharmatopia. It's an online learning platform where students experience the process of making tablets. I would love to share the story of Pharmatopia and how it came into being, because we think the journey is as interesting as the end product.
It's true that necessity is the mother of invention and, as pharmacists and scientists, we love a challenge.
Before the creation of Pharmatopia, our students had a good grasp of active ingredients thanks to traditional teaching methods such as lectures and tutorials. And they demonstrated a clear understanding of tablets' physical properties, such as hardness and solubility. But, the relationship between the various excipients that give tablets different physical properties was a difficult concept for most students to comprehend.
We had one tabletting machine and 200 students. On top of that, safety regulations had tightened so that teachers were the only ones allowed operate the machine. This further removed students from having a hands-on approach to tablet making. We needed a creative solution for students to learn better!
Our student learning objectives were clear: to demonstrate how ingredients in the tablet affect its properties, and to explain the tablet making process.
To engage our students and improve their learning, we wanted an active learning approach. We also wanted a realistic environment where students could formulate and make their own tablets, and where each person had a unique tableting problem to solve.
After extensive research into different learning options, we decided to develop an online solution, which we called Pharmatopia. Being online, it could be accessed from anywhere in the university,. or the world for that matter.
So now we had decided on a path, it was time to start building Pharmatopia. We did extensive research into games and simulations, collected our data, photos, videos, and contacted some online gaming specialists. We talked, they talked, we all listened, until BINGO! Pharmatopia was formed. We felt proud of what we had achieved!
Thanks to Pharmatopia our students now have intimate, first-hand knowledge of tabletting and they seem to really engage with it. For us, Pharmatopia solves our problem. It's a huge win for both students and teachers. It's cost-effective too as the online teaching expenses are small, and the improvements in learning are large.
Since the launch of Pharmatopia, other lecturers have shared their stories with us and we've developed many other modules. Now we've done all the hard work, we're keen to share our expertise to solve the challenges your students are facing.
To develop your own Pharmatopia module, all you need is an idea.