Evaluation of computerized medicinal chemistry case study modules as tools to enhance student learning and clinical problem-solving skills

Victoria F. Roche, Marlene J. Aitken, S. William Zito

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20 Scopus citations


This national controlled study assesses the impact of computerized case studies that emphasize medicinal chemistry content on pharmacy students' ability to learn and apply chemical information and principles to solve complex therapeutic problems. Eighty-six student volunteers from five schools or colleges of pharmacy were assigned to Control and Experimental groups. There was no significant difference between these study groups with respect to all personal and academic characteristics measured except the extent to which they enjoyed the study of medicinal chemistry. Pre- and posttest case study essays were administered to all participants before and after the Experimental group worked through the computerized cases. These essays were scored in a blinded fashion by faculty coordinators at each participating institution, and the mean difference in score for seven performance criteria computed. Any difference in score between the control and experimental populations was attributed to the influence of the computerized medicinal chemistry case study modules. Statistical analysis documented that the performance difference exhibited by Experimental group students was significantly more positive than the Control group on four of the seven performance criteria, specifically: (i) identifying relevant therapeutic problems; (ii) conducting thorough and mechanistic structure-activity relationship (SAR) analyses of the drug product choices provided; (iii) evaluating SAR findings in light of patient needs and desired therapeutic outcomes; and (iv) solving patient-specific therapeutic problems. Formal evaluation of the case study modules by the Experimental group shows that students enjoy using them, find them helpful and relevant to their classroom studies, and believe they reinforce the importance of chemistry to the contemporary practice of pharmacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-295
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of pharmaceutical education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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