Fuller’s immersion in classroom experience provides new perspective

Roby Hill
January 19, 2023
Pharmacy students participating in the "Pathfinder Game" during Applied Health Systems Lab

This week, Lindsey Fuller spent some time in a few College of Pharmacy lab courses observing and helping to facilitate learning. The college’s first educational technology consultant was able to experience first-hand the energetic exchange characteristic of an MUSC pharmacy classroom. She walked away “inspired and encouraged by the teaching and active learning I witnessed!”

Here is an illustration of the MUSC experience, concentrated in two classes as seen through Lindsey’s lens:


[By Lindsey Fuller]

P3 Clinical Assessment Lab, coordinator Dr. Marc Lapointe

clinical assessment lab

With the help of other faculty members and residents, Dr. Lapointe administers OSLE assessments multiple times throughout the semester. I sat in on a few of these sessions, with Dr. Anthony DeClue and Dr. Wayne Weart, and was impressed by the students and facilitators. Seeing confident students with a deep knowledge base and apparent professionalism clearly shows that Dr. Lapointe holds his expectations high.

I also saw great teaching from facilitators, giving constructive feedback and praise to students after their sessions. Immediate feedback on their learning and assessment outcome helped students make note of mistakes and have an opportunity to ask questions. The learning and feedback interactions between students and facilitators were personalized and actionable.

I reflected on my experiences from the patient perspective. I am hopeful to encounter this level of counseling and if I do not, now I know to demand it!

In the brief time I was in the lab, I saw students:

  • prepare individually
  • ask questions
  • demonstrate knowledge
  • receive feedback, and
  • discuss how to meet greater expectations in the future.

I also saw the facilitators:

  • prepare the assessment
  • answer questions
  • ask higher-level questioning
  • encourage higher-order thinking, and
  • meet as a group to reflect on the OSLE assessment and their observations of learning.

Dr. Lapointe’s lab set up is a notable example of what effective teaching and active learning looks like. It also shows the power of faculty collaboration and teamwork within the college.


applied health systems lab pathfinder game

P2 Applied Health Systems lab, Dr. Jennifer Wisniewski

The “Pathfinder” Game

Dr. Wisniewski included me, and other facilitators, in the planning process of this game. This activity was implemented to check her students’ understanding of the principles of order verification. The goal was also to allow students to practice the content learned on order verification and allow them the opportunity to reflect and process that learning.

Gamification is a popular method to check for understanding as it provides real time data of students' learning strengths and weaknesses and is low stakes… while having fun!

While in class, students were given instructions and asked to work as a group. The game combined multiple skills and content for them to apply and practice, like utilizing drug information resources, optimizing drug therapy based on patient information, and considering drug interactions. It included fun aspects that kept them on their toes like bonuses (extra two minutes to answer a question or fun swag) and penalties (must do a silly dance every time “yes” is said or high five your teammates if the patient’s name is used).

I saw every student engaged during the game, witnessed great teamwork that encouraged dialogue, demonstrated higher order thinking and problem solving. I also saw them having a lot of fun!

After the first day of the playing the game, Dr. Wisniewski reflected and adjusted for it to run even more smoothly the next day. I am impressed with the educational risk that Dr. Wisniewski took by trying something new, and the risks that the students took by challenging themselves and putting their skills to the test!