In-class pharmacology conference: student communication and flexible delivery in an authentic learning experience


  • Mel Ziman


In 2002, a student-led in class-conference was introduced as a flexible mode of delivery for the teaching and learning of ‘Drug Metabolism’ within the Human Biology degree at Edith Cowan University. This innovation was used to teach a section of the unit curriculum in contrast to previous years when the whole unit was taught in the traditional formal lecture and tutorial style. The in-class conference provided students with the opportunity to deliver their research in the form of presentations and publications in an authentic learning environment. The author will discuss the pedagogical value of student presentations to peers for the teaching and learning of Science subjects with high factual content. Moreover, the author will demonstrate that the authentic-learning project created opportunities for science students to develop their overall ability to communicate and disseminate knowledge resulting in a statistically significant improvement in the standard of student literature reviews. Additional outcomes of this alternate teaching method include better informed, more confident students who have the ability to perform authentic, meaningful research and are equipped with important industry-related communication skills.