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Various interactive teaching methods and techniques are extensively used in modern higher schools. Their implementation is considered to be one of the most significant and efficient ways to improve quality of pharmaceutical professional training. Efficiency of these interactive techniques applied at the Department of Economics and Management of Pharmaceutical Business of Smolensk State Medical University has been comprehensively investigated and assessed. Obtained results are presented in the paper, as well as students’ survey data as consumers of educational services. Fifth year full-time students were involved into the study. Students’ awareness on potentials and significance of applied interactive teaching methods, as well as their interest in innovative forms to gain professional knowledge comprised 93.3%. Potentials of interactive techniques to teach students to deal with a diversity of real life practical professional tasks and problems are particularly emphasized in the study (86.7% students).

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Nowadays, significance of interactive methods of teaching is more clearly realized by university communities due to active demand for highly qualified medical and pharmaceutical professionals. Both high professional competence and skills in innovative teaching techniques are of great importance as well as university teachers’ abilities to provide their proper planning and efficient implementation into practice. First, interactive techniques can help students to absorb professional material more efficiently as well as develop both students’ professional thinking and abilities to solve real life professional problems. Secondly, they ultimately contribute to efficient training of highly qualified specialists. Effectiveness of the interactive methods is sure to depend on moral and ethical features of a teacher him\herself as well as his\her communicative skills. University teachers act as «regulators» in the dialogue instruction during which interaction of students and teachers, as well as in the students’ group occurs [1, 3, 6]. Curricula and didactic plans developed at the Department of Management and Economics in Pharmaceutical Business of the Faculty of Pharmacy of Smolensk State Medical University have been analyzed. The subjects analyzed were «Management and Economics of Pharmaceutical Business», «Medical and Pharmaceutical Merchandising», «Conflict Management in Pharmacies» and «Economy and Epidemiology in Pharmacy». Our questionnaire for students consisted of 12 questions. The survey involved 5th year full time students of the Faculty of Pharmacy. Interactive teaching techniques are widely used to train highly qualified specialists in the field of Pharmacy. Interactive methods of training are being successfully implemented at the Department of Management and Economics of Pharmaceutical Business of Smolensk State Medical University. Students’ survey revealed that all pharmaceutical students (100% of respondents) realize clearly that active interaction of teachers and students as well all students in the group is the most effective method in the educational process, and 93.3% respondents were sure that the interaction helped them to absorption professional material. 60% pharmaceutical students confirmed efficient application of interactive teaching methods in the course of some subjects mentioned above. To achieve educational objectives, the following interactive methods are used by our staff: “Round Table (discussion)”, business games, case-study and work in small groups, team discussion, as well as «Take a Position», «Decision Tree» and «Pops-Formula» techniques. Students’ survey has allowed assessing their awareness on existing interactive methods to gain professional knowledge and their benefits. At the same time 73.3% respondents stated that they were familiar with the methods of discussion and business games, 60% respondents attributed case-study to efficient interactive methods, another 46.7% -consider that «Decision tree» also an efficient technique to study the subjects. Debates is a really efficient teaching method when 5th year full-time students master theoretical and practical aspects of management and economy of pharmaceutical business. Debates significantly contribute to the development of students’ communicative skills, as well as their professional and interpersonal skills required to manage pharmacies in general, and in conflict management in particular. Competences in leaning and presentation of one’s own opinion are also efficiently developed and improved [1, 3, 6]. Our study disclosed that 66.7% respondents considered that rational and efficient application of debates helps them to gain basic theoretical and practical aspects of pharmaceutical management.» Cases including conflict situations and necessity of their management contribute to conversion of debates into disputes. Working knowledge and skills obtained in the course «Conflict Management in Pharmaceutical Companies” develops competences to manage various conflict situations at work. This fact was stated by 80% respondents. Moreover, if a discussed topic will be of particular interest to students, the discussion goes beyond the class time and becomes a «free floating» and “take home message”. Debates, as an interactive teaching method are also implemented in the course «Medical and Pharmaceutical Merchandising». They are of particular efficiency when students study «Marketing Research in Medical and Pharmaceutical Business.» Benefits of debates when students study the aspects were confirmed by 53.3% respondents. For example, in the study of competitiveness of products, it is debates that help to evaluate commercial success of a pharmaceutical enterprise in promotion of new pharmaceutical goods. When training results are summed up, teacher should analyze and evaluates the course of the debates, focusing an opportunity of various approaches and options. Training is considered to be efficient if any constructive and rational solutions are formulated. Our study revealed that 33.3% respondents considered that it was «Pops-Formula technique» that helped them to argue efficiently when they started any debates. The technique consists of four main elements: argumentation (A), case (C), and effect (E). Students’ points of view reflect their position, for example, choice of methods and ways to motivate the staff depending on the stages of the life cycle of the pharmacy organization. Then students present their arguments to speak in favor of their position justifying it. Since different stages of the development of a pharmaceutical organization has various types of incentives staff (tangible and intangible), as well as varying degrees of interest in the manager (head) in this practice. The next step on specific facts can be presented by the students competently illustrate the argument. As a result of the position of arguing students come to constructive conclusions of cognitive and practical importance. In order to solve complex problems, develop creativeness, form specific working knowledge and skills, the training can involve games, which enable students to assess and accept different positions and options in solution professional problems. Business games are used to simulate real situations in the practice of pharmacy, asking substantive context of professional activity in the field of pharmacy in the learning process [1, 2, 3, 8]. Nature and value of business game as an interactive method of teaching, is properly assessed by 50% respondents. Business games can be applied in a diversity of situations. For example, for diagnosis of interpersonal and internal group relations among students can use a sociometric technique developed by J. More- no. Business game «Climate Group» helps to acquire practical experience to form positive social and psychological environment in pharmaceutical organizations. Implementation of this game is of particular importance as the psychological atmosphere within the team directly affects quality of the educational process and perception of professional material. This sociometric measurement helps to assess students’ attitude to joint activities including identification of the informal leader. Business game «Group Climate» promotes efficient absorption of professional knowledge: construction of sociometric matrix and composition of sociogram, calculation of sociometric indexes. Case-studies and business games in the course of medical and pharmaceutical merchandising can be beneficially used to give students comprehensive knowledge of properties of various medical and pharmaceutical products and their proper applications; achievements of pharmaceutical and medical industry; study peculiarities of formation of demand for medical and pharmaceutical products, on the beneficial trends in development of pharmaceutical market; business competition and competitive practices. For example, such business game as «Assortment policy at a pharmaceutical organization» allows students consolidating their knowledge of analysis of the range of medical and pharmaceutical products. Playing the game, students are divided into two teams; each team independently collects information about the range of drugs of certain pharmaceutical groups in two pharmaceutical organizations recommended by the teacher. Team members expect key indicators range; the results are displayed graphically in the form of a presentation to members of the other team. The data obtained are analyzed; each group offering a method to improve the range of pharmaceutical products. Business games can develop students’ competences associated with efficient organization of working activities, delegation of responsibilities within the team; they also develop students’ responsibility and decision-making skills. According to the majority of respondents (56.7%) business games as an interactive teaching method is really efficient to cope with the following disciplines: «Theory and Practice of Pharmaceutical Management» and «Conflict Management in Pharmaceutical Organizations». 36.7% respondents find the method efficient when learning the basics of merchandising, market research and analysis of medical and pharmaceutical products. Case-study has been proved to be an effective method to master basics of pharmacoepidemiology and pharmacoeconomics. Situational analysis illustrates common situations in organization of pharmaceutical activities, develops students’ analytical thinking and motivates them to debate. When students plan pharmacoeconomic studies, conduct himself/ herself-presentation as a good specialist in pharmaceutical area, they learn to use various methods of pharmacoeconomic analysis, calculate costs of a particular disease, and choose the least expensive method of patients’ treatment. Case-study helps them to understand better characteristics of prescription drugs dispensed by pharmaceutical organizations. Students demonstrate their abilities to validate pharmaceutical prescriptions and identify infringement in dispensing drugs as well as attribute drugs to certain drug groups and act in various professional situations. Case-study method used to master medical and pharmaceutical merchandising helps students to carry out the acceptance of medical and pharmaceutical products in a proper way, to attribute them to certain groups of product, assess qualitative and quantitative characteristics of the products in accordance with the normative and technical documentation, and provide logistical safety of the products. Properly designed case can clearly describe professional situations being a united information system that allows understanding the situation and consolidating acquired theoretical knowledge, motivating students to speak with- out fear, even an erroneous point of view [5, 7]. It can be beneficially used to prepare students for the real work in a pharmacy according to 46.7% of respondents. “Take the position» technique is also used at the Department of Management and Economics of Pharmacy of Smolensk Medical University. Information connected with strict regulations concerning combined codeine painkillers (drugs recently to be subject-quantifiable and released on form № 148-1 / y-88) was of particular interest to study. Discussion of the problem revealed two diametrically opposite positions, majority of the students arguing against newly implemented requirements. Students’ points of view usually turn out to differ on the choice of options to manage a conflict within the team of a pharmaceutical company. It should be noted that any member is free to change the position under the influence of convincing arguments of the other side. Such teaching method as «Decision Tree» allows mastering the skills to choose optimal variant of the decision or action in a particular situation. Benefits of the methods are positively assessed by 83.3% respondents. Construction of this «Decision Tree» gives students a good opportunity to assess advantages and disadvantages of various options from a practical point of view. For example, in the course of “Management and Economics of Pharmaceutical Business” «Decision Tree» helps students to assess their own style of management and results of personnel policy related to company’s reorganization, involving staff reduction in cri- sis periods. Our survey has provided an opportunity to identify students’ opinion concerning potentials and efficiency pf various interactive teaching methods to train highly qualified specialists in the field of pharmacy. The vast majority of respondents (76.7) have been determined to realize efficiency and benefits of active interaction of students and teachers in the course of training. Conclusions Assessment of various teaching techniques used to study basics of management and economics of pharmaceutical business taught at Smolensk State Medical University, as well as exploring opinions of consumers of the education services has revealed an essential role of interactive teaching methods to study both theory and practical pharmaceutical aspects as well as to develop skills in solution of real life professional problems. Furthermore, the use of the interactive techniques stimulates teachers to have individual approach to every student, cultivates teachers’ self-perfection and their skills to use innovative in educational process.

About the authors

A. V Krikova

Smolensk State Medical University

Email: anna.krikova@mail.ru

T. V Anashchenkova

Smolensk State Medical University

Email: anaschenkova.ta@mail.ru

N. A Pavlyutchenkova

Smolensk State Medical University

Email: paramonovanadezhda@gmail.com

T. V Nikolaeva

Smolensk State Medical University

Email: tanya.ntv@gmail.com

V. M Zaytseva

Smolensk State Medical University

Email: verazaytseva@yandex.ru


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Copyright (c) 2016 Krikova A.V., Anashchenkova T.V., Pavlyutchenkova N.A., Nikolaeva T.V., Zaytseva V.M.

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