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ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 95-106

Using scientific inquiry to increase knowledge of vaccine theory and infectious diseases


1 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University; Center of Excellence for Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity, Johnson City, TN, USA
2 Department of Pharmacy Practice, Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA
3 Center of Excellence for Inflammation, Infectious Disease and Immunity; Department of Pharmacy Practice, Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN, USA

Correspondence Address:
Zachary F Walls
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University, P. O. Box 70594, Johnson City, TN 37614
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.188743

Background: The aim of this study was to design and evaluate a laboratory activity based on scientific inquiry to educate first-year pharmacy students in the U.S. about vaccination theory and the attributes of common pathogens. Methods: The laboratory activity had two principal sections. The first consisted of an interactive game during which students rolled a die to determine outcomes based on a set of pre-determined criteria. In the second section, students generated and tested hypotheses about vaccine theory using a computer simulation that modeled disease transmission within a large population. In each section students were asked to evaluate epidemiological data and make inferences pertinent to vaccination effectiveness. Results: Mean scores on a knowledge-based assessment given immediately before and immediately after the activity increased from 46% to 71%. Discussion: A laboratory activity designed to stimulate scientific inquiry within pharmacy students enabled them to increase their knowledge of common vaccines and infectious diseases.


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