Developing Discipline-Specific Study Skills for Pharmacy Students Learning Anatomy and Physiology

Nicole B. Reinke, Victoria Llewelyn, Nerida Firth


Most new students in anatomy and physiology have minimal prior learning in either discipline, and lack appropriate study strategies for optimal learning in these disciplines. The purpose of this two-year study was to develop both learning strategies and materials to assist level one Bachelor of Pharmacy students at James Cook University in their learning of anatomy and physiology. The first year of this study introduced discipline-specific study skills sessions, incorporating active learning techniques and key anatomy and physiology concepts. Additional study aids, including a Libguide and a suite of interactive online activities were introduced in the second year of the study to support and encourage learning. Students completed a questionnaire which collected information about their demographics, subject grades, and perceptions of learning in this subject. Average academic achievement increased by approximately 11% over the two years. It is likely that the development of discipline-specific skills combined with the supply of interactive learning resources contributed to improved academic outcomes.

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