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Pharmacy faculty support students in transition to online learning

Computer at Desk

Learning to be a pharmacist is a complex endeavor. Learning to be a pharmacist and adapting to unexpected virtual instruction was a challenge Drake faculty and students tackled together.

“I felt like we were true to Drake values, especially ‘All in this Together,’” said Erik Maki, an associate professor in the Drake College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. “Helping troubleshoot technology issues was more complicated remotely than when the student was right next to us in a classroom. To make it easier, all of the instructors shared their personal cell phone numbers with the students, who texted us if they encountered any issues.”

Maki was teaching in the spring 2020 semester as part of a team-based learning course with 13 other faculty members. He said collaborating with colleagues helped them deliver a better experience for their shared students.

“We had a team of instructors who could share their experiences and help facilitate the course,” Maki said. “We could also learn from each other’s experience when things went well or when we felt like we were struggling.”

Students adapted quickly and provided feedback Maki said helped improve the remote learning experience.

“Dr. Maki had a positive attitude in class, which was great especially with all of the new remote learning,” said Caroline Jones, second year doctor of pharmacy student. “I really appreciate how uplifting and positive he was in our courses, which made me even more excited to get into class and learn. It really creates an environment conducive to learning!”

When the pandemic is over, Maki is looking forward to having some of his students over to visit the bees and chickens he is raising in his backyard urban farm.

“I feel blessed to work with such wonderful people at Drake,” Maki said. “We are truly all in this together.”

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