Is taking Intro To Pharmacology online a bad idea?

  1. I'm about to register for this class and there is a online class and a class on campus at a horrible time. I'm nervous about taking this class online because I've heard it's really hard.
  2. Visit zeppelinqueen profile page

    About zeppelinqueen

    Joined: May '12; Posts: 2


  3. by   Esme12
    Welcome to AN! The largest oline nursing community!

    Pharmacology is very hard. It depends on your learning style. Is there availability for you to ask a profesor if you need help? We are always available to help here as well. Good luck!
  4. by   IndyElmer
    It depends on your learning style and the specific instructor/university. Here are a few things to consider:

    • Lecture Audio or "read-it" only? Some university online courses include audio lectures that you can listen to at home (and often include accompanying PowerPoint presentations) while other courses you simply get a reading list (and maybe a set of PowerPoint slides) and you have to read it all yourself. If you normally go to lecture and study from lecture notes, using your text just to clarify anything that confused you, then you might not loike the "read-it" style of online course as often it takes longer to read & take notes on the material than if you had attended lecture.
    • Closed-book or open-book exams - does your university/professor require you to come to campus to take exams in a computer lab where you won't be able to use any study materials or are you allowed to take exams at home using any materials to help you find answers? Closed-book/on-campus exams will force/encourage you to learn the material whether you like it or not. Open-book/home exams may or may not require you to truly learn the material. It's not unusual for the home/open-book exams to be formatted in a way that as long as you can read quickly, you wouldn't have to learn the material. (On the other hand, it IS possible for an open book exam to be formatted such that you would be very sorry if you didn't truly learn the info beforehand, but that was not my experience nor was it the experience of friends at other schools.)

      I know that classmates who took the online version of pharmacology had EVERY intention of learning all of the material. They know that it's important for their future careers and they are normally very good, self-motivated students. However, the course moved quickly (with 3-4 chapters each week and MANY drugs to learn each week) and when time crunches came, the open-book pharmacology class was always the one to get short-changed and they ended up not learning nearly as much as the on-campus students who had closed-book exams that FORCED them to not neglect their pharm class. Sure, they still got a good grade, but nearly all said they wished they had been able to take the on-campus/closed-book class. (I suspect if they had been required to come to school to take their (closed-book) exam some time during the normal 3-day exam period, they would have learned just as much as the on-campus folks.)
    • Other opportunities for online interaction/feedback? - some online courses have additional assignments/requirements that offer the opportunity to interact more with classmates and the instructor in a way that may really enhance your learning or it might be well-intentioned "busy work" that just takes away from your time for memorizing all of that drug info. It really varies by the particular instructor involved (and often with the specific course too).

    If you're able to speak with others who have taken the on-campus vs. online versions, that's probably the best way to help you decide.
  5. by   CDEWannaBe
    Look for professor reviews on

    Some teachers are great online and the quality of the class is as good, or better than in the classroom. I took Chemistry and was worried it wouldn't be as good as in the classroom, but think I actually learned more than I would have because you can't slack off or get distracted in an online class.

    If you decide it looks okay, email the professor and ask for the syllabus and and tips he/she can give you for succeeding.
  6. by   shay&lynn
    i just finished taking pharm in a class room setting.

    i 100% agree with IndyElmer, you need to take into consideration what type of learner you are...

    also, do you have the discipline to sit down and do the work on your own?

    Esme12 , stated that Pharm is very hard...I must agree...there are a lot of drugs that we learned in 16 weeks...A LOT! although you mention 'intro to Pharm' ... so not sure what all that covers.

    CDEWannaBe had stated using 'rate my professor' ... which i highly recommend. i use that all of the time. you may want to ask around to see if anyone at your college has taken the class and get their input;.

    i myself prefer to go to the classroom that way if i have any questions, i know that the instructor is there and that i can ask my question right then and there and get an answer. also, my instructor was very good at pointing out all of the important stuff we needed to know so we knew what to put our focus on.

    best of luck with whatever you decide!!
  7. by   IndyElmer
    I would add one other thing... all of the people that I know who took the online course thought they had the discipline to follow-through, but most ended up finding that they didn't have quite enough for how fast and how "dry" pharm was.

    I found anatomy to be relatable because it was about learning all of the "parts" that are "hidden" inside. I found physiology relatable because it was often about learning processes of how things work and could be learned in more of a "story" (process) format that often made one fact flow from another.

    I found pharmacology to be (mostly) about rote memorization, especially lists. Lists of side effects/adverse effects. Lists of nursing interventions. Lists of patient teachings. Lists of precautions. Lists of contraindications. Lists of interactions (food & drug). There was SOME interrelatedness in pharm (e.g. adverse effects are often causes by the drug doing "too much" of what was intended, or nursing interventions/considerations being intended to prevent/minimize adverse effects (or the consequences of the adverse effects) and so on). Overall though, I found it to be a lot more "dry" to learn and was glad I was in an on-campus course or I'm sure it would have been easy to let pharm be my "if-I-can't-do-it-all" class to let lag.