Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Pharmacology through play: using Lego® to revise core concepts for undergraduates

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-06-28, 16:06 authored by Brian KirbyBrian Kirby, Teresa PawlikowskaTeresa Pawlikowska

Background: Pharmacology, while critical knowledge for healthcare professionals, is often viewed by students as dry and difficult to understand. We sought to examine the student acceptability of a Lego®-based learning session, in an attempt to improve pharmacology learning.

Methods: In line with constructivist theories, students were facilitated to build, in small groups, their own Lego® shape to represent an area of core pharmacology and to use this to explain the concept to other students (e.g. agonistreceptor interactions). The validated Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) was used to gauge students’ ideas on the session. Multiple choice questions were used before and after the session to evaluate knowledge.

Results: Most students were positive regarding the session, finding it enjoyable, relevant for their learning and even recommending it be used to explore more complex areas of pharmacology. In addition, there was a significant increase in the MCQ scores following the session.

Conclusions: This study used constructivist theory to develop a novel teaching intervention to create a more student-centred, active learning environment. This effective low-cost method could be applied to other teaching programmes to enhance student learning.



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Published Citation

Kirby B, Pawlikowska T. Pharmacology through play: using Lego® to revise core concepts for undergraduates. MedEdPublish. 2019;8(3)52.

Publication Date

14 November 2019


  • Health Professions Education Centre
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Health Professions Education
  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders


Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)


  • Published Version (Version of Record)