Learning Principles, Objectives, Standards



The Program is focused on the development of the following ability-based outcomes in its participants:

  1. 1.Provide direct patient care as a member of interprofessional teams

  2. 2.Manage and improving medication-use systems

  3. 3.Exercise leadership

  4. 4.Exhibit ability to manage one’s own practice of pharmacy

  5. 5.Provide medication- and practice-related education

  6. 6.Demonstrate project management skills


The Program facilitates a variety of learning strategies with the following underlying principles:

  1. Evidence-based principles of adult learning will be employed wherever possible

  2. Contemporary concepts of experiential clinical learning will be applied wherever applicable.

In particular, the principles of learning from the Developmental Perspective and the Apprenticeship Perspective as elucidated by Daniel Pratt [in Pratt D, ed.  Five perspectives on teaching in adult & higher education. 1998.] are operationalized wherever possible.  Briefly, these include:

Principle 1:Prior knowledge is key to learning.

  1. connecting the information to what you already know

  2. new knowledge is built onto existing knowledge

  3. Corollary:  The less you know about something, the less you can take in.

  4. ACTION:  prepare for experiences by bringing yourself up to the expected level of background knowledge.

Principle 2:Prior knowledge must be activated.

  1. Use common sense and common experiences to make connections between the old and new material

  2. ACTION:  Prereadings, pretests, quick review of material already covered at the start of an experience

Principle 3:Learners must be actively involved in constructing personal meaning (i.e., understanding).  The links are more important than the elements.

  1. Learning occurs by giving meaning to knowledge and linking it to what you already know.

  2. Patient-orientied discussions allow learners to use their own language to give personal meaning and linkage to knowledge.

  3. Learning and understanding occur only when learners organize information into a structured whole (DEEP learning).

  4. The key is learning differently (i.e., DEEPLY) vs. knowing more.

  5. ACTION: Worry less about “knowing everything” and more about knowing the important issues deeply.

Principle 4:Making more, and stronger links requires time.

  1. A.K.A. “Elaborating your knowledge base”.  Associated with better performance, better problem solving, better application of knowledge.

  2. Teaching more may result in learning less.

  3. ACTION: Clinical discussions provide time to do this.  Personal study should focus on this as well.

Principle 5:Context provides important cues for storing and retrieving information.

  1. Learners should be taught in the context in which they will eventually use their knowledge.

  2. ACTION: Cases, cases, cases.

Prinicple 6:A. Intrinsic motivation fosters DEEP approaches to learning.

  1. Focus on what is signified, relate concepts to practice, organize and distinguish evidence from argument, organize and structure content, have internal emphasis driven by personal and immediate reasons for learning.

  2. B. Extrinsic motivation and anxiety are associated with SURFACE approaches to learning.

  3. Focus on signs, discrete elements, memorize information for exams, unreflectively associate facts and concepts, fail to distinguish new from old information, principles from evidence, treat task as an external imposition, have an external emphasis driven by assessments, knowledge cut off from reality.

  4. ACTION:  Limit prereadings to 1 or 2 review articles per topic.  Have appropriate amount of learning for given amount of time.  Intrinsic motivation is fostered by patient-oriented approach (makes material relevant).

Principle 7:Teaching is geared toward making the teacher increasingly unnecessary. 

  1. Learner autonomy is the goal, not dependence on a “guru” for ability to practice effectively.

  2. Accomplished through fostering in students:

  3. Knowledge retrieval skills

  4. Personal goal setting

  5. Time management skills

  6. Question-asking behavior

  7. Critical thinking

  8. Self-monitoring and self-evaluation


The Program is subject to the standards of the Canadian Hospital Pharmacy Residency Board (CHPRB) and the BC Pharmacy Practice Residency Committee.

  1. Standards of BC Pharmacy Practice Residency Programs

  2. CHPRB 2010 Accreditation Standards


Three main tools for competency and learning documentation are used in the program: ePortfolios, one45 Evaluations, periodic collaborative Competency Self-Assessment, and Procedure Logs.

Last updated April 9, 2014