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Peer Review

Dosage Calculations

by Clare Billman


Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Feb 12, 2012 by Health Sciences
Overview: This resource includes a series of tutorials on: 1) conversions, 2) abbreviations, 3) rounding, 4) fractions, 5) the metric system, 6) doing the math, and 7) syringes and labels. It includes practice questions. Many of the tutorials are also downloadable video podcasts that can be used with an iPod. The learning resource could be used by any healthcare professional student who is learning to administer medications or enrolled in an entry level pharmacology class. The learning resource includes games and practice questions.
Type of Material: The learning resource is classified as tutorials.
Recommended Uses: This site can be used by individuals to review key information about that will assist them to calculate drug dosages and administer medications.
Technical Requirements: The technical requirements include a computer with an Internet connection, a web browser, Flash, and iTunes. The user needs to subscribe to iTunes to access the podcasts.
Identify Major Learning Goals: There are no learning goals are listed at the website. The authors clearly state that this is not a course, which may be why no learning objectives are presented. Implied learning goals are that after reviewing the tutorials, the learner would be able to: -Demonstrate basic mastery of converting between household, apothecary, and metric systems -Translate abbreviations commonly (and not so commonly) seen in healthcare -Demonstrate appropriate rounding of numbers as related to dosages -Calculated dosages accurately with fractions -Calculate dosages accurately with the metric system -Calculate IV drip rates using dimensional analysis methods -Draw up correct dosage of medications with a syringe
Target Student Population: The content is introductory, and aimed at healthcare students who are learning to administer medications. The content is appropriate for all prelicensure healthcare students in all healthcare fields who are responsible for dosage calculations.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: A basic pharmacology course and a pharmacology math course would be very helpful as prerequisites or co-requisites.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: There is a great deal of information in this presentation. Short audio clips and written information and instructions are provided for each 'module'. A quiz or graded activity is provided in each module after the information is reviewed. The quiz or graded activity can be somewhat challenging! The modules build on one another.
Concerns: The material is of high quality but in places targeted specifically at a US audience. The self-test component would be improved with more quiz material.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: If an individual takes the time to go through all the contents of each module, an excellent review will have been completed. This learning resource is an excellent method to learn dosage calculation concepts and reinforce learning by reviewing the concepts. Learners can complete the tutorials as often as necessary, either totally or by just reviewing specific sections. The ability to self-test is a great feature of the tutorials.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: Navigation is quite easy in the tutorial. A list of buttons are provided along the right side of the screen. They are categorized into logical sections (e.g., conversions, abbreviations, etc.). Each logical section could be considered a 'module' with specific activities provided in each module.The ability to download the tutorials from iTunes to a mobile device is an excellent feature of this learning resource.
Concerns: No concerns.

Other Issues and Comments: Some of tutorials are aimed at a North American audience. For example, the conversions section focuses on conversions between old measures such as yards, pounds, ounces etc, and metric measures such as metres, kilograms and millilitres. Countries that are fully metric do not need conversion information such as this. Also the information on conversions is different to that of other countries. For example, in Australia a tablespoon is equivalent to 20 mL, however, in this resource it is stated as 15 mL. The spelling is American also, i.e. liter instead of litre as it spelled elsewhere. The tutorial on abbreviations also refers students to a Joint Commissions Annual Report that is specific to the US. The abbreviations section includes an overview of many abbreviations; most of which are no longer approved for use in healthcare.