No Debate Here: Debate-Style Journal Clubs Are Value-Added Teaching Tools

Recent research co-authored by Drs. Blake Johnson, Linda Logan, Andrew Darley, Rebecca Stone, Susan Smith, Sharmon Osae, Misha Watts, and Lindsey Welch, published in the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education (AJPE), discusses the utility of debate-style journal clubs over traditional, lecture-style journal clubs as teaching tools in health professional education. Students who participated in debate-style journal clubs expressed an increased interest in the subject matter being debated, perceived improvement in literature evaluation skills, and a greater ability to craft and defend arguments. While the jury is still out on whether the format improves knowledge acquisition and validated performance outcomes, debate-style journal clubs excel in their flexibility and adaptability to most learning environments and are broadly favored by audiences, faculty, and students alike, says the authors.

The message to interested faculty? Consider incorporating debate-style journal clubs into teaching when appropriate and feasible—the benefits outweigh reported drawbacks. To student organizations who have hosted journal clubs previously – this upcoming year may be a great time to embrace and test out a new, debate-centered format for journal club meetings!

The lead author for this research was Dr. Blake Johnson, Clinical Assistant Professor.

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