The LINF noted that Stahl has focused on the complex mechanism of psychiatric drug and disease interactions, and has managed to develop teaching materials that present the essential concept of psychopharmacology and psychiatry in a simple visual form.
Combining graphics, animation and multimedia presentation, Stahl developed course content designed so that medical students can visualize a concept perceptually in the minds eye, prior to grasping it conceptually with data and facts.
One of the most significant barriers for a postgraduate trainee to learn the neuroscience and psychopharmacology of psychiatry is the complexity of the mechanisms of action for both drugs and diseases in the brain, Stahl said. Trainees are in a better position to use drug therapies rationally if they know how they work and why they work, not just the dose and side effects that happen when they work.
Although most training is via lecture and reading, Stahl noted that most adults are predominantly visual learners. To help trainees visualize various disease and drug concepts, he developed teaching materials that include icons and animation. In addition, he designed a Powerpoint multimedia presentation that included case-based video vignettes, decision-tree analysis of cases, and cartoons of brain functioning and drug action.
To provide interactivity and repetition, Stahl designed a system of audience response keypads. Students were presented a pre-test prior to a lecture, then a post-test to gauge learning success.