Objectives. To identify the prevalence of portfolio use in US pharmacy programs, common components of portfolios, and advantages of and limitations to using portfolios.
Methods. A cross-sectional electronic survey instrument was sent to experiential coordinators at US colleges and schools of pharmacy to collect data on portfolio content, methods, training and resource requirements, and benefits and challenges of portfolio use.
Results. Most colleges and schools of pharmacy (61.8%) use portfolios in experiential courses and the majority (67.1%) formally assess them, but there is wide variation regarding content and assessment. The majority of respondents used student portfolios as a formative evaluation primarily in the experiential curriculum.
Conclusions. Although most colleges and schools of pharmacy have a portfolio system in place, few are using them to fulfill accreditation requirements. Colleges and schools need to carefully examine the intended purpose of their portfolio system and follow-through with implementation and maintenance of a system that meets their goals.
portfolio; assessment; evaluation; competency achievement; pharmacy practice experiences; pharmacy education
Objective. To evaluate pharmacy students' self-assessment skills with an electronic portfolio program using mentor evaluators.
Design. First-year (P1) and second-year (P2) pharmacy students used online portfolios that required self-assessments of specific graded class assignments. Using a rubric, faculty and alumni mentors evaluated students' self-assessments and provided feedback.
Assessment. Eighty-four P1 students, 74 P2 students, and 59 mentors participated in the portfolio program during 2010-2011. Both student groups performed well overall, with only a small number of resubmissions required. P1 students showed significant improvements across semesters for 2 of the self-assessment questions; P2 students' scores did not differ significantly. The P1 scores were significantly higher than P2 scores for 3 questions during spring 2011. Mentors and students had similar levels of agreement with the extent to which students put forth their best effort on the self-assessments.
Conclusion. An electronic portfolio using mentors based inside and outside the school provided students with many opportunities to practice their self-assessment skills. This system represents a useful method of incorporating self-assessments into the curriculum that allows for feedback to be provided to the students.
portfolio; assessment; self-assessment; professional development; mentor
Portfolio learning enables students to collect evidence of their learning. Component tasks making up a portfolio can be devised that relate directly to intended learning outcomes. Reflective tasks can stimulate students to recognise their own learning needs.
Assessment of portfolios using a rating scale relating to intended learning outcomes offers high content validity.
This study evaluated a reflective portfolio used during a final-year attachment in general practice (family medicine). Students were asked to evaluate the portfolio (which used significant event analysis as a basis for reflection) as a learning tool. The validity and reliability of the portfolio as an assessment tool were also measured.
81 final-year medical students completed reflective significant event analyses as part of a portfolio created during a three-week attachment (clerkship) in general practice (family medicine). As well as two reflective significant event analyses each portfolio contained an audit and a health needs assessment.
Portfolios were marked three times; by the student's GP teacher, the course organiser and by another teacher in the university department of general practice. Inter-rater reliability between pairs of markers was calculated. A questionnaire enabled the students' experience of portfolio learning to be determined.
Benefits to learning from reflective learning were limited. Students said that they thought more about the patients they wrote up in significant event analyses but information as to the nature and effect of this was not forthcoming.
Moderate inter-rater reliability (Spearman's Rho .65) was found between pairs of departmental raters dealing with larger numbers (20 – 60) of portfolios. Inter-rater reliability of marking involving GP tutors who only marked 1 – 3 portfolios was very low.
Students rated highly their mentoring relationship with their GP teacher but found the portfolio tasks time-consuming.
The inter-rater reliability observed in this study should be viewed alongside the high validity afforded by the authenticity of the learning tasks (compared with a sample of a student's learning taken by an exam question). Validity is enhanced by the rating scale which directly connects the grade given with intended learning outcomes.
The moderate inter-rater reliability may be increased if a portfolio is completed over a longer period of time and contains more component pieces of work.
The questionnaire used in this study only accessed limited information about the effect of reflection on students' learning. Qualitative methods of evaluation would determine the students experience in greater depth. It would be useful to evaluate the effects of reflective learning after students have had more time to get used to this unfamiliar method of learning and to overcome any problems in understanding the task.
To examine the impact of implementation of the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education's (ACPE's) Standards 2007 on pharmacy students’ preparation for their first advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE).
The doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum was altered to include introductory pharmacy practice experiences (IPPE), second-year therapeutics, classroom integration of practice experiences, more biomedical sciences, an electronic portfolio system, life-long learning exercises, and additional content based on Appendix B of Standards 2007. Curricular outcomes and the assessment plan also were revised based on Standards 2007.
To evaluate the impact of these changes to the curriculum, faculty members rated 9 behaviors of students observed during the third week of their first APPE and compared their scores with those of students who were evaluated in 2004 before the curriculum had been revised. Students completing the revised curriculum performed all 9 behaviors more often and had a better average score than students evaluated in 2004.
Curricular revisions implemented to address ACPE Standards 2007 were associated with positive clinical behaviors in students beginning their experiential education.
Standards 2007; accreditation; assessment; curriculum; Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education; advanced pharmacy practice experience
Objective. To determine whether a 2-year continuing professional development (CPD) training program improved first-year (P1) and second-year (P2) pharmacy students’ ability to write SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timed) learning objectives.
Design. First-year students completed live or online CPD training, including creating portfolios and writing SMART objectives prior to their summer introductory pharmacy practice experience (IPPE). In year 2, P1 and P2 students were included. SMART learning objectives were graded and analyzed.
Assessment. On several objectives, the 2011 P1 students (n = 130) scored higher than did the P2 cohort (n = 105). In 2011, P2 students outscored their own performance in 2010. In 2011, P1 students who had been trained in online modules performed the same as did live-session trainees with respect to SMART objectives.
Conclusion. With focused online or live training, students are capable of incorporating principles of CPD by writing SMART learning objectives.
continuing professional development; learning objectives; introductory pharmacy practice experience curriculum
To implement and assess the effectiveness of a program to teach pharmacy students the importance of taking personal responsibility for their health.
The My First Patient Program was created and lectures were incorporated into an existing first-year course to introduce the concepts of health beliefs, behavior modification, stress management, substance abuse, and nutrition. Each student received a comprehensive health screening and health risk assessment which they used to develop a personal health portfolio and identify strategies to attain and/or maintain their personal health goals.
Student learning was assessed through written assignments and student reflections, follow-up surveys, and course evaluations. Students' attainment of health goals and their ability to identify their personal health status illustrated the positive impact of the program.
This program serves as a model for colleges and schools of pharmacy and for other health professions in the instruction of health promotion, disease prevention, and behavior modification.
health promotion; disease prevention; behavior change
Objectives. To design, integrate, and assess the effectiveness of an introductory pharmacy practice experience intended to redefine first-year student pharmacists’ views on aging and medication use through their work with a healthy, community-based older-adult population.
Design. All students (N = 273) completed live skills training in an 8-hour boot camp provided during orientation week. Teams were assigned an independently living senior partner, completed 10 visits and reflections, and documented health-related information using an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio).
Assessment. As determined by pre- and post-experience survey instruments, students gained significant confidence in 7 skill areas related to communication, medication interviews, involving the partner in health care, and applying patient-care skills. Student reflections, in-class presentations, and e-portfolios documented that personal attitudes toward seniors changed over time. Senior partners enjoyed mentoring and interacting with students and many experienced health improvements as a result of the interaction.
Conclusions. The model for partnering first-year student pharmacists with community-based older adults improved students’ skills and fostered their connections to pharmacist roles and growth as person-centered providers.
geriatrics; senior partner; senior mentor; introductory pharmacy practice experience
To determine whether the integration of an automated electronic clinical portfolio into clinical clerkships can improve the quality of feedback given to students on their patient write-ups and the quality of students’ write-ups.
The authors conducted a single-blinded, randomized controlled study of an electronic clinical portfolio that automatically collects all students’ clinical notes and notifies their teachers (attending and resident physicians) via e-mail. Third-year medical students were randomized to use the electronic portfolio or traditional paper means. Teachers in the portfolio group provided feedback directly on the student’s write-up using a web-based application. Teachers in the control group provided feedback directly on the student’s write-up by writing in the margins of the paper. Outcomes were teacher and student assessment of the frequency and quality of feedback on write-ups, expert assessment of the quality of student write-ups at the end of the clerkship, and participant assessment of the value of the electronic portfolio system.
Teachers reported giving more frequent and detailed feedback using the portfolio system (p = 0.01). Seventy percent of students who used the portfolio system, versus 39% of students in the control group (p = 0.001), reported receiving feedback on more than half of their write-ups. Write-ups of portfolio students were rated of similar quality to write-ups of control students. Teachers and students agreed that the system was a valuable teaching tool and easy to use.
An electronic clinical portfolio that automatically collects students’ clinical notes is associated with improved teacher feedback on write-ups and similar quality of write-ups.
portfolio; feedback; medical education
Portfolios, widely used in undergraduate and postgraduate medicine, have variable purposes, formats and success. A recent systematic review summarised factors necessary for successful portfolio introduction but there are no studies investigating the views of students inexperienced in portfolio use towards portfolio learning. This study's aim was to survey student views about a prospective Professional and Personal Development (PPD) portfolio.
This was a qualitative, focus group study. All focus groups were taped and transcribed verbatim, and anonymised. The transcripts were analysed inductively, using framework analysis.
Four focus groups were carried out with 32 undergraduate medical students naïve in portfolio use. Three themes relevant to portfolio introduction emerged. The first theme was the need for clear information and support for portfolio introduction, and anxieties about how this could be supported effectively. The second was that students had negative views about reflective learning and whether this could be taught and assessed, believing formal assessment could foster socially acceptable content. The third was that participants revealed little understanding of reflective learning and its potential benefits. Rather portfolios were seen as useful for concrete purposes (e.g., job applications) not intrinsic benefits.
Undergraduate medical students without experience of portfolios are anxious about portfolio introduction. They require support in developing reflective learning skills. Care must be taken to ensure students do not see portfolios as merely yet another assessment hurdle.
To describe and evaluate a new student orientation program designed to lay the foundations for a community of learners.
A weeklong orientation program structured as the first week of an 18-week fall semester was held for the first-professional year class. Each of the activities supported program objectives and developed elements of a community of learners.
Students' reflective portfolios, daily evaluations and final program evaluations provided evidence of development of a community of learners. Positive student observations included the use of technology, a discussion of the curriculum and experiential education, the use of reflective portfolios, and presentations from pharmacy practitioners. Students also appreciated becoming acquainted with the faculty, staff, and their peers in a non-threatening atmosphere. Some of the aspects rated as least helpful were the learning styles exercise, library tour, history of pharmacy session, and the overall length of the orientation.
A model for a new student orientation program that builds the foundations for the development of a community of learning, which is vital to preparing students to provide pharmaceutical care in interdisciplinary teams and become critical thinkers, was successfully established. This model could be implemented at other schools of pharmacy.
Portfolio-based learning is recognized in medical education. It helps students to assess themselves as per the key learning objectives and outcomes expected out of them. The faculty could also get feedback regarding individual student's progress toward learning outcomes and facilitate the students achieve the same. This article addresses the process of portfolio development and assesses from students feedbacks, if portfolio-based learning is an improvement over record-based study in community-based field studies. The results of this study shows that involving students in framing objectives, developing a mechanism for self-introspection and self-assessment by the students and a mechanism by which faculty can monitor each student's progress toward the defined objectives can significantly enhance the learnability of the students.
Portfolio; self-assessment; feedback
To design, implement, and evaluate a course on health promotion and literacy.
Course objectives such as the development of cultural competency skills, awareness of personal biases, and appreciation of differences in health beliefs among sociocultural groups were addressed using a team-based learning instructional strategy. Student learning outcomes were enhanced using readiness assessment tests (RATs), group presentations, portfolio reflections, and panel discussions.
Comparing precourse and postcourse Inventory for Assessing the Process of Cultural Competence among Healthcare Professionals (IAPCC-R) scores and portfolio responses indicated enhanced progress toward cultural competency. The Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) provided suggestions for course enhancements.
Evidence supporting enhanced cultural competency after completing the course affirms its value as we prepare pharmacy students to provide patient-centered care in a culturally diverse world.
cultural competency; health literacy; health disparities; curriculum
To determine the nature and extent of learning opportunities presented to students during a community advanced pharmacy practice experience.
Learning opportunities were determined by reviewing students' portfolios. The numbers of unique learning opportunities in which students were engaged were calculated.
While all students had ample opportunities to participate in consultations involving the assessment of new and refill prescriptions and nonprescription drugs, only 78% of students had the opportunity to engage in even 1 comprehensive pharmaceutical care consult over an 8-week period. Students' experiences in providing follow-up care, participating in a patient care project, and shadowing another healthcare professional were also limited.
Analysis of the student portfolios suggested that the learning environment did not provide students with adequate opportunities to develop pharmaceutical care competencies.
advance pharmacy practice experiences; clerkship; evaluation; community pharmacy
To implement and assess a Web-based patient care portfolio system for development of pharmaceutical care plans by students completing advanced pharmacy practice experiences (APPEs) throughout a statewide preceptor network.
Using a Web database, students in APPEs documented 6 patient cases within 5 disease state categories. Through discussion of the disease states and inclusion of patient information such as problems, desired outcomes, and interventions, a complete pharmaceutical care plan was developed for each patient.
Student interventions were compared by geographical regions to assess continuity of patient care activities by students. Additionally, students completed an evaluation of the portfolio course to provide feedback on the portfolio process. Students documented an average of 1.8 therapeutic interventions per patient case and documented interventions in all geographical regions. The majority of students indicated that the portfolio process improved their ability to develop a pharmaceutical care plan.
The Web-based patient care portfolio process assisted with documentation of compliance with Accreditation Council of Pharmacy Education (ACPE) standards and College of Pharmacy Competency Statements. Students indicated the portfolio process was beneficial in developing skills needed for creating pharmaceutical care plans.
portfolio; pharmaceutical care; advanced pharmacy practice experience; Web; experiential education
Electronic evaluation portfolios may play a role in learning and evaluation in clinical settings and may complement other traditional evaluation methods (bedside evaluations, written exams and tutor-led evaluations).
133 third-year medical students used the McGill Electronic Evaluation Portfolio (MEEP) during their one-month clerkship rotation in Geriatric Medicine between September 2002 and September 2003. Students were divided into two groups, one who received an introductory hands-on session about the electronic evaluation portfolio and one who did not. Students' marks in their portfolios were compared between both groups. Additionally, students self-evaluated their performance and received feedback using the electronic portfolio during their mandatory clerkship rotation. Students were surveyed immediately after the rotation and at the end of the clerkship year. Tutors' opinions about this method were surveyed once. Finally, the number of evaluations/month was quantified. In all surveys, Likert scales were used and were analyzed using Chi-square tests and t-tests to assess significant differences in the responses from surveyed subjects.
The introductory session had a significant effect on students' portfolio marks as well as on their comfort using the system. Both tutors and students reported positive notions about the method. Remarkably, an average (± SD) of 520 (± 70) evaluations/month was recorded with 30 (± 5) evaluations per student/month.
The MEEP showed a significant and positive effect on both students' self-evaluations and tutors' evaluations involving an important amount of self-reflection and feedback which may complement the more traditional evaluation methods.
Since 2007 a portfolio of learning has become a requirement for assessment of postgraduate family medicine training by the Colleges of Medicine of South Africa. A uniform portfolio of learning has been developed and content validity established among the eight postgraduate programmes. The aim of this study was to investigate the portfolio’s acceptability, educational impact, and perceived usefulness for assessment of competence.
Two structured questionnaires of 35 closed and open-ended questions were delivered to 53 family physician supervisors and 48 registrars who had used the portfolio. Categorical and nominal/ordinal data were analysed using simple descriptive statistics. The open-ended questions were analysed with ATLAS.ti software.
Half of registrars did not find the portfolio clear, practical or feasible. Workshops on portfolio use, learning, and supervision were supported, and brief dedicated time daily for reflection and writing. Most supervisors felt the portfolio reflected an accurate picture of learning, but just over half of registrars agreed. While the portfolio helped with reflection on learning, participants were less convinced about how it helped them plan further learning. Supervisors graded most rotations, suggesting understanding the summative aspect, while only 61% of registrars reflected on rotations, suggesting the formative aspects are not yet optimally utilised. Poor feedback, the need for protected academic time, and pressure of service delivery impacting negatively on learning.
This first introduction of a national portfolio for postgraduate training in family medicine in South Africa faces challenges similar to those in other countries. Acceptability of the portfolio relates to a clear purpose and guide, flexible format with tools available in the workplace, and appreciating the changing educational environment from university-based to national assessments. The role of the supervisor in direct observations of the registrar and dedicated educational meetings, giving feedback and support, cannot be overemphasized.
To demonstrate achievement of ability-based outcomes through a structured review of electronic student portfolios in an advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) program.
One hundred thirty-eight students produced electronic portfolios containing select work products from APPEs, including a self-assessment reflective essay that demonstrated achievement of course manual-specified ability-based outcomes.
Through portfolio submissions, all students demonstrated the achievement of ability-based outcomes for providing pharmaceutical care, evaluating the literature, and managing the medication use system with patient case reports most frequently submitted. The rubric review of self-reflective essays addressed student learning through APPEs and continuing professional development plans.
The electronic portfolio with reflective essay proved to be a useful vehicle to demonstrate achievement of ability-based outcomes.
electronic reflective portfolio; APPE evaluation; assessment rubric; ability-based outcomes; standards 2007
To develop a student focus group process for formative evaluation of the learning environment in a college of pharmacy.
Student focus groups were formed and met from fall 2002 to spring 2006. During spring 2005, student cohorts (first- through third-professional years) were surveyed and anecdotal evidence about the process was gathered from faculty members.
Student opinions about the effectiveness of the focus groups were fairly positive, with 59% to 87% agreeing that the process allowed students to communicate effectively with faculty members. The main problems identified were lack of communication between focus group members and the student body, and the lack of response by some faculty members to student concerns. Based on anecdotal evidence, faculty members agreed that the process encouraged student development but was less useful for pedagogical issues.
Focus groups can be an effective way of providing feedback to faculty members and students about the classroom learning environment if students are trained to give appropriate feedback and professors are supported in responding to student input.
formative evaluation; focus groups; assessment
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) recommends resident portfolios as 1 method for assessing competence in practice-based learning and improvement. In July 2005, when anesthesiology residents in our department were required to start a portfolio, the residents and their faculty advisors did not readily accept this new requirement. Intensive education efforts addressing the goals and importance of portfolios were undertaken. We hypothesized that these educational efforts improved acceptance of the portfolio and retrospectively audited the portfolio evaluation forms completed by faculty advisors.
Intensive education about the goals and importance of portfolios began in January 2006, including presentations at departmental conferences and one-on-one education sessions. Faculty advisors were instructed to evaluate each resident's portfolio and complete a review form. We retrospectively collected data to determine the percentage of review forms completed by faculty. The portfolio reviews also assessed the percentage of 10 required portfolio components residents had completed.
Portfolio review forms were completed by faculty advisors for 13% (5/38) of residents during the first advisor-advisee meeting in December 2005. Initiation of intensive education efforts significantly improved compliance, with review forms completed for 68% (26/38) of residents in May 2006 (P < .0001) and 95% (36/38) in December 2006 (P < .0001). Residents also significantly improved the completeness of portfolios between May and December of 2006.
Portfolios are considered a best methods technique by the ACGME for evaluation of practice-based learning and improvment. We have found that intensive education about the goals and importance of portfolios can enhance acceptance of this evaluation tool, resulting in improved compliance in completion and evaluation of portfolios.
Objective. To determine the amount and type of feedback needed to improve pharmacy students’ problem-solving skills using team-based learning (TBL) and a problem-solving rubric.
Methods. A problem-solving rubric was developed to assess the ability of pharmacy students’ to prioritize, organize, and defend the best and alternative options on TBL cases The study involved 3 groups of pharmacy students: second-year students in a cardiology class who received no feedback (control group), third-year students in an endocrinology class who received written feedback only, and third-year students in an endocrinology class who received written and verbal feedback. Students worked in groups on all TBL cases except the first and last one (beginning and end of course), which students completed independently as it served as a pretest and posttest.
Results. Significant improvements were seen in the ability of the third-year students who received verbal and written feedback to prioritize the information presented in the case and in their total score on the problem-solving rubric.
Conclusion. Providing pharmacy students with written and verbal explanations may help them improve their problem-solving skills overall. During verbal feedback, faculty members can provide more examples of how to improve and can field questions if needed.
team-based learning; problem-solving; rubrics; assessment; feedback
Assessment is such an integral part of the educational system that we rarely reflect on its value and impact. Portfolios have gained in popularity, but much attention has emphasized the end-user and portfolio assessment. Here we focus on the portfolio creator (the student) and examine whether their educational needs are met with such an assessment method. This study aims to investigate how assessment practices influence classroom performance and the learning experience of the student in a graduate education setting. Studied were 33 medical students at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University, a program utilizing a portfolio-based system. The students may elect to simultaneously enroll in a Masters program; however, these programs employ traditional letter grades. Thus creating a unique opportunity to assess 25 portfolio only (P) students and 8 portfolio and grade (PG) students concurrently taking a course that counts for both programs. Classroom performance was measured via a comprehensive evaluation where the PG students scored modestly better (median total scores, 72% P vs. 76% PG). Additionally, a survey was conducted to gain insight into student’s perspective on how assessment method impacts the learning experience. The students in the PG group (those receiving a grade) reported increased stress but greater affirmation and self-assurance regarding their knowledge and skill mastery. Incorporation of such affirmation remains a challenge for portfolio-based systems and an area for investigation and improvement.
assessment; portfolio; grading; student performance; student perspective
To implement a Learning Bridge tool to improve educational outcomes for pharmacy students as well as for preceptors and faculty members.
Pharmacy faculty members collaborated to write 9 case-based assignments that first-year pharmacy (P1) students worked with preceptors to complete while at experiential sites.
Students, faculty members, and preceptors were surveyed about their perceptions of the Learning Bridge process. As in our pilot study,1 the Learning Bridge process promoted student learning. Additionally, the Learning Bridge assignments familiarized preceptors with the school's P1 curriculum and its content. Faculty teamwork also was increased through collaborating on the assignments.
The Learning Bridge assignments provided a compelling learning environment and benefited students, preceptors, and faculty members.
learning; preceptor training; faculty; introductory pharmacy practice experience
Interactive pharmacy case studies are an essential component of the pharmacy curriculum. We recently developed an elective course at the Rangel College of Pharmacy in pharmacy case studies for second- and third-year Doctor of Pharmacy students using Second Life® (SL), an interactive three-dimensional virtual environment that simulates the real world. This course explored the use of SL for education and training in pharmacy, emphasizing a case-based approach. Virtual worlds such as SL promote inquiry-based learning and conceptual understanding, and can potentially develop problem-solving skills in pharmacy students. Students were presented ten case scenarios that primarily focused on drug safety and effective communication with patients. Avatars, representing instructors and students, reviewed case scenarios during sessions in a virtual classroom. Individually and in teams, students participated in active-learning activities modeling both the pharmacist’s and patient’s roles. Student performance and learning were assessed based on SL class participation, activities, assignments, and two formal, essay-type online exams in Blackboard 9. Student course-evaluation results indicated favorable perceptions of content and delivery. Student comments included an enhanced appreciation of practical issues in pharmacy practice, flexibility of attendance, and an increased ability to focus on course content. Excellent student participation and performance in weekly active-learning activities translated into positive performance on subsequent formal assessments. Students were actively engaged and exposed to topics pertinent to pharmacy practice that were not covered in the required pharmacy curriculum. The multiple active-learning assignments were successful in increasing students’ knowledge, and provided additional practice in building the communication skills beneficial for students preparing for experiential clinical rotations.
Second Life; virtual worlds; pharmacy case studies; computer simulation; health education; pharmacy education
To solicit student pharmacists' perceptions of testing, study strategies, and recall ability, and use of retrieval practices in metacognitive learning strategies.
A 42-item survey instrument was constructed that covered the following areas of interest: perceptions of the purpose of testing, perceptions of study strategies, perceptions of recall ability, use of retrieval practice, and demographic characteristics. The survey instrument was administered to first-, second-, and third-year doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students (N = 425) at Purdue University.
Students perceived the primary purpose of tests to be to assess the amount of material they had learned. Massed practice was a technique that they frequently used in studying for course examinations. Students did not express confidence in their ability to recall learned information once they became pharmacists. The use of retrieval practice in learning was not used by most student pharmacists, nor did students perceive retrieval practice to increase retention or learning.
Perceptions of testing and the manner in which student pharmacists engage in learning activities may not be optimal for the development of lifelong learners.
study strategies; retrieval practice; student perceptions; testing; metacognition
To evaluate the ability of third- and fourth-year pharmacy students to identify clinically significant drug-drug interactions (DDIs)
A questionnaire designed to measure DDI knowledge was disseminated to fourth-year pharmacy students in a school of pharmacy. A second questionnaire was distributed to third-year pharmacy students in 2 schools of pharmacy (schools A and B) and re-administered to students in 1 of the schools 1 year later.
Class of 2005 fourth-year pharmacy students correctly categorized an average of 52% ± 13% DDI pairs on the first questionnaire. Third-year pharmacy students at schools A and B correctly categorized an average of 61% ± 18% and 66% ± 15% of DDI pairs, respectively. The average percentage of correct responses for fourth-year students from the class of 2007 was 65% (± 17%).
Pharmacy students' ability to identify important DDIs is far from optimal, even after completing experiential requirements.