Objective. To investigate users’ initial perceptions of and potential applications for the Educating Pharmacy Students and Pharmacists to Improve Quality (EPIQ) program, a 5-module education program designed to educate pharmacists and pharmacy students about quality improvement in pharmacy practice.
Methods. The 5-module EPIQ program was distributed to pharmacy faculty members, pharmacy practitioners, and other health professionals across the country upon request. A 6-item survey instrument was sent to the first 97 people who requested the program.
Results. Twenty-seven (56%) of the 55 respondents had reviewed the EPIQ program and 22 (82%) intended to use some or all of the content to teach about quality improvement or patient safety primarily in pharmacy management and medication safety courses.
Conclusion. Initial perceptions of the EPIQ program were positive; however, further evaluation is needed after more extensive implementation of the program in pharmacy colleges and schools and other settings.
medication safety; qualitative research; science of safety; education; pharmacy curriculum
Accreditation standards require that colleges and schools of pharmacy establish and conduct ongoing assessment of their programs. A case study of the University of Kentucky College of Pharmacy's experience developing and implementing an assessment program is described. A historical perspective of the School, implementation of an office of education, and steps taken to establish a college culture of assessment are discussed. Successful aspects of the program, including student course/instructor evaluations and curriculum committee review of individual courses, are outlined. Finally, roadblocks encountered while establishing the assessment program and lessons learned that may benefit other schools currently in the process of developing an assessment program are discussed.
assessment; course assessment; student assessment; culture
Current hospital and health-system participation in and the future capacity for experiential education for pharmacy students was investigated.
An online survey of ASHP members identified as U.S. pharmacy directors was conducted to assess their current and future involvement in partnering with colleges and schools to meet the experiential education requirements for doctor of pharmacy students and the current status of the student learning experiences. Questionnaire items examined the factors on which expanded involvement in experiential education would depend, the nature of support provided by colleges and schools, the types of experiences available for students, respondents' perceptions of factors influencing the quality of experiential education, the value of experiential education to the sites, respondents' challenges and concerns about experiential education, and respondents' current capacity and projections for introductory and advanced experiences through 2012.
Data from 549 respondents were analyzed. Most respondents indicated that they had conducted advanced experiences for their 2007 graduates and anticipated that they would continue to do so. Among the top challenges identified regarding advanced experiences were concerns about time to serve and be trained as preceptors and a lack of standardization and coordination among colleges and schools. Hospitals forecasting their future capacity to accommodate students indicated that their projections were highly dependent on the number of pharmacists at their hospitals. Many respondents noted that their capacity projections were tied to their ability to expand clinical services at their hospitals.
A survey of pharmacy directors suggested an ability of U.S. hospitals to conduct advanced experiential education opportunities for pharmacy students through 2012 and to expand introductory experiences.
curriculum; data collection; education; pharmaceutical; pharmacy; institutional; hospital; pharmacy
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 incorporate games in classroom teaching to encourage student interest and participation in a small group pharmacy therapeutics case studies class.
Using a television quiz show and classic board game format, students and the instructor developed games to discuss patient care plans. At the end of the course, a questionnaire was administered to assess students' attitudes and perception of using game format in the class and whether this teaching method was useful in reinforcing therapeutic knowledge.
The majority of the students felt that games were beneficial in their learning process. The game format also resulted in higher student participation scores.
The game-format approach to learning aroused student interest, enhanced participation, and improved their participation grades. Although the game format of leaning is an effective way of actively engaging students in higher leaning, determining how these games improve test scores will require further assessment.
pharmacotherapy; learning; game format; case study
To assess prepharmacy students' perceptions of the professional role of pharmacists prior to enrollment in pharmacy school, and the association between perceptions and student demographics.
A 58-question survey instrument regarding pharmacists' roles, work experiences, and demographics was developed and administered to students (N = 127) enrolled in an organic chemistry laboratory experience at Purdue University.
Theory of planned behavior subscales (attitude, subjective norm, perceived behavioral control) were influenced by students' grade point average, gender, and application to pharmacy school, while unpaid work experience affected professional commitment. Students evaluated work experience related to their pharmacy studies more positively than non-pharmacy-related areas in the theory of planned behavior subscales.
Evaluating students' perceptions may be beneficial in helping pharmacy educators design their curricula, as well as allowing admissions committees to select the most qualified students to promote the development of positive perceptions toward the professional role of pharmacists. Grade point average (GPA) and application to pharmacy school were associated with significant differences for the theory of planned behavior and professional commitment subscales.
Perceptions; professional role; theory of planned behavior; prepharmacy; pharmacist
Objective. To implement a service learning program in nutrition and assess its impact on pharmacy students' communication skills and professionalism and elementary school children's knowledge of nutrition concepts.
Design. First-year pharmacy students completed 4 nutrition education sessions led by a registered dietitian and then presented the material to pre-selected classes of at-risk elementary school children in kindergarten through third grade.
Assessment. Ninety-six pharmacy students completed the pre- and post-experience survey and more than 90% rated achievement of course objectives as strongly agree or agree. Four hundred sixty-eight elementary students completed a pre- and posttest on nutrition knowledge. Significant improvement was found in all grade levels on the knowledge test.
Conclusion. This service learning experience was beneficial for the elementary school children and pharmacy students, enhancing the knowledge of both groups and establishing a positive relationship between the pharmacy school and the community.
nutrition; service learning; community; pediatric
Objective. To assess the impact of an audience response system (ARS) on student engagement at a multi-campus college of pharmacy.
Methods. An online questionnaire was designed and administered to measure the impact of an ARS on student engagement, distance education, projected use, and satisfaction among pharmacy students for a course delivered across 3 sites via synchronous video transmission.
Results. Students reported that use of the ARS made it easier to participate (85.3%) and helped them to focus (75.7%) in classes when the lecturer was physically at a different site. They also valued that the ARS allowed them to respond anonymously (93.2%). A minority of students indicated that use of the ARS was distracting (11.8%).
Conclusions. Implementation of an ARS was associated with positive student perceptions of engagement and may improve feelings of connectedness among students at schools with multiple sites. Use of ARSs could also represent a cognitive intercession strategy to help reduce communication apprehension.
audience response system; clicker; distance education; student engagement
Approximately 38% of US pharmacy schools provide immunization education and training to pharmacy students as part of their core curricula. These deficiencies in immunization education and training may contribute to low immunization rates for some groups of people, particularly hard-to-reach consumers and those with misconceptions about vaccinations. In this paper, we call upon all pharmacy schools to mandate immunization education and training as part of their core curricula, not just as an elective course. In doing so, we encourage pharmacy schools to adopt the Pharmacy-Based Immunization Delivery program developed by the American Pharmacists Association. We recognize that implementation of these recommendations will require sufficient resources and that it will take time to change the curricula in colleges and schools of pharmacy.
immunization; vaccine; health care barriers; disease prevention; curriculum
Objective. To determine prospective student pharmacists’ interest in a rural pharmacy health curriculum.
Methods. All applicants who were selected to interview for fall 2011 enrollment at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy were invited to participate in a Web-based survey. Questions addressed participants’ willingness to participate in a rural health pharmacy curriculum, interest in practicing in a rural area, and beliefs regarding patient access to healthcare in rural areas.
Results. Of the 250 prospective student pharmacists invited to participate, 91% completed the survey instrument. Respondents agreed that populations living in rural areas may have different health needs, and students were generally interested in a rural pharmacy health curriculum.
Conclusions. An online survey of prospective student pharmacists was an effective way to assess their interest in a rural pharmacy program being considered by the study institution. Location of the rural program at a satellite campus and availability of housing were identified as factors that could limit enrollment.
Rural health; pharmacy curriculum; underserved; manpower; survey
To determine the content and extent, design, and relative importance of patient assessment courses in the professional pharmacy curriculum.
A 20-item questionnaire was developed to gather information pertaining to patient assessment. Pharmacy practice department chairs were mailed a letter with an Internet link to an online survey instrument.
Ninety-six percent of the programs indicated that patient assessment skills were taught. Forty-five percent of respondents indicated their course was a standalone course. The most common topics covered in assessment courses were pulmonary examination, vital signs, and cardiovascular assessment.
There is significant variability in the topics covered, depth of content, types of instruction, and evaluation methods used in patient assessment courses in US colleges of pharmacy. This survey was an initial assessment of what is being done regarding education of student pharmacists on patient assessment.
curriculum design; laboratory instruction; patient assessment; physical assessment
Objective. To assess pharmacy faculty trainers’ perceptions of a Web-based train-the-trainer program for PharmGenEd, a shared pharmacogenomics curriculum for health professional students and licensed clinicians.
Methods. Pharmacy faculty trainers (n=58, representing 39 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and 1 school from Canada) participated in a train-the-trainer program consisting of up to 9 pharmacogenomics topics. Posttraining survey instruments assessed faculty trainers’ perceptions toward the training program and the likelihood of their adopting the educational materials as part of their institution’s curriculum.
Results. Fifty-five percent of faculty trainers reported no prior formal training in pharmacogenomics. There was a significant increase (p<0.001) in self-reported ability to teach pharmacogenomics to pharmacy students after participants viewed the webinar and obtained educational materials. Nearly two-thirds (64%) indicated at least a “good” likelihood of adopting PharmGenEd materials at their institution during the upcoming academic year. More than two-thirds of respondents indicated interest in using PharmGenEd materials to train licensed health professionals, and 95% indicated that they would recommend the program to other pharmacy faculty members.
Conclusion. As a result of participating in the train-the-trainer program in pharmacogenomics, faculty member participants gained confidence in teaching pharmacogenomics to their students, and the majority of participants indicated a high likelihood of adopting the program at their institution. A Web-based train-the-trainer model appears to be a feasible strategy for training pharmacy faculty in pharmacogenomics.
pharmacogenomics; curriculum; pharmacy colleges and schools; faculty development; train-the-trainer
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
To evaluate the learning outcomes of an online, distance education course in statistics for doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students.
Lectures for the course were produced by the course faculty, converted into digital format (mp4), placed within the college's course management system, and video streamed to students. The course required students to interact with the course content using workbooks and simulations and with the instructor via VoIP examination reviews.
A quasi-experimental study involving 4 groups of students was conducted. Second-year (P2) students were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 groups and asked to complete a precourse survey that contained: demographic information only (group 1); demographic items plus 10 items assessing statistics knowledge (group 2); or demographic items plus 20 items assessing statistics knowledge (group 3). At the end of the course, all students were given the same 20 items on the final examination (postcourse survey instrument). A control group consisting of randomly selected first-year (P1) students completed the 20-item precourse survey instrument. P1 and P2 students' scores on the 20-item precourse survey were not significantly different. Students who had taken a statistics course before entering the PharmD program scored higher on the precourse survey. P2 students in all 3 study groups had similar scores on the final examination (postcourse survey) (p = 0.43).
Students can be taught the basic principles of statistics and how to use statistics to read the pharmacy and medical literature entirely online. This study has significant implications for how classes traditionally taught in the classroom might be taught at a distance using innovative instructional technologies.
distance education; statistics; online learning
Objective. To identify opinions about pharmacy graduates’ science of safety (SoS) educational needs.
Methods. Semi-structured interviews were performed with 25 educators and researchers at US pharmacy colleges and schools and 5 individuals from associations engaged in drug safety-related issues.
Results. Themes that emerged from the 30 interviews with key informants included: pharmacists should meet minimum SoS requirements; medication safety education is inconsistent; and barriers exist to improving SoS curricula. Student deficiencies noted included the lack of: student acceptance of a “culture of safety”: ability to effectively communicate verbally about medication safety; knowledge of the drug development process; and quality improvement skills. Key informants did not agree on how to address these gaps.
Conclusions. While educators, researchers, and other leaders in drug safety-related issues thought that US colleges and schools of pharmacy covered portions of SoS well, there were perceived deficiencies. Minimum standards should be set to assist with curricular adoption of SoS.
medication safety; patient safety pharmacy education; science of safety; education
To compare the perceptions of students and clinical instructors regarding helpful clinical instructor characteristics.
Design and Setting:
We developed a questionnaire containing helpful clinical instructor characteristics for facilitating student learning from a review of the medical and allied health clinical education literature. Respondents rated clinical instructor characteristics from 1 (among the least helpful) to 10 (among the most helpful). Respondents also identified the overall 10 most helpful and 10 least helpful characteristics.
A total of 206 undergraduate students and 46 clinical instructors in the National Athletic Trainers' Association District 4 athletic training education programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs responded to the survey.
We computed individual-item and subgroup mean scores for students, clinical instructors, and combined students and instructors. Pearson product moment correlations were computed to evaluate the level of agreement between students and instructors. Correlations were also computed to evaluate the level of agreement between the open-ended responses and the Likert-scale responses.
Agreement was high between the students' and the clinical instructors' ratings of individual items. Agreement was also high between individual-item means and the directed, open-ended 10 most helpful and 10 least helpful clinical instructor characteristics. Modeling professional behavior was considered the most helpful subgroup of clinical instructor characteristics. Integration of knowledge and research into clinical education was considered the least helpful subgroup of clinical instructor characteristics.
Clinical instructors should model professional behavior to best facilitate student learning. Integration of research into clinical education may need more emphasis.
clinical education; clinical skills; teaching and learning
To compare student and faculty perceptions of the delivery and achievement of professional competencies in a doctor of pharmacy program in order to provide data for both accountability and curricular improvement purposes.
A survey instrument was designed based on current learning theory, and 76 specific competency statements generated from mission and goal statements of The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy and the Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education. This instrument was administered to PharmD program students and faculty.
The number of competencies by program year that are delivered in the curriculum, the percent of students and faculty reporting individual competency delivery and achievement, and differences between student and faculty perceptions of competency delivery and achievement are reported.
The faculty and student opinions provided an in-depth view of curricular outcomes. Gathering perception data from faculty and students about the delivery and achievement of competencies in a PharmD program can be used to both meet accreditation requirements (accountability) and to improve the curriculum (improvement).
outcomes assessment; assessment; survey research; curriculum reform; competency
This paper provides baseline information on integrating the science of safety into the professional degree curriculum at colleges and schools of pharmacy. A multi-method examination was conducted that included a literature review, key informant interviews of 30 individuals, and in-depth case studies of 5 colleges and schools of pharmacy. Educators believe that they are devoting adequate time to science of safety topics and doing a good job teaching students to identify, understand, report, manage, and communicate medication risk. Areas perceived to be in need of improvement include educating pharmacy students about the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) role in product safety, how to work with the FDA in post-marketing surveillance and other FDA safety initiatives, teaching students methods to improve safety, and educating students to practice in interprofessional teams. The report makes 10 recommendations to help pharmacy school graduates be more effective in protecting patients from preventable drug-related problems.
safety; curriculum; pharmacy education; FDA; quality
Objective. To compare the science of safety (SoS) topic coverage and associated student competencies in the experiential education curricula of colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States and Taiwan.
Methods. The experiential education director, assistant director, or coordinator at a random sample of 34 US colleges and schools of pharmacy and all 7 Taiwan schools of pharmacy were interviewed and then asked to complete an Internet-based survey instrument.
Results. Faculty members in both countries perceived that experiential curricula were focused on the postmarketing phase of the SoS, and that there is a need for the pharmacy experiential curricula to be standardized in order to fill SoS coverage gaps. Inter-country differences in experiential SoS coverage were noted in topics included for safety biomarkers that signal potential for drug-induced problems and pharmacogenomics.
Conclusions. Experiential SoS topic coverage and student ability gaps were perceived within and between US and Taiwan colleges and schools of pharmacy.
science of safety; experiential education; survey research; international
Objective. To assess pharmacy students’ perceptions of and attitudes towards the use of peer assessment within a drug literature evaluation course.
Methods. A 15-item, electronic survey instrument was sent to 158 second-year pharmacy students enrolled in a 2-credit required literature evaluation course at the Purdue University College of Pharmacy.
Results. One hundred fifty-two (96.2%) responses were received. Approximately 95% of students agreed that they had the necessary skills to assess their peers and 91.8% agreed that their peers possessed these skills as well. More students agreed they were comfortable receiving feedback from peers (95.7%) than agreed they were comfortable providing feedback to peers (80%). The majority of students (91.9%) agreed that peer assessment was a skill they will use in their career as a pharmacist.
Conclusion. Students were more comfortable receiving feedback from peers than providing peer assessment. This skill is used by pharmacists throughout their career; therefore, students should become familiar and comfortable with the peer assessment process.
peer assessment; assessment; peer evaluation; pharmacy students; attitudes
The objective of this study was to examine possible associations between students' self-reported behaviors and opinions towards academic dishonesty, and their attitudes towards curriculum, assessment, and teaching within the pharmacy program.
A questionnaire was developed and distributed to undergraduate (pre-licensure) students at 4 schools of pharmacy in Canada, including students enrolled in the international pharmacy graduate program.
More than 80% of respondents indicated they had participated in one or more of the act of academic dishonesty described in the questionnaire. A weak to moderate correlation was found between students' attitudes towards pharmacy education and their self-reported behaviors related to academic dishonesty.
This study confirmed previous findings suggesting widespread academic dishonesty as well as a hierarchy of values with respect to students' perceptions regarding severity and importance of academic dishonesty. Despite methodological limitations inherent in examining academic dishonesty, there is a definite need to continue to examine this important issue. While this study indicated only a moderate correlation between attitudes towards curriculum and dishonest behaviors, the problem of academic misconduct is multifactorial and will require ongoing study.
academic dishonesty; plagiarism; pharmacy education; attitudes; curriculum
To determine the extent of pharmacoeconomics education at US pharmacy colleges and schools in 2007.
An e-mail survey was developed and sent to pharmacoeconomics instructors at all US colleges of pharmacy.
Of the 90 colleges and schools of pharmacy that completed the survey, 7 colleges and schools did not currently have someone teaching pharmacoeconomics (eg, new school or looking for instructor). For the 83 colleges and schools that had an instructor who taught pharmacoeconomics, 69 covered pharmacoeconomic-related topics in a required course only; 5, in an elective course only; and 9, in both a required and elective course. The number of hours of pharmacoeconomic-related topics presented in required courses ranged from 1 to 48 hours (mean = 21 ± 14; median = 19).
Pharmacoeconomics education courses are offered at the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy. There was a wide range of hours devoted to pharmacoeconomic-related topics and the topics covered in these colleges and schools varied. Although the majority of US colleges and schools of pharmacy offer pharmacoeconomics courses, official guidelines are needed for the specific aspects and topics that should be covered in the classroom.
To document teaching evaluation practices in colleges and schools of pharmacy.
A 51-item questionnaire was developed based on the instrument used in a previous study with modifications made to address changes in pharmacy education. An online survey service was used to distribute the electronic questionnaire to the deans of 98 colleges and schools of pharmacy in the United States.
Completed surveys were received from 89 colleges and schools of pharmacy. All colleges/schools administered student evaluations of classroom and experiential teaching. Faculty peer evaluation of classroom teaching was used by 66% of colleges/schools. Use of other evaluation methods had increased over the previous decade, including use of formalized self-appraisal of teaching, review of teaching portfolios, interviews with samples of students, and review by teaching experts. While the majority (55%) of colleges/schools administered classroom teaching evaluations at or near the conclusion of a course, 38% administered them at the midpoint and/or conclusion of a faculty member's teaching within a team-taught course. Completion of an online evaluation form was the most common method used for evaluation of classroom (54%) and experiential teaching (72%).
Teaching evaluation methods used in colleges and schools of pharmacy expanded from 1996 to 2007 to include more evaluation of experiential teaching, review by peers, formalized self-appraisal of teaching, review of teaching portfolios, interviews with samples of students, review by teaching experts, and evaluation by alumni. Procedures for conducting student evaluations of teaching have adapted to address changes in curriculum delivery and technology.
teaching; evaluation; assessment; survey
To demonstrate a curriculum mapping technique and its use in program evaluation and assessment, as well as to provide specific recommendations for potential uses in pharmacy education.
This study employed a descriptive cross-sectional study design based on a learning outcomes document and several existing student and curricular data sets.
The population consisted of 209 PharmD students at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy (UACOP) during the 2004-2005 academic year and mapped 31 of the 34 required didactic courses in the curriculum. There was concordance between student and faculty member ranking of domain coverage in their respective curricular maps.
The agreement between the student and faculty graphical curriculum maps on the order of the ranking of the relative emphasis of each domain suggests concordance between the intended/delivered and received curriculums. This study demonstrated a curriculum mapping methodology that can be used to both make sense and use of existing data in curricular evaluation.
curriculum evaluation; curriculum mapping; assessment; curriculum
Objective. To develop and assess the impact of an elective course (HealthWISE) on student pharmacists’ skills in communication and health promotion and elementary school students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward science.
Design. Three colleges and schools of pharmacy collaborated to develop a 1-credit elective course that used online and classroom teaching and learning techniques to prepare student pharmacists to teach science in elementary school classrooms. Student pharmacists delivered 6 science lessons to elementary students over the course of 2 months.
Assessment. In weekly journal reflections and a final paper, student pharmacists reported improved communication and health promotion skills. Elementary teachers reported they were satisfied with student pharmacists’ performance in the classroom. On pretest and posttest evaluations, elementary students demonstrated increased science knowledge and enhanced enthusiasm for science following the lessons taught by student pharmacists.
Conclusions. The HealthWISE elective course provided positive benefit for student pharmacists, elementary school teachers, and elementary students.
service-learning; communication skills; health promotion; STEM education