Category: Federal Forum Posters
Purpose: Student engagement has been at the forefront of pharmacy education recently due to evidence that suggests it helps increase student performance and knowledge. Literature has further shown that engagement and interaction specifically with instructors can help increase student performance. The purpose of this research was to identify if a course overview session with the lead instructor at the beginning of the semester could be useful for student education and lead to enhanced performance in the pharmacy curriculum. If successful this process could be beneficial to try to implement in other courses or on APPEs.
Methods: An optional individual course overview session was offered to students at the beginning of the semester in the Introduction to Pharmacy Practice II course. Students enrolled in the course had the option to email the lead instructor to setup a time to meet to discuss the objectives of the course, timeline for the course, and assessment criteria/expectations. This provided students with time to ask questions they had regarding the course and also provided an opportunity to get to know the instructor at the beginning of the semester. Final course grades of individuals who chose to participate in the session (n equals 50) were compared to individuals who did not participate in the session (n equals 60) to determine if participating in the session and engaging with the faculty member via a one-on-one session enhanced performance in the course.
Students were sent a survey at the midpoint of the semester via Survey Monkey to provide qualitative feedback on the session. The survey used a 5-point Likert scale for all 5 questions. An alpha of 0.05 and a power of 80 percent were used in the study. A t-test was utilized and a p-value of less than 0.05 represented statistical significance. To reduce the risk of selection bias ranges of final course scores were calculated and compared between groups. The University IRB approved this study.
Results: Students who chose to participate in the course overview session had a mean final course score of 87.7 percent, while students who did not participate in the course overview session had a mean final score of 85.2 percent (p equals 0.02). There were 22 students who completed the survey out of 50 eligible. Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive. One hundred percent of student respondents agreed or strongly agreed on the following topics: that the course overview session was beneficial, that the session improved their engagement in the course, that they would recommend the session be used in other courses, that the session helped motivate them to succeed, and that the session helped establish rapport with the instructor. The course overview session took on average 17 minutes to complete per student. Student final course scores ranged from C minus to A in both groups.
Conclusion: The course overview session was highly effective in the Introduction to Pharmacy Practice II course. The course overview session significantly enhanced student performance and increased student reported engagement in the course. These same principles could be applied to other areas of the curriculum including APPE rotations to potentially increase student performance as well as student engagement and rapport with preceptors.
Jason Guy– Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, University of Findlay, Findlay, OH