Category: Fellows Posters
Opportunities, choice architecture and reflection practices are important features in education theory and are integrated into pharmacy education. Professional programs now have more options for engagement in courses including live attendance and participation with groups or self-directed study.
This is an elective course that introduces the Biopharmaceutical Industry as an alternative career pathway for pharmacists. This course integrates live, activity-driven, multi-disciplinary learning environments with 20 PharmD fellows, from 20 different functional areas. The course used team-based engagement for both individual and group-based learning outcomes and evaluated student perceptions on five determinants of class structure (course policy, participation, speakers, content, extra-credit), attendance, engagement and interest in the biopharmaceutical industry. Course content and learning activities were co-developed by faculty and fellows. Fellows led each topic session, presented representative cases, problems or scenarios, and followed up with group-learning activities and discussions. During these discussions, students were prompted to give their individual opinions and comments on the current topic. Attendance, participation, and extra-credit activities were built-in and measured during each session. Students self-evaluated the influence of determinants on course attendance and participation using a survey tool with a 5-item Likert scale. Distributions were reviewed and tested to evaluate effects on attendance and participation outcomes.
Twenty-six students were enrolled in the 10-week elective (2018, 2019) that was co-coordinated by faculty and fellows. Attendance was 99%, with 100% participation at every session. Of all extra-credit opportunities provided during the course, 55% were taken. Overall, students were twice as likely to engage in extra-credit after week four as a result of group-acclimation/ice-breaking effects. No specific domain (course policy, participation, speakers, content, extra-credit) was associated with the high levels of attendance and engagement. Self-evaluated motivation to attend and participate in this course was higher than other courses in the pharmacy curriculum (84.6% vs 73.3%, p=0.003). Level of interest for pharmaceutical industry positions was rated higher after 10-weeks of participation (88.5% vs. 73.3%, p=0.001). Qualitative analysis of narrative found two important determinants that encouraged attendance and engagement including, 1) specific interests about functional areas or fellow experience with cross-functional areas (53.8%, n=14) and 2) effects of quiz, attendance and daily participation policy on academic standing (46.2%, n=12).
The course framework in this elective resulted in high-attendance and engagement related to a combination of content of interest and course structure that influenced attendance and live participation. Class frameworks incorporating multiple and complimentary determinants of interest are necessary to accommodate the range of individual preferences, while increasing overall motivation and maintaining engagement in the Biopharmaceutical Industry as a curricular topic.