Evaluation of a Compressed Pharmaceutical Calculations Course in First-Year Pharmacy Students
Objective: To evaluate students’ performance on summative assessments administered during a compressed-format course and again nine weeks later in an end-of-semester “Bring Back” course.
Methods: The College of Pharmacy implemented a new curriculum where a Pharmaceutical Calculations course was compressed from a traditional 15-week semester course to a 4-day immersive course delivered over two weeks. During the compressed course, 203 students completed three individual and team readiness assurance tests (iRAT/ tRAT) administered via Examsoft®. From these assessments, six questions, each with a difficulty index <0.80 were selected, revised (values and drug names) and re-administered during the “Bring-Back” course. Each question was assigned a single point for analysis. Students’ scores during the compressed course (pre) and the “Bring-Back” course (post) were analyzed using a within-subjects ANOVA in SPSS (version 25).
Results: Pre- and post-assessment scores were calculated from 203 students. Compared with pre-assessment scores, there was a statistically significant improvement in mean scores post-assessment (3.68 vs. 4.16, p<0.001). A limitation was the small number of questions allowed to be administered post-assessment.
Implications: Implications: The compressed calculations course incorporated team-based learning activities to increase student engagement and peer-to-peer teaching during didactic sessions. The purpose of the “Bring Back” course was to evaluate retention of key concepts from previously-taught courses within the semester. Overall, there was an improvement in students’ performance post-assessment, utilizing questions that were considered “difficult” based on item analysis of each pre-assessment question. However, further research with a larger number of questions administered post-assessment will improve reliability of the assessment.
Mastropietro, David; Singh-Franco, Devada; Leonard, Sean; and Dressler, Michael D. (2019). "Evaluation of a Compressed Pharmaceutical Calculations Course in First-Year Pharmacy Students." American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education 83.5, 961-.
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