Evaluation of a Compressed Pharmaceutical Calculations Course in First-Year Pharmacy Students

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Conference Proceeding

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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.




Poster presented at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois, July 2019.

Abstract is published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education: Volume 83, Issue 5, Article 7654: https://www.ajpe.org/doi/full/10.5688/ajpe7654

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