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Assessing Students' Satisfaction with a Redesigned Pharmacology Course Series.

  • Author(s): Brandl, Katharina
  • Schneid, Stephen D
  • Tsunoda, Shirley M
  • Awdishu, Linda
  • et al.

Published Web Location

https://doi.org/10.5688/ajpe6971
Abstract

Objective. To describe the revision of a pharmacology course series taught over three quarters within a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) curriculum and assess changes in students' attitudes toward and performance after the revision. Methods. Based in part on students' dissatisfaction regarding a pharmacology course series, a course director was hired and tasked with teaching a major portion of the course content, rewriting course examinations, and facilitating active learning in the course series. Course evaluations and examination scores of students who completed the course series after the implementation of the redesigned curriculum (classes of 2015 and 2016) were assessed and compared with those of students who completed the course before the revisions were made (classes of 2013 and 2014). Results. Qualitative analysis of second-year pharmacy student evaluations identified a lack of integration and coordination within the pharmacology course sequence. Poor examination quality and the absence of active teaching methods were other frequently described shortcomings of the pharmacology curriculum. Course evaluations dramatically improved after shortcomings were addressed and students' performance in the subsequent therapeutics course also increased significantly. Conclusion. Adding additional structure to and oversight for a pharmacology course series by adding a course director improved student satisfaction with the course and improved performance in the subsequent therapeutics course. This study highlights the importance of a well-designed pharmacology curriculum for continued success in core courses in the PharmD curriculum.

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