Online Instruction Increases Pharmacy Students' Knowledge, Confidence

Published Online: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Online modules used alongside traditional pharmacy education can increase pharmacy students’ confidence and application of skills when interacting with patients, according to a study published in the May 2012 edition of the American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education.

The researchers designed 20 online modules to be used by pharmacy students at the University of Missouri-Kansas City taking introductory classes at 2 different sites with inconsistent delivery of course content. Although progress through the modules was selfpaced, students were expected to spend at least 2 hours per week completing them in order to prepare to use the knowledge and skills in practice.

Of the 20 modules, 18 included pre-and post-module quizzes to track students’ knowledge and allow instructors to determine whether supplemental instruction was necessary. The 2 modules that did not include a pre- or post-module quiz were designed to prepare students to conduct a medical history and physical, and to conduct a multi-disciplinary patient interview. The efficacy of these modules was evaluated at the practice sites. Students were also asked to evaluate the modules through an anonymous online survey, and responded to pre- and post-course questionnaires to gauge their confidence levels.

Although matriculation rates remained constant after implementing the online modules, the researchers reported that students were able to apply the information from the modules to patient interactions. In particular, student confidence improved in all areas from course entry to course completion, the researchers found.

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