Student Learning Preference: The Impact of Horizontal Alignment Comparing Second and Third Year Cohorts Undertaking a Pharmaceutical Analysis Course in the School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Australia
MetadataShow full item record
Background: The current teaching and learning approach in student education adopted by higher education institutions is through transformation of the students’ learning experience to encourage deep approaches, enabling them to attain more sophisticated beliefs about learning and knowledge. This era is very exciting but also challenging as universities have been subject to increasing demands for quality in teaching and learning. Pharmacy schools around Australia are no exception with constant demands from accreditors to better prepare the students for the workforce. The 3rd year Pharmaceutical Analysis course introduces students to a range of pharmaceutical analysis and spectroscopic techniques important to the hospital, community, and industrial pharmacy settings. Students found this course challenging and it was deemed more appropriate to be offered during second year to better horizontally align with other courses offered in the school. We therefore set out to analyse and compare student preferences between 2nd and 3rd year cohorts when they were offered the same course at the same time. Method: This study was conducted at the School of Pharmacy, Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus, Southport, Australia. Ethical approval was granted by the Griffith University Human Ethics Committee (PHM14/13/HREC). Pharmaceutical Analysis is a semester (13 week) long 3rd year course (3026PHM). In 2013 the course was offered for the first time for 2nd year students, the course code being changed to 2008PHM. Therefore, for the academic year 2013, the course was delivered concurrently to 2nd and 3rd year students. Both cohorts sat in the same lectures, tutorials and laboratories and undertook the same assessment items. Student preference was measured in terms of the student evaluation of course (SEC) and student evaluation of teaching (SET). Both surveys offered the students the chance to rate and comment on the course quality and teaching team anonymously. These surveys are based on the five-point Likert scale (Strongly disagree, disagree, neutral, agree, strongly agree) and include six and five questions respectively. Results: A total of 90 and 67 students enrolled in 3026PHM and 2008PHM respectively in the academic year 2013. Overall 32 student (36%) from 3026PHM and 28 students (42%) from 2008PHM responded to the surveys. There were statistically significant differences in almost all questions with students from 2008PHM showing more positive responses. In particular, 2nd year students were more positive than 3rd year students in terms of engagement with the course (3.5±1.04 vs 2.6±1.11, p < 0.05), reporting that the course was effective in their learning (3.9±0.9 vs 2.8±1.18, p < 0.05) and in overall satisfaction with the quality of the course (3.9±0.85 vs 2.7±1.18, p < 0.05). Conclusion: Pharmacy students are generally positive about laboratory-based courses but these tend to be run in the early stages of the program with experiential placements preferred by students in the later stages of the program. In this example, the evidence clearly showed that there was a misalignment between Pharmaceutical Analyses and other courses in the program. A simple strategy of moving the course to ensure better horizontal alignment at the second year level appears to have resulted in a significant improvement in student engagement and satisfaction.
10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference Proceedings
© 2016 IATED. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this conference please refer to the conference’s website or contact the author(s).
Medicine, Nursing and Health Curriculum and Pedagogy