Student Pharmacist Engagement and Learning Outcomes in a Three-Week Becoming a Pharmacist Course
What is Becoming a Pharmacist (BaP)?
BaP is a three week course at the beginning of our new curriculum. During this 14 day experience, students have no other courses. The focus is on transitioning to professional education, becoming familiar with the disciplines that will be studied in the curriculum and developing a sense of pride in the profession. Much like a professional conference, students are exposed to a variety of speakers, but they also participate in workshops and carefully designed events that help them appreciate the pharmacist’s role. For instance, students travel to communities within the state, touring practices, speaking with local health care providers and learning about the health needs of the area. The course is delivered on two campuses with strong coordination between the leads on both campuses to ensure equivalent experiences.
How has BaP evolved since the course began three years ago?
The main goals and themes for the course have remained largely unchanged, but we have been able to use student and faculty feedback to fine-tune some of the activities and assignments. We know the things that will always be rated highly by the students, like the networking with pharmacists. As we are starting to plan for the fourth year, we can really focus on elements that aren’t getting the highest reviews. Now that the teaching team has been through the course a few times, I think we are better able to set expectations and direction for the students.
What scholarship are you working on?
BaP is unique not only for the activities and the placement within the curriculum, but also because of the intentional integrated course design and feedback assessment methods that the course has used. For instance, we have used weekly “pulse checks” to monitor student engagement. We have also used Fink’s Taxonomy of Significant Learning to monitor reactions to the course and make changes. We are hoping to disseminate this work to others. We are in the early stages of writing posters and papers — stay tuned!