Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Multiple Rubric-Based Assessments of Student Case Presentations

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Multiple Rubric-Based Assessments of Student Case Presentations

Article excerpt

Objectives. To evaluate a rubric-based method of assessing pharmacy students' case presentations in the recitation component of a therapeutics course.

Methods. A rubric was developed to assess knowledge, skills, and professional behavior. The rubric was used for instructor, student peer, and student self-assessment of case presentations. Rubric-based composite scores were compared to the previous dichotomous checklist-based scores.

Results. Rubric-based instructor scores were significantly lower and had a broader score distribution than those resulting from the checklist method. Spring 2007 rubric-based composite scores from instructors and peers were significantly lower than those from the pilot study results, but self-assessment composite scores were not significantly different.

Conclusions. Successful development and implementation of a grading rubric facilitated evaluation of knowledge, skills, and professional behavior from the viewpoints of instructor, peer, and self in a didactic course.

Key words: rubric, pharmacy, peer assessment, self-assessment, assessment


The Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) Standards 2007 encourage the multidimensional assessment of knowledge, skills, and behaviors. (1) While knowledge and skills are the focus of our assessment efforts in the didactic coursework, the evaluation of professional behavior has been lacking. The recitation component of a Therapeutics I course offered an ideal environment for formally assessing each of the 3 dimensions because of its small group setting and emphasis on the application of material presented in the didactic component of the course. A method of multidimensional assessment was developed that

would provide students with an opportunity to reflect upon and provide feedback regarding their own performances and that of their peers.

We describe a pilot study and implementation of a grading rubric that facilitates assessment of student case presentations from 3 sources: instructors, peers, and self. The objectives of the pilot study were to (1) determine the difference between checklist and rubric-based instructor scores; (2) determine the difference between composite instructor, peer, and self-assessments using the rubric; and (3) determine the difference between instructor, peer, and self-assessments for each dimension (knowledge, skills, and behavior) of the rubric. We also describe our experience with implementation of the rubric as the formal grading method in the subsequent academic year.


Approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences to conduct the study. A waiver of written informed consent was granted and students indicated consent by participating in the study. All second year (P2) pharmacy students who were enrolled in the spring 2006 Therapeutics I course were invited to participate.

Recitation is a weekly 2-hour practical case-based portion of the Therapeutics I course for P2 pharmacy students at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Pharmacy, Little Rock. It is facilitated by pharmacy residents and fellows who have clinical instructor appointments with the College of Pharmacy. In spring 2006, students were assigned to 1 of 6 sections, which were further divided into 4 small groups of 3-4 students each. During the first hour of recitation, students worked in small groups to review therapy recommendations for the case and prepare presentations; instructors provided guidance during this hour. All students received the same 4 cases each week and each was expected to prepare for all cases before the recitation session. Cases closely parallel the lectures presented in the didactic portion of the course. The second hour was devoted to case presentations, with 1 student per small group presenting a patient case. As there were 4 small groups per section, each small group presented a different case. …

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