Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of Hybrid Delivery of Education on Student Academic Performance and the Student Experience

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Impact of Hybrid Delivery of Education on Student Academic Performance and the Student Experience

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

As of January 2008, over 5,700 chain community pharmacist positions remained unfilled in the United States. (1) This already large shortfall in the supply of community pharmacists is expected to rise, while the number of prescriptions dispensed is estimated to increase during the same time period. By 2020, the country will be deficient by an estimated 150,000 pharmacists. (2) To respond to this burgeoning demand, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy made plans to increase its student population of 120 per professional year. Since the school had reached classroom capacity, initial plans were to build additional pharmacy-education space to accommodate more students at the main campus in Baltimore. However, this approach presented 2 road blocks: lack of appropriate funding to build the additional space and a 7-year lag time (including time for construction) before the expansion would result in an increased number of graduates. This approach would not address the immediate shortage; therefore, alternative measures were needed. The school decided to explore implementation of a satellite campus, which would increase enrollment by 33% if 40 additional students were enrolled per class for the first through fourth years (P1-P4). (3) In August 2007, the first cohort of 40 students matriculated at the satellite campus in Rockville, MD. The opening of the satellite campus was met with keen interest by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), which noted in its OnSite Evaluation Team Report that overall comparability between the programs should be maintained, particularly in the areas of curricular delivery and outcomes, and student services and satisfaction with these services. Thus, the objectives of this study were to compare student academic performance and student experiences between the main and satellite campuses.

METHODS

Background on Implemented Technology

Development of the new distance program involved many technological revisions. In order to minimize the need to hire a significant number of new faculty members at the satellite campus (3.5 faculty members and 1 staff person were located at the satellite campus during the first year), a hybrid delivery of the curriculum was chosen, utilizing both synchronous (videoconferencing) and asynchronous (recorded lectures available over the Internet) delivery of content, as well as live faculty-led small-group activities, office hours, and laboratories.

Asynchronous technology. All required didactic material was delivered live and recorded at the main campus using Mediasite (Sonic Foundry, Madison, WI) as the streaming rich media platform. This material was subsequently posted to a secure server and made available to students at both campuses. To prepare for the asynchronous delivery of content to the satellite campus, the school outfitted 3 lecture rooms and a control room at the main campus, giving it the capability to record in 2 rooms simultaneously. To allow students at the satellite campus to plan time for content review, lectures were made available online no later than 6:00 pm on the day they were recorded.

Synchronous technology. Live (synchronous) video conferences using Polycom (Polycom, Pleasanton, CA) and Tandberg (Tandberg, New York, NY) videoconferencing systems were used to facilitate student government meetings, elective courses, and class review sessions. Two classrooms at the main campus were outfitted for synchronous video conferencing between campuses. At the satellite campus, 5 classrooms were equipped with this technology. All video conferencing classrooms had the capacity to broadcast content using 1 or more cameras to capture students and instructor(s), microphones to record student communication, and a display of the remote facility or the content being broadcast.

Once connectivity between the campuses was established, training sessions were scheduled for faculty members and student leaders to orient them to the video conferencing equipment on the main campus. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.