Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Workshop Series Using Peer-Grading to Build Drug Information, Writing, Critical-Thinking, and Constructive Feedback Skills

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

A Workshop Series Using Peer-Grading to Build Drug Information, Writing, Critical-Thinking, and Constructive Feedback Skills

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Evaluation, interpretation, and dissemination of medical literature to guide evidence-based use of drug therapy are vital skills in pharmacy practice that should be fostered within didactic curricula. The Center for the Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education 2013 Educational Outcomes specifically address drug information skills as part of the foundational knowledge needed by pharmacy graduates. The Outcomes state that learners should be able to "critically analyze scientific literature related to drugs and disease to enhance clinical decision making." (1) Furthermore, within the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education Standards, drug information skills are identified as a cornerstone of competently practicing pharmacy. The Standards state that graduates must be able to: "retrieve, analyze, and interpret the professional, lay, and scientific literature to provide drug information and counseling to patients, their families or care givers, and other involved health care providers." (2)

To provide timely, evidence-based and effective responses to drug information questions, pharmacists need knowledge of and access to literature resources, sound literature evaluation skills, and strong written communication skills. (3) In addition to the development of foundational knowledge and skills, students need practice opportunities to ensure they can apply their abilities. The need for application-based skills workshops in pharmacy education is well established, (4-8) and creates the environment for formative assessment of critical thinking skills. A major barrier to written assignments in education is the labor-intensive nature associated with faculty member assessment of the work, especially when class size exceeds 100 students. (4,9) The use of peer-assessment to facilitate timely scoring, reduce faculty member workload, engage the learner in reflection of their own work, and foster constructive feedback skills has been successfully used in higher education including pharmacy curricula. (9-14) Incorporating drug information workshops using peer-grading for formative and summative assessment throughout a curriculum can help students improve their skills over time as their clinical knowledge is simultaneously enhanced.

The Midwestern University College of Pharmacy--Glendale (CPG) curriculum included a required, skills-based, 8-course sequence titled Professional Skills Development (PSD) in which students were exposed to various elements of pharmacy practice through direct instruction and workshops. The PSD course sequence provided 1.5-credit hours per quarter for the 4 quarters in which the workshop series occurred. Workshops included consultations with standardized patients, simulated provider interventions, mock prescription order verification, subjective, objective, assessment, and plan (SOAP) note writing, high-fidelity simulation using mannequins, formal topic presentations, debates on therapeutics, and written drug information responses. Each workshop was aligned to the didactic content delivered in the integrated sequence course to complement and extend learning through application and integration of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes required of a pharmacist. The integrated sequence was organized by organ system (eg, cardiovascular, renal, central nervous system) and delivered pathophysiology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology, and therapeutics in a sequenced fashion beginning in the third of 8 didactic quarters. The drug information workshop series was added to CPG's curriculum in 2010 in the second year of a 3-year PharmD program to complement the 2 drug information courses: Research Methods and Epidemiology, and Evidence-Based Health Care. This workshop started as a 2-part series and grew to a 4-part series starting with the class of 2015 and was incorporated into each quarter during the second didactic year of the program.

The objective of this manuscript is to describe the development and implementation of the drug-information workshop series, which used peer-grading to build drug information, writing, critical-thinking, and constructive feedback skills. …

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