Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Investigation of Teaching and Learning Programs in Pharmacy Education

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

An Investigation of Teaching and Learning Programs in Pharmacy Education

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

Standards from the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) are holding pharmacy schools accountable to a higher standard of teaching effectiveness than in the past. (1) While previous standards addressed curriculum and assessment, the level of detail was not as explicit. The new standards address curricular quality, content mapping, diverse student learning needs, and outcomes based teaching and learning methods. (1) In addition, they also call for valid, reliable, formative and summative assessments to measure student knowledge and performance. (1) These are all things that require knowledge of learning theory, instructional design, and educational assessment. It was noted at the ACPE Consensus Conference in 2013 that most faculty members in higher education are not trained as teachers. (2) This will require that educational institutions have professional development programs that assist faculty members in writing clear learning objectives, connecting learning outcomes to course assignments, and developing assessment tools that test higher-order intellectual skills. (2)

The need for increased levels of teaching expertise is well-defined and not limited to pharmacy education. Numerous teaching and learning workshops and development programs have been created and offered in medical education, spanning over two decades. (3) A faculty shortage in dental education prompted Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine to establish a joint DDS and PhD program in education. (4) The American Association of Colleges of Nursing stated that the basic doctoral degree in nursing does not prepare the graduate for a faculty role and recommends additional preparation in the science of pedagogy. (5) Finally, the increasing need for teaching expertise in the health professions is exhibited by the expansion of a unique master's degree in health professions education (MSHPEd). The MSHPEd has become more popular in the last decade with more than one hundred programs offered internationally, thirty-two of which are in the United States. (6, 7) Clearly, health sciences faculty members, including disciplines beyond pharmacy, are experts in their field, but may lack pedagogical knowledge and skills.

Despite the need for faculty development, we could find no recognized standards in academic pharmacy for faculty development in teaching. An American College of Clinical Pharmacy (ACCP) white paper published in 2008 suggested a structure consisting of orientation, mentoring, and ongoing development. (8) It identified ways to design programs including timelines, types of content and activities to consider, and necessary professional, clinical, and research skills. (8) More recently, Lancaster et al described the current landscape for faculty development programs in higher education and made recommendations for the implementation of new programs. (9) They pointed to several existing models to support faculty teaching development and recommended institutions make informed decisions about which plan would be most successful. A model for preparing graduate students for faculty teaching and service roles has also been suggested and emphasizes the importance of experiential learning. (10)

Postgraduate pharmacy education has seen a large increase in teaching development programs for residents and fellows in the past decade. (11-13) These programs were created in part to prepare educators prior to an academic appointment. They were also meant to combat the faculty shortage that existed in pharmacy education by creating experienced residents who could quickly transition into a faculty position after completion of their program. (11) The American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) accreditation standards for postgraduate year one (PGY1) pharmacy residency programs was published in 2012 and identified seven guiding principles to serve as the basis for evaluating residency programs for accreditation, including educational and training outcomes. …

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