Development of problem-solving skills and documentation in a therapeutics course with a large enrollment


Eric Boyce: 0000-0002-5447-9016

Document Type

Conference Presentation

Conference Title/Conference Publication

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


Boston, MA

Conference Dates

July 18-22, 2009

Date of Presentation



Objectives: To describe the methods and outcomes in the development of problem-solving and documentation abilities in a therapeutics course with a large enrollment. Method: Information from the course syllabus and data from formative and summative evaluations of student performance and the course were collected. Narrative and simple descriptive analyses were used to characterize the details of the course, student performance, and course evaluations. Bivariate and multivariate analyses will be used to determine associations among student performance in problem-solving and documentation portions of the course to performance on quizzes, exams, and other assessments. Results: Each of 212 students was enrolled into a lecture-based therapeutics course and a medium size (55 student) discussion session. Performance evaluations included solving therapeutics cases in small groups, pairs, and individually as the semester progressed. An ill-defined problem format was used in the discussion sessions. In order to pass the course, all students must demonstrate a level of competence in problem solving and documenting abilities. Students have demonstrated initial improvement during the first half of the course in problem solving and documentation abilities. Initial informal, formative course evaluations have been positive. Relationships among student performance will be evaluated. Implications: These results will provide insights into the development of problem-solving and documenting abilities in a large class setting. This course model has the potential to enhance these abilities in large and medium size lecture-based courses in addition to courses that are or are not coordinated with small group breakout sessions.

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