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Expansion of Ability-Based Education Using an Assessment Center Aproach with Pharmacists as Assessors (Galley)

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Dana L. Purkerson, Holly L. Mason, Robert K. Chalmers, Nicholas G. Popovich and Steven A. Scott


American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Vol. 61, No. 3 (1997)
DOI: aj6103241.pdf




American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy


Schools of Pharmacy are making efforts to incorporate ability-based educational outcomes into curricula. This paper describes expansion of such a project at one university over the period of Spring 1994 to Spring 1997. The initial project focused on using an assessment center approach to assess thirty-two, volunteer, secondprofessional year students on four ability-based outcomes in Spring 1994. Expansion of this project the following year included gearing up to assess the entire class of second-professional year students on the same four outcomes: group interaction, problem-solving, and both written and interpersonal communication skills. A three-hour Integrated Abilities Seminar served as the format for assessment and included individual feedback for the students on their performances. To assess a large number of students during Spring semester 1995, volunteer pharmacists were recruited and trained to serve as assessors. Attitudinal data from students and volunteer pharmacist assessors demonstrated positive response to the Integrated Abilities Seminar experience. Expansion of the initial project also included reassessment of twenty-seven of the original thirty-two students in Fall 1995, during their fourth professional year. Reassessment mean scores on two exercises significantly improved from the studentsí original scores. A version of the Integrated Abilities Seminar was a module for all first-professional year PharmD students in an Integrated Laboratory course during Spring 1997. This assessment approach may be of great value to supplement conventional evaluation techniques in helping students to develop professional outcome abilities. This project also demonstrates successful involvement of local pharmacists in academic-based activities.

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