Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications

Title

Assessment of Critical Thinking Skills Progression in a Pre-Pharmacy Curriculum

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2016

Journal Title

Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning

Volume

8

Issue

6

First Page

767

Last Page

773

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cptl.2016.08.009

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate changes in different components of students’ critical thinking skills through a sequential series of assignments in pre-pharmacy courses.

Methods: For 3 years, two cohorts of pre-pharmacy students completed an annual ethics-related critical thinking assignment. Progressive, 3-item rubrics (considering context, problem-solving, and innovative thinking) were used to evaluate critical thinking skills on a four-point Likert-type scale (0=not present, 3=mastery) for each year. Rubrics were designed in such a way that equivalent or higher scores indicated advancement in critical thinking skills. Longitudinal changes were assessed using the Friedman test.

Results: Students’ (n = 44) innovative thinking scores remained the same (p = 0.21), problem solving scores increased (p < 0.001), and considering context scores regressed (p = 0.01) throughout the three years. Total critical thinking scores also remained the same (p = 0.53).

Conclusions: Students began to formulate new ideas and implement a multifaceted approach when solving problems but remained limited in considering contexts. Thus, students need further education regarding the impact of recognizing multiple perspectives on solving problems.

Keywords

Pharmacy, student, education, critical thinking, curriculum