Pharmaceutical Sciences Faculty Publications

Use of Drug Cards in Assessment of Student Learning

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American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education





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Objectives/Intent: The purpose of this study is to demonstrate the usefulness of a drug card exercise in measuring higher order applications of knowledge to clinical situations.

Methods: Students prepared drug cards for drugs from the top 200 drug list (10 drugs per quarter). The assigned drugs paralleled those drugs which students encountered in concomitant therapeutics classes. To prepare these cards, students needed to sort through and evaluate drug monographs to determine the clinically important information (limited to what could be hand written on a 5 × 7 card). Students then used these cards to answer short-answer questions on a series of three quizzes per quarter. Questions ranged from simple facts to complex therapeutic application questions. Success on quizzes required the students to select and organize relevant drug information as well as appropriately interpret and apply it to clinical scenarios.

Results: Performance on each question type was tracked over a two year period and was compared to performance on end-of-year multiple-choice assessment exams. Initially, performance on application type questions was lower than on factual questions. With time, improvement was seen in all questions types except the factual. Drug card quiz results complement results seen with multiple-choice exams.

Implications: Drug cards appear to be a useful tool in monitoring and/or developing students' ability to critically evaluate and apply information. Adequate manpower required to grade remains a challenge to implementing this as a broad based methodology.


Drug cards, pharmacy students, education