Development and Perceptions of an Academic Success Tool for Pharmacy Students
Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy
Objective: Some students may face challenges with graduate-level reading and writing, particularly in certain active learning pedagogies, such as team-based learning or peer instruction, which require extensive pre-reading. The objective of this study is to determine the perceived utility of an academic literacy (reading/writing) test for first professional year student pharmacists (P1s).
Methods: In a collaboration between pharmacy and linguistics faculty, an academic literacy assessment tool was developed using fall P1 course materials. After pilot testing and adjustments, the revised test was administered to all P1 students by trained facilitators, then scored. Students needing literacy support were identified, met with individually to debrief on the assessment, and offered a year-long, one-on-one tutoring program. P1 faculty participated in an end-of-semester focus group session to determine whether the assessment correctly identified students who benefited from literacy support, and to decide on the impact of subsequent support. Thematic analysis was performed on the data.
Results: A total of 13 students were identified as at-risk through the assessment. Since tutoring was optional, eight students met at least once, and two students met weekly during the ensuing semester. Faculty from the end-of-semester focus group 1) stated that the assessment accurately pre-identified students who struggled with literacy components of P1 coursework, and 2) expressed a wish for earlier identification of students with required instead of optional tutoring.
Conclusions: Faculty perceived that the tool accurately identified students, but the timing and the volunteer nature of the follow-up tutoring limited the success of the assessment effort.
Academic literacy, academic success, at-risk student, interdisciplinary research, reading comprehension
Pitts, Merideth Hoagland; Smith, Nathanael; Bates, Jeffrey A.; Stevenson, Rachel; Fohner, Amy M; Moser, Haylee M; Pahl, Brenda; and Chen, Aleda, "Development and Perceptions of an Academic Success Tool for Pharmacy Students" (2022). Pharmacy Practice Faculty Publications. 429.