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Pharmacy Education ; 22(3):23, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2226792


Introduction: For the academic year 2020-21, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the point-of-care testing devices and clinical skills practical sessions for first year undergraduate pharmacy students, were converted to a blended learning approach, combining traditional in person laboratory practical training with pre-laboratory synchronous remote sessions. The practical sessions consisted of 1) three two-hour synchronous pre-laboratory sessions for all the class held using Zoom, and 2) three two-hour in person laboratory sessions for each student held in groups of three students. The in-person laboratory sessions covered: Urinalysis and blood glucose monitoring, Blood pressure, lipid profile and obesity measurements, and Injection techniques. The aim was to evaluate student perception of practical sessions delivered using a blended learning approach. Method(s): A self-administered questionnaire was developed and validated by an eight-member expert panel consisting of pharmacy academics and pharmacy students in other course years. The questionnaire consists of Likert-type questions (1-Strongly Disagree to 5-Strongly Agree). The questionnaire was disseminated electronically to all (N = 24) first year undergraduate pharmacy students at the completion of the sessions. Result(s): Nineteen students (13 female, age range 18 - 21 years) completed the questionnaire. The majority of students gave positive feedback (score of 4 or 5) about the blended learning approach adopted: 'Allowed me to review material covered in the remote sessions on the virtual learning environment as often as necessary and at my own pace to help me prepare for the in-person laboratory sessions' (n = 18), 'helped me to participate more in the in-person sessions' (n = 18), 'provided me with opportunities to pursue my own learning' (n = 16), and 'stimulated critical-thinking' (n = 14). Sixteen students recommended continuation of the blended learning approach for such practical sessions. Conclusion(s): Students had a positive perception of practical sessions delivered using a blended learning approach and reported that the remote sessions supported the in-person sessions.

Pharmacy Education ; 22(3):18, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2226791


Introduction: The Annual Pharmacy Symposium organised by the Department of Pharmacy, University of Malta, Malta, brings together academic staff, undergraduate and postgraduate students, collaborators and stakeholders to discuss outcomes of student research projects as oral and poster presentations. The 2021 Pharmacy Symposium was held online for the first time via the Zoom platform due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. The aim was to evaluate student perception of the remote modality used. Method(s): A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to students who attended the symposium at the end of the four-day symposium. Students were asked to rate on a five-point Likert scale from 'strongly agree' to 'strongly disagree' with regards to remote environment used and appreciation of the transmission of scientific information in the presentations. Result(s): Out of 370 students who attended the symposium, 19% (n = 72) completed the questionnaire. Forty-four students were female, and the ages of the students ranged from 18 to 51 years. The majority of students (n = 46) were undergraduate students. The majority of students gave positive feedback (scores of 4 or 5) about the symposium: 71 students felt the virtual symposium was well organised, 69 students agreed that the platform used was appropriate, 66 students agreed that the quality of research presented was of a high standard and 57 students agreed that presentations were understandable and stimulating. Fifty-five students felt that the duration of the oral sessions was appropriate, 40 students enjoyed visiting the virtual poster gallery and 38 students found it easy to access the virtual poster gallery. Conclusion(s): The virtual pharmacy research symposium was positively evaluated by students indicating that it is a suitable forum to support students in developing competencies in research dissemination and to appreciate ongoing research by other students.

Pharmacy Education ; 20(2):290-296, 2020.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1100571


The COVID-19 pandemic, which was globally declared during the first quarter of the year 2020, led to the transition of teaching activities from the traditional classroom setting to online platforms. This study evaluated preparedness and perception towards online learning and its impact among pharmacy academics and students by using two self-administered questionnaires. Fifteen academics and 60 students answered the questionnaire. Participants had the required technology for online learning (academics n = 14, 93%;students n=56, 93%) and believed that the transition to online learning was easy (academics n=12, 80%;students n=41, 68%). Most participants (academics n=12, 80%;students n=46, 77%) stated that online learning allowed more flexibility even though they preferred classroom-based approach. A minority of students stated that the shift to online learning during the pandemic made them feel alone (n=11, 18%), anxious (n=7, 12%) and depressed (n=9, 15%). Given the option, participants would prefer a hybrid learning approach, whereby some teaching activities are switched to online platforms.