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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.