Evaluation of Student Outcomes with Regard to Number of Faculty Teaching or Use of Weekly Quizzes in a Team-Taught Pharmacokinetics Course
Gregory J. Hughes, Manouchkathe Cassagnol, Wenchen Wu, Candace J. Smith, Mary Ann Howland, Donna Sym, Gladys M. El-Chaar, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Department of Clinical Pharmacy Practice
Objectives: To determine if the number of faculty teaching or addition of weekly quizzes affects the academic outcome of Doctor of Pharmacy students in a clinical pharmacokinetics course.
Methods: Four sections of a clinical pharmacokinetics course were divided according to number of faculty teaching the course and the administration of weekly quizzes. All sections were identical regarding units of instruction and learning objectives. Two sections were taught by six faculty while the other two were taught by three of those faculty. Two course sections received weekly quizzes; one with three faculty and one with six faculty; creating a two-by-two factorial design. Student’s t-test and ANCOVA were used to determine statistical significance between groups.
Results: All 201 students enrolled in the course were analyzed by the two independent variables. The mean final grade (standard deviation, SD) of classes taught by six (n=100) versus three faculty (n=101) was 80.45 (7.64) and 82.15 (8.68), respectively (p=0.144). The mean final grade (SD) of classes with student quizzes (n=92) versus those without quizzes (n=109) was 82.42 (8.45) and 80.37 (7.9), respectively (p=0.077). When comparing final grades in the three faculty sections, the mean grade with quizzes (n=41) versus without quizzes (n=60) was 83.76 (8.46) versus 81.05 (8.72), respectively (p=0.1270). When comparing final grades in the six faculty sections, the mean grade with quizzes (n=51) versus without quizzes (n=49) was 81.33 (8.38) versus 79.53 (6.75), respectively (p=2.2362). ANCOVA results indicated that the final grade in the prerequisite course, Biopharmaceutics, had a significant linear relationship (p=0.0232) with the final pharmacokinetics grade.
Implications: The performance of the prerequisite course, Biopharmaceutics, is a pivotal factor in the achievement of a better grade in the pharmacokinetics course. Although our results did not meet statistical significance, the results show a trend suggesting students may perform better when taught by fewer faculty or receiving weekly quizzes. More classes will be included in a future project to further validate the study results.