Assessment of Student Performance

The performance of students in the new course was evaluated in 4 ways. Students’ knowledge was evaluated by a multiple-choice exam, and their competencies were evaluated on the basis of the oral presentation, a written report, and their participation in the forum. Both the quantity (50%) and the quality (50%) of the student’s participation in the forums were evaluated. Assessment of a student’s forum participation was based on points assigned for the number of messages read and the number of comments posted by that student and was categorized as “did not meet expectations”, “met expectations”, or “exceeded expectations”. The quality of participation was monitored by the professor, who took note of comments that brought new ideas and alternatives to the debate or that positively influenced the discussions. Points were also assigned on the basis of whether or not the quality of the student’s input met, exceeded, or failed to meet expectations.

Evaluation of Program

Data were collected from 4 cohorts of pharmacy students who registered for the new hospital pharmacy management course. The course was offered to fourth- year pharmacy students enrolled in the pharmacy undergraduate degree program at the Universite de Montreal and to pharmacy students enrolled in the master’s degree program at Universite Laval. A WebCT survey was conducted to determine students’ satisfaction with the new teaching approach. The 43-question survey was accessible through the Web platform during the last 7 days of the course. The survey was pretested with a group of 5 students to obtain their comments and clarify the statements as necessary. Descriptive data about the students (e.g., career orientation, self-evaluation of software knowledge, interest in information technologies), their access to the technology needed to participate in the course (e.g., physical facilities to access a computer, type of computer, type of Internet connection), their use of the Web (e.g., number of e-mail addresses, number of e-mail messages processed weekly, number of Web sites visited weekly, perceived importance of online learning), and their satisfaction level (with the course in general and more specifically with online learning via the WebCT platform) were collected for analysis. Satisfaction was evaluated on the basis of the following categorical statements: totally agree, partially agree, partially disagree, or totally disagree. A student was considered to be satisfied if he or she partially or totally agreed with a positive statement.

Univariate analysis of dichotomous variables (satisfaction vs. dissatisfaction) was performed with the Fisher exact test or the likelihood ratio x2 test. A p value less than 0.05 (uncorrected) was considered significant.