After 12 months of preparation, the new teaching approach, incorporating traditional classroom teaching, a pharmacy business case, and a Web-based forum for discussions, was implemented. The new hospital pharmacy management course was offered to a total of 4 cohorts of students in 2000 and 2001.
The traditional classroom teaching component was retained because pharmacy students do not have much exposure to management topics in their training. The authors believe that students should be exposed to a role model in the classroom setting to stimulate their interest in pharmacy management.
The pharmacy business case was based on a real-life situation from Hopital Sainte-Justine, where the course professor serves as director of pharmacy. Site visits to the hospital were encouraged, and students were invited to contact pharmacists at that institution to get more information, discuss the case, and survey employees.
More opportunities for discussion among students were available in this course than had been available with the previous course format. The Web-based forum was widely used, with an average of 935 (standard deviation [SD] 215) messages posted per course, an average of 840 (SD 215) messages read per student per course, and an average of 17 (SD 15) messages contributed per student per course. The professor spent an average of 44 h (SD 3 h) per course monitoring the forum. Student time spent on the forum was determined from a survey of the participating students. Nineteen percent of the students spent less than 10 h, 29% spent from 11 to 20 h, 29% spent from 21 to 30 h, and 23% spent more than 30 h on the forum. A 3-credit courses usually consists of up to 45 h of classroom time and 90 h of homework. The WebCT component of the course required more time than expected at the beginning of each course, especially for the professor.
Assessment of Student Performance
In the assessment of student performance, the multiple-choice exam was worth 40%, the oral presentation 30%, the written report 15%, and participation in the forum 15%. There were no differences in overall scores among the 4 cohorts of students.