A global assessment of distance pharmacy education amid COVID-19: teaching, assessment and experiential training

Hamzah Alzubaidi*, Feras J Jirjees, Kari L Franson , Ward Saidawi, Amna M Othman , Zainab H Rabeeah, Hala Al Obaidi , Taher Hatahet, Suzanne Caliph

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives

To explore pharmacy colleges’ experiences and challenges worldwide with the transition to online teaching during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Methods

From the six World Health Organization regions, 28 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases were identified, and 111 pharmacy colleges were randomly selected from these countries. Two online surveys were sent to faculty members and senior administrators. They assessed changes in teaching and learning, experiential training, assessment, readiness for and challenges with distance e-learning and work-related stress.
Key findings

Data were collected from 46 colleges. The majority (80.4%) of colleges transitioned to distance e-learning. On-site experiential training was discontinued in 55.5% of colleges and 25.0% redesigned on-site training into remote learning experiences. Assessments were modified in 75.9% of colleges. Assuring the integrity of assessments and delivering practical classes were the most prominent faculty challenges. The majority of faculty (75.0%) and administrators (61.9%) reported moderate work-related stress. Nevertheless, most academics felt that they received adequate support from their institutions and had positive perceptions of the transition to distance e-learning during the pandemic.
Conclusions

The COVID-19 pandemic required drastic changes for most programs’ teaching methods. Our results showed that educational institutions were somewhat able to support faculty and the needs of educational programs were largely met. However, academic rigour and provision of experiential training can be improved. Faculty emotional support and training needs were not fully addressed in these difficult times. These results shed light on how the global pharmacy academy has addressed the COVID-19 pandemic and help rethink crisis response models.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Publication statusAccepted - 05 Oct 2021

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