RESEARCH ARTICLE: Ability of pharmacy students to assess their learning




Learning, Neurodegenerative disorder, Pharmacy student, Self assessment


Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the ability of pharmacy students to assess their learning.    

Methods: Without pre-class preparation or access to learning resources, third-year pharmacy students were asked to list in preset templates the important points of topics that were covered two weeks earlier including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s chorea and Parkinson’s diseases, structure short essay questions guided by these lists and answer them. In the first section, students worked individually while in the second and third sections they worked in groups of four.  At the end of each session, students were asked to fill in a pre-piloted ethically approved questionnaire on their perception of the present exercise and learning strategies and examinations.   

Results: The majority of participants (n: 51; 85%) were females and with GPAs ranging from 2.5-4. The important points listed by students focused on the aetiology and treatment of the disorders. However, the questions framed by grouped students and their answers were more thorough and well organised. Half of the participants reported the aim of tests was to improve their learning and the majority (93%, 85% and 85%) of students preferred pre-scheduled tests, paper examinations and lectures using PowerPoint presentations respectively. In their reflection on the exercise, most students enjoyed it and found it effective in enhancing their learning.  

Conclusion: The present pedagogy enhances learning, writing skills, group collaboration and team spirit. Its application in other classes and topics would strengthen its value in enhancing learning.

Author Biographies

Suleiman I. Sharif, College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Department of Pharmacy Practice & Pharmacotherapeutics

Abduelmula R. Abduelkarem, College of Pharmacy, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Department of Pharmacy Practice & Pharmacotherapeutics


Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE). (2006). Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctor of Pharmacy Degree. Available at:

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (2016). Available at:

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy. (2014). Center for Advancement of Pharmaceutical Education (CAPE) Educational Outcomes. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education; 78 (10), Article 185. Available at:

Andersen, L.W. & Krathwohl, D.R. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of bloom's taxonomy for educational objectives. New York: Longman

Black, A. (2010). Gen Y: Who They Are and How They Learn Educational Horizons. Available at:

Bloom B.S. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives, Handbook I: Cognitive Domain, 1st edition. White Plains, New York: Longman

Hagemeier, N.E. & Mason, H.L. (2011). Student pharmacists’ perceptions of testing and study strategies. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education; 75 (2): Article 35.

Michaelsen, L.K., Knight, A.B.& Fink, L.D. (2004). Team-Based Learning: A Transformative Use of Small Groups in College Teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing

Michaelsen L, Parmelee D, McMahon KK & Levine RE. (2007). Team-based learning for health professions education. Sterling: Stylus

Pick, AM, Begley, KJ. & Augustine, S. (2017). Changes in teaching strategies to accommodate a new generation of learner: A case study. Pharmacy Education, 2017; 17 (1):95-99

Roediger, H. & Karpicke, J. (2006). The power of testing memory: basic research and implications for educational practice. Perspective on Psychological Science; 1(3):181-210.

Roediger, H. & Karpicke, J. (2006). Test-enhanced learning: taking memory tests improves long-term retention. Psychological Science; 17(3):249-255.

Sansgiry, S.S., Bhosle, M. & Sail, K. (2006). Factors that affect academic performance among pharmacy students. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education; 70 (5) Article 104

Standards for licensure and accreditation. (2011). Available at:

Wiener, H., Plass, H. & Marz R. (2009). Team-based learning in intensive course format for first-year medical students. Croatian Medical Journal; 50: 69–76




How to Cite

Sharif, S. I., & Abduelkarem, A. R. (2021). RESEARCH ARTICLE: Ability of pharmacy students to assess their learning. Pharmacy Education, 21, p. 240–246.



Research Article