Virtual supervision of pharmacy undergraduate research projects during the COVID-19 lockdown in Zimbabwe

Innovation in teaching delivery or learning technology


  • C.M.J. Matyanga University of Zimbabwe
  • B. Dzingirai University of Zimbabwe
  • T.G. Monera-Penduka University of Zimbabwe



Pharmacy, Research, COVID-19, Supervision, Zimbabwe


The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has led to national lockdowns in multiple states. The education system, including pharmacy education, has been negatively affected by the subsequent closure of universities. Many institutions have resorted to virtual learning, which work best in settings with fast, stable internet connections and where electricity is readily available. In resource-limited settings, popular virtual interaction platforms like Zoom may not work, and educators have to devise novel ways to continue teaching. The University of Zimbabwe used innovative mobile phone-based processes to ensure continuation of the final-year pharmacy students’ honours research projects, supervision, and timely submission. This facilitated rapid communication between students and professors and allowed effective guidance for the students’ research process. All students completed their projects; 13 out of 16 submitted their write-ups within the deadline; all students passed, 69% scored an upper second (2.1) grade or better, indicating the high quality of the majority of the research projects.

Author Biographies

C.M.J. Matyanga, University of Zimbabwe

School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences

B. Dzingirai, University of Zimbabwe

School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences,

T.G. Monera-Penduka, University of Zimbabwe

School of Pharmacy, College of Health Sciences


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COVID-19 Case Study