RESEARCH ARTICLE: Feasibility of virtual mock trials as a parallel teaching-assessment activity for student pharmacists at two American pharmacy programmes during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond
Keywords:Active Learning, COVID-19, Debate, Mock Trials, Technology, Virtual
Background: Student-pharmacists forced into remote-learning by the COVID-19 pandemic participated in a Virtual Mock Trial (VMT). Objectives: Feasibility of VMTs was assessed by evaluating student VMT performance, student perceptions on technology and overall experiences.
Methods: The VMT was implemented via video conferencing technology in April 2020. Faculty-judges and student-jurors observed/rated student performance using pre-established rubrics. A post-VMT survey was administered electronically. Descriptive analyses were performed, and Wilcoxon-Mann-Whitney tests were conducted to compare programmes.
Results: Forty-six students from Programme A (East Coast, USA) and 89 from Programme B (West Coast, USA) participated in the VMTs. The faculty-judges’ evaluation scores for student performance ranged from 85.0% to 96.7%, while the student-jurors’ evaluation scores ranged from 68.3% to 100%. Student perceptions on the four categories regarding technology use all had means > 5 on a 7-Point Likert Scale. More than 79.0% of students rated their VMT experience positively (i.e. 6 or 7).
Conclusions: VMT is feasible for the current pandemic remote-learning environment, and it could be replicated in other pharmacy or healthcare programmes to enrich students' active learning in virtual education.
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