Usefulness Of Reflective Journals In A Continuing Professional Development Process For A Pharmacy Leadership Course
Keywords:Leadership, Student Reflective Journals, Continuing Professional Development
Purpose: An elective “Effective Leadership and Advocacy” course teaches students to be pharmacy leaders and life-long learners. Students in the course use reflective journals to guide self-improvement as part of a continuing professional development (CPD) process. The purpose of this project was to assess patterns in student use of learning stimuli and resources within their journal entries, as well as to assess perceived usefulness of the journals and the CPD process.
Methods: Students (N=34) were required to submit a portfolio consisting of at least 15 weekly journal entries at the conclusion of the semester. The portfolio’s template included sections for reflection, planning, acting, and evaluating student learning. After submission of the portfolio, an anonymous survey was administered to evaluate student perceptions of its value. The portfolios and post-course surveys were analysed to evaluate student approaches to using stimuli and learning.
Results: Fifty-six percent of students completed the survey; 68% of respondents found the reflective journal somewhat or very helpful in both identifying leadership goals and evaluating progress towards leadership goals; and 47% found the journal somewhat or very helpful in planning to achieve these goals. In the analysis of portfolios, 33% of journal entries cited a peer or professional discussion as a type of learning stimuli, and 32% cited colleague discussion as a learning resource.
Conclusion: Reflective journal portfolios were largely seen to be helpful among students. Similarities in student use of learning stimuli and resources may suggest a pattern among students and an opportunity to expand existing resources for future growth.
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