Development of interpersonal communication skills among pharmacy students: evaluation of an assessment rubric

Kairuz, T. and Bond, J. A. (2013) Development of interpersonal communication skills among pharmacy students: evaluation of an assessment rubric. Focus on Health Professional Education, 15 2: 17-29.

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Author Kairuz, T.
Bond, J. A.
Title Development of interpersonal communication skills among pharmacy students: evaluation of an assessment rubric
Journal name Focus on Health Professional Education   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1442-1100
Publication date 2013-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status
Volume 15
Issue 2
Start page 17
End page 29
Total pages 13
Place of publication Adelaide, SA, Australia
Publisher ANZAHPE
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: The ability to communicate effectively is a required competency of registered pharmacists in Australia, as it underpins optimisation of health outcomes from medicines. As such, assessment of communication skills is a core component of undergraduate curricula. It was hypothesised that holistic criterion-referenced assessment instruments would better support the development of interactive interpersonal skills by undergraduate pharmacy students compared with a reductionist dichotomous checklist tool that had previously been employed. Aim: To facilitate interpersonal communication skills development among pharmacy students using criterion-referenced marking rubrics as the learning intervention.

Method: Holistic marking rubrics, using criteria evaluating content, process, delivery and style against developmental standards of performance, were implemented during the second semester of the third-year undergraduate program in 2011. The intervention was evaluated by exploring student perceptions and comparing grades with a previous (2009) student cohort which had been assessed using the checklist.

Results: The intervention assessment instrument was more discriminating in identifying differences in student performance than the previous checklist method. Most students (73%) viewed the marking rubrics as a potential framework for developing their communication skills.

Conclusion: The findings suggest that the method of assessment in oral examinations is a driver for strategic learning. Therefore, rubrics with criteria specifically addressing skills (process, delivery and style) in addition to knowledge (content), and categorising performance according to developmental levels, may promote more interactive verbal communication by students in a range of undergraduate health profession programs.
Keyword Educational assessment
Teaching methods
Pharmacy
Communication
Health occupations
Oral examinations
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Pharmacy Publications
 
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Created: Tue, 01 Apr 2014, 10:08:30 EST by Charna Kovacevic on behalf of School of Pharmacy