The opinions of final year undergraduate pharmacy students at the North-West University regarding assessment
Mostert, Cornelia Susanna
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In order to gain insight into final year pharmacy students’ opinions regarding assessment at the North-West University (NWU) School of Pharmacy, a quantitative study was conducted. Assessment in the (B.Pharm) programme at the NWU School of Pharmacy is governed by the Good Pharmacy Education Standards (GPES) as published by the South African Pharmacy Council (SAPC) and the policies and guidelines regarding assessment as supplied by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DoHET) and the NWU. The policies and guidelines provide the foundation for the constructive alignment of modules, the core principles of good assessment practices and guidelines for the implementation of different types and methods of assessment. The goal of this study was to gather information on how fourth year pharmacy students view current assessment practices at the NWU School of Pharmacy, with the purpose to aid lecturers in enhancing the current assessment practices. By taking students’ opinions into account when developing assessments, lecturers might be able to adjust their current assessment practices in order to support learning and enhance the learning experiences of students. As far as could be determined, undergraduate pharmacy students’ opinions with regards to assessment and assessment practices have not yet been explored in this institution. There also seem to be no evidence on this topic considering pharmacy students within the broader South Africa. A Literature review and paper-based questionnaire constituted the research methods in this study. The literature review served as a foundation for the study, conceptualising aspects of assessments, providing an overview of the setting in which the study was performed and information which contributed to the adjustments made to the selected questionnaire. The validity and reliability of this study was ensured by meticulous research design and methodology. The findings in this study provided valuable insight into how students view assessment, contributing to knowledge in this field. Overall the current assessment practices at the NWU School of Pharmacy were viewed as positive, however findings of the study identified areas where improvements are required. The researcher used the findings of the study in order to compile recommendations regarding the enhancement of assessment practices at the NWU School of Pharmacy, which could assist lecturers to adapt their assessment practices in order to enhance students learning and learning experiences. The results of this study also enabled the researcher to conceptualise recommendations for possible future studies into students’ learning experiences.
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