About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6366 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

MANAGING MULTI-DISCIPLINARY FINAL YEAR PROJECTS IN PHARMACY UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: THE SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE

G. Chiu, Y.Y. Chew, W.K. Chui

National University of Singapore (SINGAPORE)
Individual research projects are offered to selected undergraduate students during their final year. The final year project (FYP) is a form of experiential learning that entails the application of knowledge on research methodology, problem-solving skills, hands-on technical skills and communication skills. In this paper, a discussion on some of the challenges and solutions in the management of the FYP program in the Department of Pharmacy of National University of Singapore is presented.

Due to the inherent variety in research topics and mentoring styles of faculty members, fair and objective assessment of student performance within a cohort is a challenge. This is especially exemplified by the multi-disciplinary nature of the FYP program in our department, whereby research projects are classified into 4 categories: 1) Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry; 2) Pharmacokinetics and Drug Metabolism; 3) Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, and 4) Pharmacy Practice and Pharmacoeconomics. First and foremost, we have aligned the activities and assessment components with the learning outcomes of FYP which include: 1) To be able to identify a problem; carry out a literature survey on the problem; formulate hypotheses; design methodologies to conduct a study; collect, organize, analyze and interpret data; and 2) To be able to communicate effectively through oral presentations, written articles and poster display. The assessment components include a written project proposal with an oral presentation, a final report with an oral examination, and a poster presentation. As described by Reilly et al, the key problem in establishing standards and levels of competency in experiential learning involves the consistency in assessment. As such, we have focused on defining assessment criteria that are primarily competency-based, with less emphasis on the scientific content. A marking scheme was devised to map the FYP grade to detailed description of standards expected from students including their efforts and aptitude, which has been agreed upon and adopted by all faculty members involved in assessment.

The examination panel is consisted of supervisor and three examiners (E1, E2 and E3), with each having a different role in the student assessment process to ensure the representativeness and comprehensiveness. In particular, E1 is a faculty member who evaluates the student throughout the course of FYP in addition to supervisor. E2 is a faculty member with domain knowledge to ensure the scientific rigor of the project, while E3 is a faculty member without domain knowledge to evaluate student’s ability to communicate the technical aspects of the project to a lay person. The composition of the examination panel, coupled to the use of the detailed marking scheme, has reduced inconsistencies such as leniency/harshness and central tendency.

Learner’s reflection is another important component in experiential learning; thus, a survey was administered to the student cohort to allow reflection and feedback at the completion of FYP. The effectiveness of FYP experience was also probed through the survey, although perceived learning measures were employed in the design of the questions. Nevertheless, the survey facilitated the management of future FYP cohorts and provided vital insights into the recruitment of local graduates for higher studies as well as the usefulness of undergraduate modules in preparation of FYP.
@InProceedings{CHIU2011MAN,
author = {Chiu, G. and Chew, Y.Y. and Chui, W.K.},
title = {MANAGING MULTI-DISCIPLINARY FINAL YEAR PROJECTS IN PHARMACY UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: THE SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {6366}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Chiu AU - Y.Y. Chew AU - W.K. Chui
TI - MANAGING MULTI-DISCIPLINARY FINAL YEAR PROJECTS IN PHARMACY UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: THE SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 6366
EP - 6366
ER -
G. Chiu, Y.Y. Chew, W.K. Chui (2011) MANAGING MULTI-DISCIPLINARY FINAL YEAR PROJECTS IN PHARMACY UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION: THE SINGAPORE EXPERIENCE, ICERI2011 Proceedings, p. 6366.
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