STRATEGY USEFUL IN FORMATIVE EVALUATION OF COMPETENCES ON THE TOPIC "PHARMACEUTICAL UNIT OPERATIONS OF ORAL DOSAGE FORMS" FOR UNDERGRADUATE PHARMACY STUDIES

Teaching/learning in competence requires the development of a model and the definition of the criteria for the evaluation. Furthermore, one of the proposed changes in the European Space for Higher Education is the introduction of evaluative processes that stimulate the continuous formative learning of the undergraduates.

In the present work, it is proposed test exams as model of continuous formative evaluation of competences. So, test exams were designed to evaluate different knowledge levels: basic knowledge (memory), understanding knowledge and procedure knowledge (knowledge application and problem solving). The verification of the reliability and quality of the items (questions) of the designed test exams was carried out (TAP statistical program)

The exams were focused on Pharmaceutical Technology contents: unit operations applied to solid oral dosage forms (tablets, capsules,…). Undergraduate students completed the test exams in class at the end of every topic. According to the responses, different statistical parameters were calculated to validate the design of the test exam.

The items were classified following the values of the psychometric properties obtained:

- The values of the Index of Easiness (IE) were a useful tool to settle the difficulty of the items.
IE = right answers/total answers

- The values of the Discriminatory Index (DisI) were applied to settle the measures to be taking with the items (reject,...)
DISCRIMINATORY INDEX (DisI) = ps – pi
where: ps= Right answers (27% higher scores)/total answers (27% higher scores)
pi= Right answers (27% lower scores)/total answers (27% lower scores)

Some results and conclusions for one on the topics evaluated: "Sieving as a Pharmaceutical unit operation" (IE = Index of easiness; DisI= Discrimination Index; n = number of answers) are shown:

ITEM = 1 (n=21); TEACHING-LEARNING LEVEL = Basic knowledge (memory); IE= 0.48 – Scarcely difficult; DisI = 0.83 (1.0); MEASURE = Preserve.

ITEM = 2 (n=21); TEACHING-LEARNING LEVEL = Understanding knowledge; IE= 0.19 – Difficult; DisI = 0.17 (0.70); MEASURE = Revision.

ITEM = 16 (n=21); TEACHING-LEARNING LEVEL =Knowledge application; IE= 0.57 – Scarcely easy; DisI = 0.50 (1.0); MEASURE = Preserve.

ITEM = 38 (n=21); TEACHING-LEARNING LEVEL =Problem solving; IE= 0.67 – Scarcely easy; DisI = 0.33 (1.0); MEASURE = Improve.


The fact of design and elaborate items for the different topics helps the teachers to settle the expected results from the teaching-learning of competences without having to wait the exams. It is part of the called scholarship teaching and assessment.

Acknowledgements: The present work is part of a Project of Innovation and Improvement of the Teaching Quality (PIMCD 378; Complutense University of Madrid - Madrid Government Authorities, Spain).