Facilitating skill development using student-directed activities and personalized formative feedback

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Objective: To describe the process and outcome measures of implementing student-directed activities and faculty formative feedback as methods to develop interviewing, assessment, SOAP note writing, patient presentation, and patient counseling skills. Methods: Student-directed activities and personalized formative feedback from faculty were implemented to facilitate skill development in first-year pharmacy students. These processes occurred in three steps in which students (1) obtained foundational knowledge through the completion of independent student-directed learning activities, (2) applied knowledge and development of skills through peer teaching activities and peer/self-assessment, and (3) received personalized formative feedback from faculty during verbal assessments. Outcome measures were determined by students' performance in course evaluations and faculty/student survey data. Results: Overall, 70 students and six faculty completed the survey. Based on student survey data, 74% indicated that student-directed activities enhanced learning, 57% indicated that peer feedback facilitated their ability to write SOAP notes, 78% were confident in their interviewing skills in a community site, 76% were confident in their patient presentation skills to a community preceptor, 97% indicated they had developed adequate foundational skills for writing SOAP notes, and 100% valued receiving personalized faculty feedback. The entire faculty was fairly confident in the students' interviewing skills. Conclusion: Student-directed activities facilitated the development of skills, which was augmented by peer feedback and self-assessment. Students perceived personalized faculty feedback as beneficial and recommended continuation of such feedback in future classes.

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