An inter-institutional PharmD elective course and qualitative analysis exploring student engagement and collaboration

Sarah M. Jagielski, Zachary R. Noel, Stormi E. Gale, Jeff Cain, Tracy E. Macaulay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: There are limited reports in the literature of integrated inter-institutional doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) coursework where learners and faculty are connected using synchronous web conferencing. Furthermore, the impact of this learning environment on student engagement and collaboration has not been reported previously. Educational activity and setting: Faculty members from two separate schools of pharmacy collaborated to create the Current Concepts and Controversies in Cardiology (C4) elective, a two-credit hour elective course that was delivered via synchronous web conferencing. The course was designed to build upon students' pre-existing cardiovascular knowledgebase using case-based discussions, critical appraisal of clinical trials, and pro/con debates. Qualitative analysis using semi-structured interviews was performed to explore aspects of the course that promoted, or hindered, students' engagement and collaboration. Findings: Seven students completed the semi-structured interviews following completion of the course. Themes identified that promoted student engagement and collaboration included, but were not limited to, observing professional relationships and interactions among faculty as well as faculty specifically calling on students by name or location. Three themes were found to be barriers to engagement and collaboration across institutions and included glitches in technology, the adversarial setup of the pro/con debates, and the inability to partake in impromptu discussion before and after class. The C4 elective course was an integrated inter-institutional PharmD elective delivered using web conferencing. We highlight aspects of the course that promoted engagement and collaboration. The impact of inter-institutional PharmD education remains largely unexplored but may be an area of future interest and research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Inc.


  • Collaboration
  • Curriculum
  • Distance learning
  • Engagement
  • Inter-institutional
  • Pharmacy education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (all)


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