The relationship between baseline written communication skills, student performance and learning outcomes within Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science degree programs

The Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science (FPPS) is currently undergoing an extensive period of curricular redevelopment. As part of our cutting-edge faculty-wide drive to embed an active learning environment, we have embarked on a deliberate approach to focus on skill development in an explicit, scaffolded manner. But what if English language proficiency forms a barrier that prevents a cohort of students from engaging in the learning environment?

As part of a diagnostic screen before entering first year, all first year students sit a writing test that assesses written communication across four main domains. This educational project will investigate the effectiveness of the post-enrolment diagnostic assessment of written communication skills on raising awareness and promoting self-efficacy in communication skill development.

Communication skill competencies will be analysed at various timepoints to determine the written diagnostic as a predictor of performance, and to analyse the relative contribution/s of screening, reflecting, and the participation in opportunities for deliberate practice in the curriculum. This project will involve a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, with the analysis of performance data, reflective behaviours and student self-perceptions of learning and skill attainment contributing to the curricular-wide review.

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