Employability skill development in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences

Education is more about growth in skills than about teaching content. Content changes and moves in the directions we can’t even predict today. While students are expected to become content experts, above all they must develop skills that will make them able to function professionally in the faster than ever changing world. They must be able to solve problems and think critically and creatively, communicate effectively in a variety of modes and to a range of audiences, work cooperatively and collaboratively with others, and learn independently.

Supporting students in developing such skills is the central goal of educators.

We have been designing and implementing instructional resources and practices to provide such support (e.g., Yuriev, Capuano, and Short, Chemistry Education Research and Practice 2016; White et al., Higher Education Research & Development 2016).

The objective of our educational research is to evaluate the usefulness of these approaches for (i) deeper, more meaningful learning and (ii) improvement in students motivation and engagement. Three specific areas are currently actively pursued:
1. Modifying assessment to motivate learning (the use of Cheat Sheets/AMH during examinations)
2. Scaffolding group work for skills development (roles and reflective practice)
3. Goldilocks strategy for scaffolding problem-solving skills