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Collecting Pre-class Information from First Year Pharmacy Students in Order to Increase Student Engagement with Library Instruction




Grabowsky, Adelia


Objectives: To increase student engagement, both in a one-shot library instruction session and with the Pharmacy subject guide which provides supplemental instruction information. Methods: Setting/Participants: 151 first year pharmacy students enrolled in an introductory drug literature class. Methodology: One week prior to library instruction, students were sent a link to the Pharmacy subject guide, asked to spend 10 to 15 minutes examining information on seven of the tabs, and then to answer three open-ended questions. The questions asked students to list at least one thing learned from the subject guide, one thing that confused them or that they would like more information about, and last what they believed to be most important for the librarian to cover in class. Information obtained was used to structure the library instruction session. Increased engagement was evaluated by comparing both student interactions in class (questions asked and answered by students) and use of the subject guide for six months after class to the previous year’s cohort. Results: Seventy-six percent of students completed the pre-class questionnaire. Searching PubMed and Knowing which databases/resources to use ranked number 1 and 2 for the “Confused” question and number 3 and 2 for the “What should be covered” question. Number 2 for the “Confused” question was Finding full text with How to search more effectively ranking number 1 in “What should be covered”. Class interactions, both asking and replying to questions were greatly increased compared to the previous year’s cohort. Use of the Pharmacy subject guide for 6 months after the 2015 class was more than double use of the guide for 6 months after the 2014 class. Conclusions: Current learning theories suggest that students are more engaged when they feel they have input into instruction. Asking students what confused them and what they would like to see covered seemed to increase engagement among first year Pharmacy students, both in class and after class with supplemental instruction material in the form of a subject guide.