Objectives. To implement and assess a first-year pharmacy student group research project that provided practical hands-on application and reinforced the curricula of concurrent didactic courses.
Design. Groups of 6 to 7 students chose a public health topic based on the Healthy People 2010 Priority Areas and created a survey instrument. Faculty facilitated mock institutional review board (IRB) review sessions which provided teams with ongoing feedback and refinement recommendations before each team administered their survey instrument to a predefined population. Data analysis, formal written reports, and oral presentations were presented to peers and project faculty members.
Assessment. Teams complied with the requirements of the mock IRB, effectively applied basic research principles learned in class, collected survey data, performed inferential statistical analyses on the data, and presented their project findings. Two-hundred six of 210 students (98%) reported feeling satisfied with both the results of their project and the accomplishments of their team.
Conclusions. Teams applied a varied skill set including primary literature evaluation, basic research principles, statistics, public speaking, and peer collaboration in conducting a public health research project. First-year pharmacy students may benefit from participation in a collaborative research project that provides hands-on application of material being taught in didactic courses.
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