Identifying Effective Teaching Behaviors of Pharmacy Faculty Master Teachers
Type of DegreePhD Dissertation
Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology
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This study aimed to examine the similarities and differences of effective teaching qualities and behaviors identified by student pharmacists and pharmacy faculty. Using an online survey, participants were asked to identify the top 10 qualities/behaviors they felt were essential to teaching in a school of pharmacy using the Teacher Behavior Checklist (Keeley, Smith, & Buskist, 2006). The survey was sent by email to 856 faculty members at 10 institutions. Of those contacted, 211 faculty (24.6%) completed the survey. Due to FERPA concerns, the researchers were unable to determine how many students received the survey email. However, 213 student pharmacists completed the survey from four institutions. Results showed that pharmacy faculty and student pharmacists agreed on six of the 10 qualities and behaviors: a) knowledgeable about subject matter; b) effective communicator; c) approachable/personable; d) enthusiastic about teaching and the topic; e) realistic expectations of students/fair testing and grading; and f) confident. The findings of this study show strong consistency with previously conducted studies, with pharmacy faculty and student pharmacists identifying similar teaching qualities and behaviors. When considering just faculty responses, faculty across rank similarly identified seven of the 10 qualities and behaviors: a) approachable/personable; b) effective communicator; c) enthusiastic about teaching and topic; d) knowledgeable about the subject matter; e) prepared; f) promotes critical thinking/intellectually stimulating; and g) strives to be a better teacher. Student selections varied by learner level, with students across all three years agreeing on eight of the 10 qualities/behaviors: a) approachable/personable; b) confident; c) effective communicator; d) enthusiastic about teaching and topic; e) knowledgeable about subject matter; f) realistic expectations of students/fair testing and grading; g) respectful; and h) understanding. The findings of this study emphasize that pharmacy faculty and student pharmacists both acknowledge the importance of an instructor being knowledgeable about the subject matter. However, the gap between pharmacy faculty’s (69.75%) and student pharmacists’ (22%) expectations regarding the importance of producing critically thinking students is concerning. For pharmacy faculty to transition their students to critical thinkers, faculty will need to adopt more of the teaching qualities and behaviors their students expect from the caring and supportive subscale during this transition.