Our Work

See Our Areas of Inquiry and Excellence

Areas of Inquiry and Excellence involve successive scholarly projects that build on one another, advancing knowledge about teaching and learning in a pharmacy education.

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy is committed to asking and answering questions related to teaching and learning that will improve the educational experience for our students.

The following are active projects where faculty have:

  • observed an opportunity to improve instruction,
  • consulted the available literature for options,
  • initiated changes,
  • conducted systematic observations/measurements of the effects, and
  • analyzed the resulting data in order to determine success and create further refinements.

Each project often involves a team of investigators that includes content experts and instructional designers or assessment personnel. Graduate students and residents are often actively involved under the mentorship of faculty. Please feel free to contact any of the Principle Investigators for further information.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Team Based Learning

Team Based Learning

Team Based Learning

Wendy St. PeterContact:  Wendy St. Peter, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, stpet002@umn.edu

Team-Based Learning is used in our pharmacotherapy sequence, as well as our Pharmaceutical Care Skills Lab sequence.  As we have scaled up our use of this method, we have taken a scholarly approach to: understanding its effect on student engagement, creating an efficient means for assessment of team functioning and improving the impact of application activities. 

Article: Understanding the early effects of team-based learning on student accountability and engagement using a three session TBL pilot

Blog Post: Improving Quality in TBL Application Activities

Blog Post: Project Profile: Team-Based Learning

Blog Post:  Inter-Institutional Peer Review of TBL Application Activities

Intention/Reflection (I/R)

Intention/Reflection (I/R)

Contact: Gardner Lepp, Ph.D. galepp@d.umn.edu

This simple educational practice encourages students to establish a personal connection to an educational activity (Intention) and to check back on their intention to evaluate its achievement and effect (Reflection).  This technique is being used in experiential education, co-curricular activities, leadership courses and international travel.

Fostering Student Commitment to I/R 

2017 Article on I/R with an Health Fair

Assessment and Evaluation

Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)

Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)

Entrustable Professional Activities (EPAs)

Contact:  Amy Pittenger, Pharm.D., Ph.D., alp@umn.edu

Who is a pharmacist? What does a pharmacist do? As we promote the consistent integration of pharmacists in all clinical settings, having a core definition of pharmacy practice that communicates the essential need of a pharmacist to diverse audiences (other health professionals, patients, employers, payers, legislators) is important. The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy led a national effort to develop and implement Entrustable Professional Activities into the professional program as a way to answer this important question. EPAs define units of pharmacy practice that all pharmacists are expected to perform, independent of clinical setting. As the EPA strategy becomes more established across pharmacy programs, the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy has continued to play a leadership role in the development and implementation.

2016 Statement
2016 Letter
2016 AACP Report
2017 Special Report:  EPAs for New Graduates 
2017 Commentary
2017 AACP Report: Implementation Roadmap

Blog Post

Peer Review of Clinical Teaching

Peer Review of Clinical Teaching

Peer Review of Clinical Teaching

Contact:  Jean Moon, Pharm.D.,  jmoon@umn.edu

Blog Post

Course and Curriculum Design

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Education for Optimizing Medication Use

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Education for Optimizing Medication Use

Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) Education for Optimizing Medication Use

Contacts:  Lara Kerwin, PharmD, lckerwin@umn.edu, Lindsay Sorge, PharmD, sorg0011@umn.edu

How do we prepare pharmacists of the present and the future to improve healthcare quality and measure it to demonstrate outcomes? Healthcare in the United States is veering away from fee-for-service reimbursement and toward value-based and team-based reimbursement models. Because of the changing healthcare landscape, there is a need in pharmacy curricula for education about continuous quality improvement. This notion is further supported by CAPE Outcomes 2013, ACPE Standards, and PGY-1 residency accreditation standards. Pharmacy practitioners will be expected to have familiarity with quality improvement models and be active care team members in evidence-based quality improvement strategies. The CQI model from the Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Model for Improvement systematically tests and evaluates quality improvement initiatives through rapid cycles of change. Using this model and drawing from the experience of medicine, nursing, and pharmacy, this research aims to design an effective, introductory elective course for CQI in healthcare for student pharmacists. The goal for the course is to provide an introduction to quality improvement models with didactic instruction as well as experiential learning. The goal is for student pharmacists to walk away from the course with a sense of awareness of the Model for Improvement, the ability to apply the IHI Model to a project aim, and the leadership and teamwork skills necessary to proactively and effectively engage in CQI initiatives as a practitioner.

Mental Health Focus Area

Mental Health Focus Area

Mental Health Focus Area

Contact: Amy Pittenger, Pharm.D., Ph.D., alp@umn.edu

Blog Post

PED-Rx Events

PED-Rx Events

PED-Rx Events

Contact:  Todd Sorensen, Pharm.D., soren042@umn.edu

Blog Post

Teaching Evidence-based Medicine

Teaching Evidence-based Medicine

Teaching Evidence-based Medicine

Primary Contact:  Shannon Reidt, Pharm.D., shannon.reidt@optum.com

Articles

2016 Article on Initial Efforts in Drug Literature Evaluation

2016 Article on Transformation of First Year EBM Curriculum


Blog Posts

Faculty Peer Review of EBM Teaching

Peer Teaching of Evidence Based Medicine


Modified Fresno Test

2015 AACP Innovations in Teaching Award

Blog Post

The Modified Fresno Test is an evidence-based assessment tool used to evaluate a learner’s process for practicing evidence-based medicine skills. We have convened a team of EBM and assessment experts for the design, implementation, and evaluation of this test with first year pharmacy students. This work involved writing cases, constructing rubrics, training graders, and administering the test to first year pharmacy students. Student performance on the test was analyzed and shared with all faculty and staff to highlight opportunities for targeted instruction in subsequent courses. Performance data was also used to improve evidence-based medicine instruction in the first year curriculum.


Education Rx

Blog Post

Education Rx is a learning assignment completed by a student with feedback provided by a preceptor. The assignment requires a student to solve a clinical problem from their Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) site and answer it using evidence-based medicine (EBM) skills. The student and preceptor agree on a time to “fill” the Rx; this represents a time when the student presents his/her work and receives feedback from the preceptor. The Education Rx provides a template students follow that guides them through a rational approach to solving a clinical problem. Specifically, the template guides a student to construct a clinical question, acquire, appraise, and apply evidence to answer the question. A team of ambulatory care faculty piloted Education Rx on their rotations. Based on the success of the pilot, Education Rx was adapted for use in the classroom for students in pharmacotherapy and for use across all APPEs.

Co-Curriculum

Co-Curriculum

Kristin JankeContact:  Kristin Janke, Ph.D.  janke006@umn.edu

 We are actively refining a co-curricular support system that would assist us in encouraging intentional experiences that complement, augment, and/or advance learning in the formal didactic and experiential curriculum.

Partnering with Student Organizations 
https://wcispe.wordpress.com/2017/07/28/partnering-with-student-organizations-to-support-student-success/