Effects of a Multicourse, Composite Examination Method on the Performance of PharmD Students in a Basic Pharmacokinetics Course

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Objective. To investigate the effects of multicourse, composite examinations on student performance in a pharmacokinetics course.

Methods. A linear, mixed-effects model was used to analyze student performance in identical daily quiz and examination questions in a pharmacokinetics course at two pharmacy schools. The same instructor taught the entire course at both institutions. The only difference between the two courses was the method of administration of examinations between the two school cohorts.

Results. Students’ scores on identical daily quizzes that were administered similarly to students in both schools were the same. However, student grades on multicourse examinations were significantly lower than those administered as individual course examinations in the other school group. The effect size was 1.15, indicating a large difference between the two cohorts in terms of their examination scores. The mixed-effects model revealed a negligible difference (0.622%) between the two student cohorts in terms of their academic abilities but showed a substantial effect (9.40%) for the examination format in favor of single course assessment.

Conclusion. When compared to traditional, individual course examination, multicourse, composite examinations may significantly lower student grades in a pharmacokinetics course.


This article was originally published in American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, volume 82, issue 5, in 2018. DOI: 10.5688/ajpe6286


American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy