Impact of recorded lectures on classroom attendance in PharmD didactic courses
Low in-person attendance in didactic courses is a major concern for pharmacy, medical, and other professional schools across the country. The objective of this study was to categorize student and faculty perceptions on access to recorded lectures, examine the need for mandatory in-person class attendance, and provide suggestions to increase student in-person class attendance. A survey instrument was sent out to a total of 481 pharmacy students and 67 faculty members in the College of Pharmacy. The survey examined participants’ perceptions on whether recorded lectures improved learning, whether students/faculty felt the need for students to attend classes even when given access to recorded lectures and lecture slides, how students and faculty prioritized (i.e., ranked) seven suggestions to increase student interest in attending class in person and whether participants had any comments on recorded lectures and student attendance. Faculty members were also asked if they supported a mandatory attendance policy. Ninety-nine percent (99%) of the participating students and 76% of faculty responded that lecture capture enhanced students’ learning ability. Sixty-five percent (65%) of students felt that it was necessary to attend class in person, even when lecture notes and recorded lectures were provided. Statistical analyses revealed the lack of a statistical relationship between recorded lectures and in-person class attendance within student participants and a lack of a statistical relationship between recorded lectures and the need for a mandatory attendance policy within faculty participants. Out of the seven options given, the highest percentage of students (27.5%) indicated that their first preference to attend classes is to be able to ask questions and clarify the misunderstanding. While 25.9% of the faculty chose unannounced quizzes to increase students’ classroom attendance, only 14.3% of students preferred it. Forty-four percent (44%) of the College of Pharmacy faculty stated they were in favor of a mandatory attendance policy. The majority of the students and faculty agreed that in-person classroom attendance improves students’ learning, although their perceptions on how to improve students’ classroom attendance vary. Pharmacy students desire interactive in-person learning environments and recorded lectures did not replace the desire of students to be engaged with content in innovative ways. This study can provide guidance and insight into attendance issues faced by colleges of pharmacy and other health professional schools as they struggle to institute attendance policies.
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