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‘Both useful in their own way’: Video podcasts and typed solutions as feedback on undergraduate pharmaceutical calculations skills assessment

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Introduction: Accurately completing pharmaceutical calculations is a core professional skill for pharmacists. To date, few studies have focused on to providing feedback on calculations, or the role of technology in feedback provision. This study aimed to develop a theory-informed video podcast-based method of providing formative feedback and evaluate student perceptions.

Methods: First-year pharmacy students (n = 53) completed a formative pharmaceutical calculations assessment. Two forms of feedback were designed and evaluated; typed solutions (traditional format commonly used/seen in textbooks) and video podcasts informed by instructional design theory (novel format).

Results: A survey was completed by 70% (37/53) of students. Specific features of video podcasts reported useful included hearing reasoning, and the ability to pause and rewind. Most (76%) reported positive attitudes towards video podcasts, considered them useful (75%) and helpful for learning (79%). A comparable number (76% and 71% respectively) felt positively about typed solutions. The majority (51%) preferred to receive both types rather than podcasts alone (24%), or typed solutions alone (8%). Free-text responses indicated both were used in different ways; typed solutions for quick verification and video podcasts for clarification.

Conclusions: Video podcasts appear to be a potentially helpful additional method of delivering feedback that afford specific advantages. They can be readily developed by faculty with minimal expense/difficulty. However, as respondents indicated that they used both kinds of feedback in different ways to support their learning, and indicated a preference to receive both types, they should be considered an addition rather than replacement for typed solutions.



The original article is available at https://www.sciencedirect.com/

Published Citation

Maher S, Hayden JC, Strawbridge JD, Gallagher PJ, Flood M. 'Both useful in their own way': Video podcasts and typed solutions as feedback on undergraduate pharmaceutical calculations skills assessment. Curr Pharm Teach Learn. 2020 12(4):367-377.

Publication Date

30 Dec 2019

PubMed ID



  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Neurological and Psychiatric Disorders
  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Health Professions Education
  • Population Health and Health Services


Elsevier BV


  • Accepted Version (Postprint)