Does a blended learning environment suit advanced practice training for pharmacists in a Middle East setting?

TitleDoes a blended learning environment suit advanced practice training for pharmacists in a Middle East setting?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsWilbur K, Taylor ADJ
JournalInt J Pharm Pract
Date Published12/2018

OBJECTIVES: The transfer of pedagogies and instructional techniques outside their contexts of origin may not be always be suitable for intended learners. The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of Middle East pharmacists enrolled in advanced pharmacy practice courses delivered through a blended learning environment (BLE).

METHODS: Seventeen students and graduates from a BLE in Qatar participated in focus group interviews. A topic guide was developed to elicit these pharmacists' perspectives on perceived barriers to completing the courses and facilitating factors for content engagement and overall satisfaction. Discussions were recorded, transcribed verbatim and text analysed using thematic content analysis.

KEY FINDINGS: We identified three predominant themes in our analysis of these discussions: (1) relevance, (2) motivation and (3) communication. Participants favourably endorsed any programme aspect that linked with their workplace care responsibilities, but found it challenging to adapt to high-fidelity testing environments. The on-campus sessions were key for sustaining motivation and recommitting to time management and organisation with the distance-based content. Although these students expressed difficulty in understanding posted assignment instructions and feedback and occasionally faced technological issues, they were overwhelmingly satisfied with how the programme contributed to advancing their practice capabilities.

CONCLUSIONS: Pharmacists enrolled in BLE advanced pharmacy practice courses in Qatar identified barriers and facilitators like those experienced by professional learners elsewhere. However, we found that instructional design and communication approaches merit some special consideration for Arab students for optimal engagement in BLE.

Alternate JournalInt J Pharm Pract
PubMed ID29600530
Grant ListQUUG- CPH-14/15-6 / / Qatar University /