CEDARVILLE — Cedarville University’s School of Pharmacy recently published an academic study that measured the effect a research course has on students’ perceptions of the research process and their future involvement in it.
The study was conducted by Stephanie Cailor, third-year professional pharmacy student, and Aleda Chen, Pharm.D., Ph.D., assistant dean and assistant professor of pharmacy practice.
The results of the study showed significant improvements in the students’ understanding of and confidence in the usefulness of research. However, there was no significant change in the students’ plans to perform or participate in future research.
“The goal of my class is to increase the students’ understanding of the usefulness of research as a means to provide optimal patient care as well as participating in research to improve care,” Chen said.
First-year professional pharmacy students are required to take a 15-week research course taught by Chen. In the class, Chen covers the basics of research as students prepare a research proposal for a project they will work on during their next three years in the program.
To evaluate if the class was meeting its intended goal, Cailor and Chen designed surveys that were distributed to the students at the beginning and end of the semester. The surveys helped gauge if the students’ perceptions and confidence in understanding the research process had changed.
“The faculty at Cedarville strives to produce graduates who can think broadly and deeply,” Chen said. “Research fits within that concept due to the community mentality that exists when faculty and students work together to solve patient care issues.”
Cailor has worked alongside Chen as a research assistant for almost five years. She will have five published manuscripts when she graduates.
“Dr. Chen has really influenced me over the course of my studies at Cedarville,” Cailor said. “It’s because of her passion for research that I’ve grown to like research, recognize its usefulness and develop skills that will help me after I graduate.”
Content provided by Cedarville University.