Implementation and faculty assessment of an oral examination in a therapeutics course in a distance synchronous education pharmacy programme

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To describe the process and implementation of an oral exam in a large class with distance synchronous education technology and to evaluate the faculty's perspective of the development, administration, and assessment of the oral exam.


The Department of Pharmacy Practice at Nova Southeastern University, USA, created two patient cases for the oral exam per course over two semesters within the Therapeutics and Pathophysiology course sequence to be distributed across three campus sites. The faculty's perspective was evaluated utilizing a questionnaire distributed via an online survey.

Key findings

The oral exam was administered simultaneously across three campuses to a total of 464 students over two semesters. A total of 42 faculty members assisted in the exam process. Four cases were developed for the two exams, with detailed answer keys to minimize subjectivity in grading. Twenty-eight faculty members (66%) completed the assessment questionnaire. Most faculty were in support of continuing to administer the oral exam in subsequent therapeutic courses.


Implementation of an oral exam in a large class with synchronous education via distance campuses is feasible. However, exam coordinators must take into account logistics such as time commitment from faculty, adequate facilities and detailed case and key development.

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