SPOKANE – The WSU College of Pharmacy received the Assessment Executor Award in November by testing software company Examsoft for the innovative use of their platform. The College uses the online testing platform for written tests and skills-based assessments of student pharmacists in the Doctor of Pharmacy program.

“Their innovation is admirable,” an Examsoft representative wrote in the award announcement. “In addition to standard quizzes, midterms and finals, the team delivers various assessments types including communication and clinical counseling assignments, clinical experience exams, and have recently begun using Rubrics to grade written assignments.”

Examsoft is an assessment, management and analysis solutions company that specializes in what they call “high stakes exams”. The company supports 650 clients across the U.S., which includes 43 of 50 state bar exams. The College of Pharmacy started using the Examsoft platform for the Doctor of Pharmacy program block testing in the fall 2013, and integrated the advanced features of the platform to record assessment scores for student pharmacists participating in skills-based clinical simulation exercises this academic year.

The online platform does a lot more than record grades. The system enables multiple faculty to collaborate on assignments within the assessment platform, and also tracks grading across class sections and faculty members to ensure all students are being graded consistently.

It also allows faculty to use multiple rubrics to assess performance and then assign grades all in one step that also eliminates the need for maintaining paper files and returning to the system later for input or updates. Plus, it allows the College’s Office of Assessment to better track data over time and use these insights to further improve teaching and test delivery methods. Students have access to their own records too, giving them immediate feedback regarding their areas of strengths and weaknesses within the curriculum, which facilitates communication between students and instructors.

“The system allows faculty to be more involved,” said pharmacy assessment coordinator Danielle Birch. “Overall it’s more efficient, makes grading more convenient, and allows faculty to get through grading faster, which provides more immediate feedback to students.”

[December 10, 2014] Lori J. Maricle