Implementation of the cognitive apprenticeship model for enhancement of advanced searching skills in a pharmacy academia rotation


  • Hilary Jasmin Assistant Professor, Health Sciences Library, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
  • Kenneth Hohmeier Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
  • Christina Spivey Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Pharmacy and Translational Science, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN



instruction, pharmacy, rotation, cognitive apprenticeship


Background: Pharmacy students are primarily taught literature searching skills didactically during their Doctor of Pharmacy curriculum. To effect change in the area of advanced literature searching skills, a pharmacy librarian joined with two Advanced Pharmacy Practice Experience (APPE) preceptors to design and implement a crash course on applied systematic searching skills for a cohort of four students.

Case Presentation: Through the cognitive apprenticeship model, a Systematic Searching Crash Course (SSCC) was implemented among a cohort of four academic APPE students. Students developed search strategies using controlled vocabulary and free text, translated their searches into multiple databases, and used citation management software to build libraries of evidence. Additionally, the cohort blindly peer reviewed each other’s search strategies, wrote literature reviews, and finally conducted a search together without input from the pharmacy librarian.

Conclusions: Review of the pre-/post-course self-assessment taken by the cohort indicates the SSCC is a success in terms of improving student confidence in accessing and synthesizing primary literature. As the crash course is further refined and implemented, there may be more opportunity to embed the course into didactic curriculum and residency programs and to potentially reproduce it for other health science disciplines.


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Case Report