Video killed the multiple-choice quiz: capturing pharmacy students’ literature searching skills using a screencast video assignment




screencast videos, competency-based assignment, pharmacy students, drug information


Background: In a flipped, required first-year drug information course, students were taught the systematic approach to answering drug information questions, commonly utilized resources, and literature searching. As co-coordinator, a librarian taught three weeks of the course focused on mobile applications, development of literature searching skills, and practicing in PubMed. Course assignments were redesigned in 2019 based on assessment best practices and replaced weekly multiple-choice quizzes used in prior iterations of the course.

Case Presentation: Following two weeks of literature searching instruction, students were assigned a drug information question that would serve as the impetus for the search they conducted. Students (n=66) had one week to practice and record a screencast video of their search in PubMed. Students narrated their video with an explanation of the actions being performed and were assessed using a twenty-point rubric created by the course coordinator and librarian. The librarian also created general feedback videos for each question by recording screencasts while performing the literature searches and clarifying troublesome aspects for students. The librarian spent about twenty-four hours grading and six hours writing scripts, recording, and editing feedback videos.

Conclusion: Most students performed well on the assignment and few experienced technical difficulties. Instructors will use this assignment and feedback method in the future. Screencast videos proved an innovative way to assess student knowledge and to provide feedback on literature searching assignments. This method is transferrable to any medical education setting and could be used across all health professions to improve information literacy skills.


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