Changes to summative skills-based assessments within the Big Ten Academic Alliance Performance-Based Assessment Collaborative (BTAA-PBAC) due to COVID-19

Mary Nolan, Marina Maes, Deanna Tran, Tara Driscoll, Laura Knockel, Jared Van Hooser, Colleen Dula, Kristen Cook, Morgan Stoa, Amy Ives, Lucio Volino, Nichole Rupnow, Kristine Parbuoni, Jamie L. Woodyard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: In Spring 2020 many academic institutions transitioned to remote learning in response to the developing COVID-19 pandemic. These changes affected skills-based training, as schools of pharmacy were forced to transition traditionally in-person assessments to a remote setting. The purpose of this article is to describe the experience of pharmacy skills lab coordinators when transitioning summative skills-based assessments (SSBA). Methods: A web-based survey instrument administered through QualtricsXM was sent to all institutions in the Big Ten Academic Alliance-Performance Based Assessment Collaborative. Only one member from each institution completed the survey on behalf of the institution. The survey consisted of four sections: changes made to skills evaluated; changes made to the delivery of those evaluations; challenges to and strategies used by the skills lab program when switching to remote learning; and recommendations for incorporating remote learning within future SSBAs. Survey respondents were invited to participate in an optional unstructured interview regarding survey answers. Results: Nine of ten invited institutions responded to the survey. Of the nine respondents, three participated in the post-survey interview. Overall, 79.5% (93/117) of skills planned to be assessed were assessed with or without modification, with 8.5% (10/117) of skills canceled and 10.3% (12/117) of skills assessments postponed. The most common challenges mentioned were the lack of preparation time, inability to assess certain skills virtually, and student barriers. The most common recommendations made were to prioritize lab components and incorporate flexibility in planning and scheduling. Discussion: The results indicate that most skills were still assessed during the Spring 2020 semester. Though the transition to remote learning was challenging and unique for each institution, common strategies and recommendations identified here provide opportunities for academics to analyze and prioritize learning objectives and to rethink how to develop and deliver SSBAs as remote assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)827-836
Number of pages10
JournalJACCP Journal of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • COVID-19
  • United States
  • clinical
  • competence
  • pharmacy
  • schools
  • students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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