Students Evaluation Perception And Knowledge Education Essay

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The field of science education started to change after biotechnology studies appeared in the scientific area. There is no doubt that biotechnology is the most scientific and technological developments of the 21st century.[7] As known, biotechnology includes broader use of biological processes, organisms or systems to manufacture products intended to improve the quality of human life.[17] Modern use of the biotechnology term refers to genetic engineering as well as cell- and tissue culture technologies.

Recently, biotechnology has emerged as an important growth area in pharmaceuticals. There is an increasing rate of biotechnology-derived products, collectively termed biopharmaceuticals entering pharmaceutical marketplace.[6] Many pharmaceutical companies have made increasing use of biotechnology in discovering and manufacturing new medicines. The identification and treatment of diseases at the molecular level is now becoming possible due to development of recombinant DNA technology, hybridoma technology and stem cells technology.[11,15]

As the use of biotechnology is becoming more important in pharmaceutical field, there is a need for pharmacy education to make significant change on its curriculum. The need of paradigm shift in pharmacy education is necessary to reduce or improve the currently teaching programmes which have been outmoded.[2,6,15] Pharmacy students need to become knowledgeable and always alert in the current development of biotechnology. It is crucial for them to be prepared and realized their role in pharmaceutical biotechnology in years ahead because the demand for biotechnology-derived product is continually increasing.

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Since 1990, many schools of pharmacy have taking a proactive step in incorporating biotechnology-related material into their curriculum. For example, the University of Mississippi has been integrating biotechnology into its basic pharmaceutical sciences and being delivered in a multidisciplinary manner. In addition, the University of Florida College of Pharmacy recognized the need to increase the emphasis on biotechnology in pharmacy curriculum. Therefore, a stand- alone biotechnology course was developed for the entry level PharmD curriculum with the goal of providing pharmacy students with an understanding of the clinical economic impact of biotechnology on pharmacy practice.[1,2,6]

In School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Universiti Sains Malaysia(USM), pharmaceutical biotechnology courses has been offered as an elective subject during the first semester of second year students enrolled in the bachelor of pharmacy(BPharm) degree program. Due to recent advances in the field of biotechnology that facilitates the utilization of such technology for the production of biopharmaceutical products, this course is design to introduce to the students the fundamentals of biotechnology and their application in various types of biopharmaceutical products. This in return would further enhance the students' ability to understand the importance of biotechnology within the pharmaceutical sector and their role in contributing to further development of biopharmaceuticals industry. This research is conducted to examine students' knowledge toward pharmaceutical biotechnology course as well as their perception and evaluation towards this course.

OBJECTIVES

To determine pharmacy students' perception towards Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course and their evaluation towards the delivery of the course.

To investigate level of students' knowledge on biotechnology.

To investigate whether year of study and taking Biology subject before entering Bachelor of Pharmacy Programme has significant effect on students' knowledge

To found out association between level and knowledge and perception of students towards the course.

METHODOLOGY

Study Design

The study design of this research is a cross-sectional study. This is a quantitative observational study. Cross-sectional studies analyze data collected on a group subjects at one time rather than over a period of time. Subjects (pharmacy students whose taking Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course) are randomly selected and information is obtained in a short period of time. As of our study was design to determined the knowledge, perception and evaluation of students towards pharmaceutical biotechnology course, we only need to obtain their opinion at that point of time and no follow up is needed.

Study Sample

The target samples of the research are the second year and third pharmacy students from School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Sains Malaysia who had taken Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course during their bachelor of pharmacy (BPharm) degree program. In considering the degree of accuracy, methodology, the population characteristics and the possible numbers of non-responses, we decided on a sample size of 80 students .90 questionnaires are prepared and distributed to the second year and third year pharmacy students to avoid insufficient data due to uncooperative respondents.

Sampling Method

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Non-probability sampling method is used. Subjects (pharmacy students who had taken Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course) are randomly selected from second year and third year due to availability. This descriptive survey was carried in School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University Science Malaysia. In order to prevent inconveniences to the respondent, we chose to approach them at lunch time (12.50pm- 2pm) which is after the morning session of lecture end.

Data Collection

Data collection is done by the aid of questionnaire. This method of data collection is chosen because it is cost effective and the data obtained can be analyzed easily. Subjects (pharmacy students who had taken pharmaceutical biotechnology course) were required to answer and complete the questionnaire on the spot. The questionnaire is designed to consist of 2 parts. Part 1 is the demographic information of the subject, while Part 2 is divided into 3 sections and the respondents are required to answer all sections. The first section is aimed to determine the evaluation of students towards the course while the second section consists of question to assess students' perception towards this course. The third section is designed to evaluate the knowledge of the students on biotechnology and the questions made only ask basic knowledge about biotechnology. Evaluation and perception of respondents were assessed by 5 points Likert scale. In order to determine the knowledge of the students, a close-ended questions in which the respondents were given a few options to choose is being made. Due to the rationale that the respondents are all educated and they are expected to possess high proficiency in languages, the questionnaire is prepared in one language only, which is English. The collection of data is done by individual approach and it took us about 1 weeks to collect all the data.

Data Analysis

Data analysis is done by the aid of statistical software, Statistic Procedure for Social Sciences (SPSS) Version 16.0.1 for Windows.

For the demographic part, we have used descriptive statistic to analyze our data. From SPSS we obtained the frequency and percentage of each category under each demographic question.

For the Likert responses, all responses with any degree of agreement were group together as positive responses, and all responses with any degree of disagreement were grouped together as negative response. There is also some of the negative-worded items presence and therefore reverse scoring is used.

For the knowledge part which consists of 8 close-ended questions, a scoring system was made as follows:

The questions asked in the knowledge part allows respondents to choose more than one answer which they thinks are correct. In marking the answers, a negative marking system is being applied. We marked all the correct answers as score 1. While for the wrong answer, 1 mark will be deducted. There will be no negative mark for any question but the lowest possible final score is 0 and the highest possible mark is 18. Those who scored 0-6 is considered having a poor knowledge, 7-12 is moderate and 13-18 is considered having good knowledge in biotechnology.

Under inferential statistic, the significant association between the independent variable(s) and dependent variable(s) is investigated using Chi-square test. The independent variables are demographic factor include year of study and taking biology before entering Bachelor of Pharmacy programme. The dependent variable is the level of knowledge of the students on Pharmaceutical Biotechnology. By using SPSS, we obtained the cross tabulate (crosstab) table and p value. In this study, the alpha value is 0.05. Results were considered significant when the p value was less than 0.05

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Descriptive Statistics: Demographic data of the Respondents

Demographic Feature

Frequency

Percentage (%)

Gender

Male

16

19.8

Female

65

80.2

Race

Malay

52

64.2

Chinese

28

34.6

Others

1

1.2

Year of Study

2nd Year

43

53.1

3rd Year

38

46.9

Mode of Entry into the University

Matriculation

68

84.0

STPM

13

16.0

Others

-

-

Taking Biology before Entering BPharm

Yes

66

81.5

No

15

18.5

Table 1: Demographic Characteristics of Pharmacy Students' Enrolled in Pharmaceutical

Biotechnology Course

Of the 81 students participating in this study, 16 are female and 65 are female. Our respondents were made up of 2 races. There are Malay(52) which made up the major proportion with a percentage of 64.2%, followed by Chinese (28) which has a percentage of 34.6% and other races(1) which made up of proportion of 1.2%. The major group of our respondents, (84.0%) is entering the university through Matriculation. While the remaining, 16.0% is entering the university with their STPM qualification. There are almost an equal proportion of second year and third year students who participating in this study. 53.1% is from second year while another 46.9% is the third year students. Over half of the respondents (66) had taking Biology subject before entering Bachelor of Pharmacy Programme which made up the major proportion (81.5%). Only minority of the respondents (15) is not taking Biology before entering this programme and all of them are actually taking Physics subject.

Students' Evaluation on the Delivery of the Course

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Survey Item

Degree of Response

Towards negative response

Neutral

Towards positive response

The course content is arranged in a clear,

logical and orderly manner.

16

(19.8%)

27

(13.3%)

38

(46.9%)

The course content explains the

knowledge and concepts well.

14

(17.3%)

27

(13.3%)

40

(49.4%)

The course content covered what student

need to know as a pharmacist in the

future.

16

(19.8%)

26

(32.1%)

39

(48.1%)

Course materials were relevant and up to

date

10

(12.3%)

30

(37.0%)

41

(50.6%)

I found that the course being delivered in

a very understandable manner

21

(25.9%)

37

(45.7%)

23

(28.4%)

*This course burdens me a lot but just

give two graduation units in turn.

38

(46.9%)

20

(24.7%)

23

(28.4%)

The lecturer's presentation positively

impacted my understanding of the

material.

20

(24.7%)

23

(28.4%)

38

(46.9%)

Assignments given in this course are very

interesting and stimulating

2

(24.7%)

32

(39.5%)

24

(29.7%)

*I can hardly imagine and understand some of the complex concepts/process in this course due to lack of examples/diagrams/video being provided.

52

(63.6%)

19

(23.5%)

10

(12.3%)

The materials(textbooks, handouts) in this course have helped me to better understand many key concepts and/terms in this course

14

(17.2%)

35

(43.2%)

32

(39.5%)

Overall, I was satisfied with the quality of this course.

18

(22.3%)

32

(39.5%)

31

(38.3%)

Table 2: Pharmacy Students' Evaluation on the Delivery of Pharmaceutical

Biotechnology Course

*Negatively worded-item. Reverse scoring is used

In evaluating the delivery of Biotechnology course in School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), 11 questions were asked regarding the effectiveness of lecture's presentation, the course contents, assignments given as well as materials used in conducting the course throughout, the semester.

In general, degree of response towards students' satisfaction about the quality of the course is moderate in which 32 students (39.5%) give neutral perception, 31 students (38.3%) keenly give positive satisfaction and 18 respondents (22.3%) shows dissatisfaction towards the quality of the Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course in School of Pharmacy, USM.

While accessing students' evaluation towards the content of the course, most of them evaluated it as neutral to slightly positive. 38 respondents,(46.9%) agree that the course content is arranged in a clear, logical and orderly manner. While another 27 students (13.3%) give neutral perception and 16 (19.8%) of them disagree about the statement. About 40 respondents, (49.4%) agree that the content explain the biotechnology knowledge and concepts well, 14(17.3%) disagree and 27(13.3%) give moderate assessment about the statement. In addition, students do agree that the content covered what they need to know as a pharmacist in the future, with 39 students (48.1%) agree, 26 students (32.1%) neutral and 16 students (19.8%) disagree. Students with interest in biopharmaceuticals and drug design might agree with this statement while other that prone to retail or hospital pharmacy of other field of pharmacy may be less agree that the course can cover what students needs as a pharmacy in the future. According to the assessment reported by the Biotechnology Education Committee of the American Association of Colleges Pharmacy, in a study conducted, most of the students do not satisfied with the current pharmaceutical biotechnology curriculum in preparing the students to understand the role and potential impact of biotechnology-related product in pharmacy practice. So, there is a definite sense that there is an urgent need to strengthen our efforts in providing more efficient methods of presenting the material.[3] Overall, most of the students are slightly satisfied with the content of the course.

However in evaluating the delivery effectiveness of the course, we found out that students could not decide that the course was delivered in a very understandable manner. 37 respondents (45.7%) neither agree nor disagree, 23 respondents (28.4%) agree and 21respondents (25.9%) disagree that they able to understand the knowledge during lectures. In terms of lecturer's presentation, 46.9% of the students agree that the lecturers' presentation positively impacted their understanding of the material while about 21.7% disagree with the statement. In one of the study done by Atwater, Wiggins and Gardner, they found that teachers' attitude towards the subject matter and its effective presentation was as significant as the students' perspective in determining the success of the teaching or learning process [8]. Probably, the lecturer's in School of Pharmaceutical Sciences have successfully delivered their lecture well and thus develop the understanding of the students. However, there is a thought that maybe some of them still unable to attract students' attention as well as expanding students understanding. According to Steele and Andersoon, although the teachers have an excellent knowledge and understanding of the content, but due to lack of opportunity for practical in the classroom, they are unable to well-delivered the lecture.[8,11] Practically, lecturers have to update the knowledge and new information on biotechnology specifically in pharmaceutical field or biopharmaceuticals as it keep rapidly changing from time to time Apparently, the content and syllabus structure of this course is well organized but the delivery effectiveness as well as the way material is being presented seems to drop students' perception and the eagerness to study biotechnology.

Though half of the students(40 respondents, 50.6%) agree that the material given by the lecturers are relevant and up to date but it is still not enough in boosting up their level of understanding. In another items accessed, many students (35 respondents, 43.2%) have moderate perception that the materials such as textbooks and handouts in this course helped them much to gain better understanding in many key concepts and terms used in biotechnology. 32 respondents (39.5%) give positive perception and the rest (14 respondents, 17.2%) give negative perception. Lecture notes do not help much for students to totally grab the concepts in biotechnology though it is up to date. In fact, in one of the survey done, they found out that lack of information resources including reference material and lecture material is one of the barriers in implementing biotechnology in pharmacy curriculum. Besides that, they also found out that lack of videos and clinical studies is another barrier. The same situation also being reflected in this study where over half of the respondents(63.6%) claim that lack of examples, diagrams, or videos being provided during the learning process lead to the difficulty in understanding some of the complex concepts or process in this course. Theme that emerge on how students would improve the curriculum are to increase the use of computers and the internet, make the course more interesting , improve and expand the practical components of the course, increase their own involvement in learning, and increase their understanding of subjects as well as their knowledge.[4]Therefore, a new approach need to be introduced such as web-base learning of Pharmaceutical biotechnology to enhance the ease of understanding the complex key concept in biotechnology also to boost up interest in learning biotechnology in pharmacy students.

The assignments given do not appears to be stimulating and interesting to most of the students as it does not involve the real application of biotechnology in pharmacy. As expected, 38 respondents (46.9%) agreed that biotechnology course burdens them a lot but just give 2 graduation units in turn. As this course requires students to memorize a lots and quite a tough course, most of them would probably thinks that is not fair if it only gives 2 graduation units.

Therefore, a proactive steps is needed in order to improve and enhance the delivery effectiveness of Pharmaceutical Biotechology Course(FEL271/2) in School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, USM.

Students' Perception of the Course

Survey Item

Degree of Response

Towards Negative Response

Neutral

Towards Positive Response

Pharmaceutical biotechnology course is very interesting.

14

(17.2%)

30

(37.0%)

37

(45.7%)

Knowledge gained from the course necessary for my pharmacy practice.

11

(13.6 %)

27

(33.3%)

43

(53.1%)

*I can understand biotechnology through my own learning even if I'm not taking this course.

42

(51.9%)

28

(34.6%)

11

(13.5%)

This course should be made as a core subject rather than just an elective.

38

(46.9%)

23

(28.4%)

20

(24.7%)

Everybody should have this knowledge to become a well-rounded pharmacist.

5

(6.1%)

25

(30.9%)

51

(63.0%)

*This course requires student to memorize a lot.

4

(4.9%)

11

(13.6%)

92

(81.5%)

*Only students that are interested/aiming to work in pharmaceutical biotechnology related field are necessary to take this course.

11

(13.6%)

16

(19.8%)

45

(60.5%)

The use of IT (information technology) including internet, e-learning, etc is necessary to make this course better.

4

(4.9%)

13

(16.0%)

64

(79.0%)

Overall, I'm glad that this course is offered to pharmacy students.

2

(2.5%)

24

(29.6%)

55

(67.9%)

Table 3: Pharmacy Students' Perception on Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Course

*Negatively worded-item. Reverse scoring is used

Nine items were asked in correspondence to this component of study. Out of the nine items, three were asked in the form of negative statement, while the other six were asked in positive statements. Out of the nine items, six of them received positive responses. Majority of the students felt that Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course is very interesting (45.7%) and the knowledge gained from the course necessary for their pharmacy practice (53.1%). Meanwhile, majority of the students felt that they cannot understand this biotechnology through their own learning even if they are not taking this course. More than half of the students (63.0%) think that everybody should have this knowledge to become a well-rounded pharmacist. Most of the students (79.0%) agreed that the use of IT (information technology) including internet, e-learning, etc is necessary to make this course better. Overall, the students (67.9%) are glad that this course is offered to pharmacy students.

On the other hand, majority of the students (46.9%) disagree that this course should be made into a core subject rather than an elective subject. This perception can be correlated with the fact that majority of the students (81.5%) agreed to the statement that this course requires student to memorize a lot. Furthermore, most of them (60.5%) felt that only students that are interested or aiming to work in pharmaceutical biotechnology related field are necessary to take this course.

Biotechnology education in developing nations is one of the limiting factors in achieving optimal human resource capacity in order to fully utilize bioresources in our country. While there may be a steady stream of biology and biotechnology based graduates, from Malaysian as well as foreign universities contributing to the human resource base for these countries, the numbers and knowledge diversity produced, still lack the capacity to optimally power research and development as well as supply the industrial biotechnology sectors of these countries.[19] In Sixth Plan period (1991-1995), Malaysia has emphasized the development of biotechnology.[12] Thus, there is a need to produce pharmacist equipped with biotechnology knowledge, especially in biopharmaceuticals industry. A sound pharmacy education system with emphasis and smart partnership in research and development will surely bring forth tremendous progress to the pharmacy profession in Malaysia.[13]

In order to assess the perceptions of the pharmacy students toward the introduction of this pharmaceutical biotechnology course in the Bachelor of Pharmacy curriculum, this survey was conducted. Majority of participants believed that the pharmaceutical biotechnology course is important in making them a well-rounded pharmacist and would be useful in their future pharmacy practice. However, there is always room for improvement in the delivery of the course. This is reflected in students' negative perceptions towards the course's usefulness as they felt that only students that are interested or aiming to work in pharmaceutical biotechnology related field are necessary to take this course and thus it should stay as an elective subject rather than a core subject. The syllabus and the teaching method of the course also may need to be reviewed as the students felt that that this course requires student to memorize a lot. The result of this survey shows the importance of experiential components of learning in a pharmaceutical biotechnology course as tools to improve knowledge and skills and also to keep the students interested in the course.

The challenge in designing a good practical assignment is providing enough depth while making it attractive for the students.[14] Although most of the students found that the public health course was meaningful, there is still a significant percentage of students that found it uninteresting.

Students' Knowledge on Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

In order to access the students' knowledge on pharmaceutical biotechnology, a very basic and simple question related to biotechnology concept and biopharmaceutical is being asked. All of the questions asked are considered crucial knowledge that every students should possess as a future pharmacist. Below is the distribution of score as well as the total score achieved by the students:

Figure 1: Distribution of respondents' score based on the response given to the questions administered

Figure 2: Graph above represent total score achieved by the students after completing the question regarding pharmaceutical biotechnology.

The respondents' score ranged from 1 to 16 out of 18.Based on the graph [Figure 2] above, it indicates that majority of the students, 44(54.3%) are having "moderate" level of knowledge on pharmaceutical biotechnology. Only 10.3% of the respondents reached the "good" score and it is quite disappointed to see that 27 of the students are in "poor" category which makes up a percentage of 33.3%. Figure 1 shows almost a normal distribution where the mean score was 7.89 and modes were 8 where it is fall under "moderate" score.

Year of study

Knowledge

Total

p-value

α = 0.05

Poor

Moderate

Good

0.007

P < 0.05

*significant difference

2nd Year

9(11.1%)

25(30.9%)

9(11.1%)

43

3rd Year

18(22.2%)

19(23.5%)

1(1.2%)

38

Total

27(33.3%)

44(54.3%)

10(12.3%)

81

Table 4: Chi-Square evaluation of response based on years of study versus knowledge

level.

The table above shows the association between years of study and knowledge level of the students on biotechnology. The Chi-square test had been used in order to determine whether there is significant difference between years of study and level of knowledge. According to the Chi-square test, there is significant difference (p=0.007, p<0.05) between the years of study and knowledge of the students. Based on the table above, we can clearly see that most of the 2nd year students are having better knowledge compared to the 3rd year students. Less number of 2nd year students is having "poor" score (11.1%), compared to third year students (22.2%). The low level of knowledge perceived by the third year students might probably due to the fact that they have left the course for about 1years as this subject is being taken when they are in the first semester of second year. Compared to the second year, the knowledge on biotechnology is still fresh and they are able to recall it as this course is being taken on the last 6 - 5 months. As this is just an elective and no extended course on biotechnology being offered after they finished this course, most of third year students have a higher tendency to forget what they had learnt. Thus, it is not surprised to see that most of the third year students achieved a lower score.

The better knowledge achieved by the second year students might be due to the that improvement of the content of the course as well as the teaching style and strategy of the lectures.. From other research conducted by Gillian Kidman, they found that a teacher's attitude toward the subject matter and the effectiveness of their presentation was giving significant perspectives towards the students in determining their success of the teaching. [8]. The students will give their full attention if the presentation from the lecturer is attractive and easily be understand. A good presentation will enhance the students to learn more about that particular topic, then, the students will have better knowledge towards that topic.

Taking biology before entering BPharm Programme

Knowledge

Total

p-value

α = 0.05

Poor

Moderate

Good

0.694

p> 0.05

no significant difference

Yes

21(25.9%)

36(44.4%)

9(11.1%)

66

No

6(7.4%)

8(9.9%)

1(1.2%)

15

Total

27(33.3%)

44(54.3%)

10(12.3%)

81

Table 5: Chi-Square test on taking Biology before entering BPharm programme and

level of knowledge

The table above shows the relationship between taking Biology course before entering Bacehelor of Pharmacy Programme (BPharm) and knowledge on pharmaceutical biotechnology. Chi- square test shows that there is no significant difference (p=0.694, p>0.05) between taking Biology before entering BPharm and the knowledge of the students.

Though the students are having basic knowledge on biology before entering Bachelor of Pharmacy programme, it is not guaranteed that they will perform well during the course. Based on the result obtained, we can see that 21 students (25.9%) have poor knowledge on pharmaceutical biotechnology even though they have basic knowledge on biology during matriculation or STPM. We have been informed by some of the students who take biology before entering this programme that there is slight difference on what they had learnt before (in Matriculation) and what is being taught in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course. They agreed that this course is focusing on more complex and details topics compared to what they had learnt before. However, most of them think that by having a basic knowledge in Biology is a bonus is for them to understand and grab the key concepts of this course more easily. But, the most important factor affecting the performance of students through out the course is actually based on their efforts and eagerness to explore the knowledge biotechnology. Not having background in Biology does not mean that they can't mastering and understand biotechnology well. It is all depends on the individual itself.

Students response towards biopharmaceutical-related questions

Survey Question: What is biopharmaceutical?

Figure 3: Students' response on the questions "What is biopharmaceutical?"

In order to determine the students' knowledge towards Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, a basic question on what they understand about biopharmaceutical is being asked. Based on the pie chart above, it can be seen that over three quarters (77.78%) of the students defined biopharmaceuticals as a drug created by means of biotechnology, especially genetic engineering. And more than half (60.49%) of them also agree that biopharmaceutical is a pharmaceutical product that consist of protein and/ or nucleic acid. This shows that most of the students are familiar and well-introduced on what biopharmaceutical is. The term biopharmaceutical is not something new to them as they might have been introduced to it by the lecturers while taking Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course.

However, they are still minority (12.35%) of the students that defined biopharmaceutical as a field of science in which biology, computer science and information technology merge into a single discipline to analyze biology information. This definition is actually refers to bioinformatics. While about 11.11% of the students would defined biopharmaceutical as a branch of biology that studies heredity and variation in organism. Some of them might probably get confused with the definition of genetics as they look quite similar and related to biopharmaceutical.

Survey Question: Why biopharmaceuticals are usually not being taken orally?

Response

Freaquency

(n= 81)

Percent(%)

It is protein-degraded by acid in stomach

48

59.3

Undergo first pass effect

6

7.4

Have low bioavailability

3

3.7

Dangerous to human

2

2.5

No response

13

16.0

Others

9

11.1

Table 6: Students' response on the survey question "Why biopharmaceutical are usually not being taken orally.

Among the 9 questions, one open-ended question is being asked to access the students' understanding toward biopharmaceuticals. More than half of the respondents (59.3%) managed to answer the questions correctly- biopharmaceuticals are usually not being taken orally because they will be degraded by acidic environment in stomach. This figure reflects that most of the students clearly understand what they have learnt during the course and able to relate between biotechnology and pharmacy. Most of them know that biopharmaceutical is actually derived from protein substance so, they won't be stable if being taken orally.

However, it is quite shocked to see that about 7.4% of the students think that biopharmaceuticals are not being taken orally because it will undergo first-pass effect and a small percent of them (3.7%) think that biopharmaceutical is having low bioavailability. These answers might be just a guess by some of the students as they can't remember what they had learnt and not able to relate between biotechnology and is application in biopharmaceuticals.

Surprisingly, about 2.5% of the students think that biopharmaceuticals are dangerous to human if they are being taken orally. This answer is given based on their perception that biotechnology-derived product will contains bacteria that is dangerous when it is being consumed. This wrong perception also being reflected in the study conducted on Slovakian students where some of them incorrectly perceived that genetic modification is dangerous to human. About 16.0% percents of the students left the questions blanked. They might be having no idea what is actually biopharmaceutical means and they can't think of any relevant answers

LIMITATION OF THIS STUDY

There are several limitations in our research that we would like to address in this section.

Firstly, our respondents were not large enough. Only 81 students that have been taking Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course respond to our questionnaires. Apart from that, we did not managed to distribute the questionnaires to the fourth year students as half of them has been going to HUSM, Kubang Kerian for their clerkship. Thus, the data collected could not represent the opinion of all the pharmacy students regarding Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course.

Besides that, the use of 5-point Likert Scale which include 'Neutral' as part of the scale does not appear to be effective in determining the students' evaluation and perception towards Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course. Most of the students' prefer to choose 'Neutral' in most of the items/statements provided in the questionnaire. Therefore, it is difficult for us to determine whether the students is having positive or negative perception towards the statements.

The questionnaire was distributed in the lecture hall after the morning session of the lecture end. However, this might develop bias because some of the students might probably discuss the answer with their friends especially for the knowledge part. This might alter the final outcome of our result.

Moreover, most of the questions were close-ended, thus the scope of answers was limited and the students does not have much chance to express their opinion.

CONCLUSION

Overall, the students are having positive perception toward Pharmaceutical Biotechnology course in School of Pharmaceutical Sciences,USM. However, in terms of the delivery of the course, majority of them do not satisfied and would rated it as moderate. Lacks of information resources and the teaching tool are considered the common barrier in ensuring the effectiveness of the delivery of this course. Perhaps more efficient and effective methods of presenting the material are needed. Therefore, there is a suggestion to introduce the use of information technology (IT) including internet and e-learning to enhanced the understanding of students and make this course more interesting. By providing the students with more examples and assignments which is closely related to students' future practice as a pharmacist would probably improve the acceptance of students towards this course.

Second year students perceived higher score in term of knowledge about pharmaceutical biotechnology compared to third year. But in general most of the students is having moderate knowledge on pharmaceutical biotechnology specifically, biopharmaceuticals. As one of the objectives of this course is to discuss the role of pharmacist in dispensing biotechnology products and ensuring the quality of product, it is suggested that the syllabus of this course to focus more on biopharmaceuticals in order to meet the objective.