A pragmatic approach to introducing mixed methods research training for pharmacy students in Namibia

Timothy Rennie, Ester Naikaku-Hango, Ottilie Kandiwapa Hasiike Katali, Loide Ndelimona Ndapandula Shipingana, Christian John Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and purpose: Pharmacy and medical training were introduced for the first time in Namibia in 2011 and 2010 respectively. All students must complete a research project as part of their training, which is supported by various courses in the respective curricula including research methods. Following a revision of the medical curriculum, there was an opportunity to review the way research methods was taught for both degrees, piloting in pharmacy then expanding to other disciplines. An educational activity that was part of the research methods course for training pharmacy students in Namibia is described. Educational activity and setting: The activity described related to a new approach in the running of the research methods course for pharmacy students and included, in a portfolio-based approach, a group project. Students were tasked to collect qualitative data from medical student colleagues that they then needed to codify and ultimately articulate into a survey questionnaire. The questionnaire was subsequently sent out to collect responses on medicines-related items that could be analyzed quantitatively in subsequent teaching sessions. Supportive lectures, tutorials and portfolio assignments were provided during the project. Data were collected the following year to create a more substantive dataset and a screencast video made to benefit future students in the course. Findings and discussion: Through the course of this activity students developed a questionnaire survey tool based on qualitative responses to brief interviews with medical students and emergent themes based on qualitative analyses. A dataset was created that allowed demonstration of quantitative analyses and extraction of sub-scales from the questionnaire. Further educational resources were developed to ensure sustainability of this educational resource and retention in the taught curriculum. The current article discusses the development, implementation and evaluation of this research methods course component. The application of data collected as part of the activity and its relevance to the educational activity is examined as well as lessons learned for the future running of the project and further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number2
Early online date4 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2020


  • Health research training
  • Mixed methods
  • Pharmacy education
  • Qualitative
  • Quantitative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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