Examining the Relationship Between Biometric Indicators and Pharmacy Students' Academic Performance
Objective. To use a fitness tracking device to track student wellness habits, specifically number of steps, activity, and sleep duration, in an attempt to identify relationships between these variables and academic performance outcomes such as examination scores and course grades. Methods. A fitness tracker was issued to second professional year Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) students to track their daily number of steps, activity levels, and minutes of sleep. Individual data from these devices were collected using a cloud-based data aggregation platform. The outcome variables of interest were student grade point average (GPA) in core courses, as well as examination grades for 17 examinations administered across eight required courses during the study period. After exploratory analyses, the primary research questions relating steps and sleep to academic performance were addressed with a series of linear regression models. Results. No significant, identifiable relationships were found between examination grades or course GPA and the variables of interest. There was a significant negative relationship between the number of steps students took 72-hours before an examination and performance on the examination where students in the low activity group significantly outperformed those in the high activity group by an average of two points. Participants took an average of 1,466 fewer steps prior to an examination. Conclusion. Sleep and physical activity were not robust predictors of examination scores and course grades in this cohort of PharmD students. While the fitness tracker served as an impetus for the students to be more cognizant of their activity, the capital expenditure for the devices did not result in improved academic performance.
Nemec II, E. C., Thomas, M. C., Gile, K. J., Jiayue Tong, & Mattison, M. J. (2020). Examining the relationship between biometric indicators and pharmacy students’ academic performance. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 84(5), Article 7683, 544–548. doi: 10.5688/ajpe7683
American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education
American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP)