Motivating undergraduate students via online learning to develop clinical competencies

Kevin P. Mc Namara, Chooi Yeng Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Background: Online learning is becoming increasingly common for undergraduate health professions. 

Aims: To examine the effect of an online hypertension management module in motivating undergraduate pharmacy students to further develop clinical competencies during future clinical placements. 

Method: The module focuses on approaches to counselling techniques for chronic disease management. It is complemented by therapeutics lectures, counselling tutorial and an objective structured clinical examination. A student survey, constructed based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, was undertaken after completion of the assessment. 

Results: Sixty two percent reported increased motivation to practice what they had learnt during placements, and a majority also reported improved attitudes and perceived self-efficacy. Levels of motivation had significant moderate correlations with improved appreciation of counselling techniques (r=0.489, p<0.001), and confidence to further practice blood pressure counselling (r=0.411, p<0.001). 

Conclusion: Increased motivation to manage hypertension during future placements appears correlated with perceived self-efficacy and engagement with the learning concepts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-108
Number of pages8
JournalPharmacy Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Clinical competencies
  • Motivation
  • Online learning
  • Pharmacy
  • Undergraduates

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