Team-Based Learning Activities for First-Year Medical Students: Perception of the Learners

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Abstract

Objectives

Team-based learning (TBL) is an active learning strategy that is used increasingly in medical education to promote critical thinking, knowledge application, teamwork, and collaboration. The aim of this study was to assess the students’ perspective on the utility of TBL compared with traditional lectures.

Methods

We used a validated TBL student assessment instrument comprising three subscales studying accountability, preference for lecture or TBL, and student satisfaction. First-year medical students enrolled at the University of Florida College of Medicine in spring semester 2016 were asked to complete the questionnaire.

Results

The response rate was 50% (70/138). Although 81% of students reported that they had to prepare before TBL and believed they had to contribute to the learning of their team, only 52% believed that they were accountable for team learning. The majority believed that TBL activities are an effective approach to learning (74%), with 78% agreeing that TBL activities helped them recall information. Fewer than half (45%), however, believed that TBL helped improve their grades.

Conclusions

Students reported a preference and satisfaction with TBL over traditional lectures, but a mixed response was noted on the questions pertaining to accountability for team learning.

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