Evidence suggests that confidence in learning may improve academic performance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) physician assistant (PA) student's self-efficacy for learning end-of-life (EOL) care after a team-based learning (TBL) activity. Confidence in the PA student's critical thinking skills after a TBL activity was also assessed.Methods
This research used a pretest–posttest 2-group design. Eighty-seven UTMB didactic-year PA students were randomly assigned to a TBL group (n = 43) or non-TBL group (n = 44). All students completed online modules on EOL care. Self-efficacy of learning was measured in both groups using a modified general self-efficacy survey given before and after the instructional approach.Results
In the TBL group, results indicated a statistically significant increase in the student's confidence level in learning EOL care in the posttest compared with the pretest (p < .001). Such results were not found in the non-TBL group (p = .838). In addition, the TBL group (p < .001) showed a statistically significant increase in confidence in critical thinking skills. No statistically significant difference in confidence in critical thinking was observed in the non-TBL group (p = .208).Conclusions
The results indicated a statistically significant increase in the student's confidence in learning EOL care and in the student's critical thinking skills in the TBL group. The study findings allow UTMB PA faculty to continue to investigate self-efficacy for learning after a TBL activity in content areas other than EOL care; therefore, the results of this study indicate that further research is warranted.