Assessing the benefits of team based learning in the context of a clinical pathology course

Dragan Jovanovic., Robert Kidnie., Jam Khojasteh., Jamin Graham and Ranjan Solanki

Team Based Learning (TBL) can help students to better develop problem solving skills and strong critical thinking in an integrative course like Pathology. Medical students were divided into small teams based on their academic performance, gender, and ethnicity. The results of tests administered individually and to the TBL groups were evaluated using the Mann-Whitney U statistical test for group differences. At the end of the course, and at the end of their basic science education the same students were asked to complete a survey to assess their perception of TBL compared to traditional lecture. t-Test and one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to analyze this data.TBL group exam results were consistently and significantly higher compared with individual student exam results. The benefits of TBL were experienced by both stronger and weaker students; exam results were higher in both groups. Descriptive statistics for three outcome measurements, (learning environment, student interaction, and group structure) were assessed by group. The one-way ANOVA yielded significant results for group structure by term: Term4 students were .25 points significantly (p< .05) higher than Term 5 students on the group structure construct. TBL was well received by the students that participated in our study. We found that Term4 students who had more recently participated in TBL rated group structure significantly higher than Term5 students, indicating a more positive perception than that of Term5 students. TBL is a promising educational method and was effective at improving learning outcomes in a Clinical Pathology course.

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DOI: 23956429.ijcmpr20180356
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