Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Comparison of Answer-until-Correct and Full-Credit Assessments in a Team-Based Learning Course

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Comparison of Answer-until-Correct and Full-Credit Assessments in a Team-Based Learning Course

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

A variety of methods are used to grade assessments in courses that use team-based learning (TBL). Pharmacy educators use of the Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique, or the IF-AT (Epstein Educational Enterprises, Cincinnati, OH), on tRATs and on team examinations. (1-7) In Allen and colleagues survey of faculty members from colleges' and schools of pharmacy in the United States, 74% of respondents who had implemented TBL were using the IF-AT forms for assessment. (8) The IF-AT card is a response form with a preset answer key designed to be used with multiple-choice questions. (9-11) Students work in teams to determine the best answer to an assessment item and scratch the area under the answer they think is correct. A star is revealed when students answer correctly, and a blank box is revealed when students answer incorrectly. Following an incorrect answer, students have the opportunity to scratch the area under another answer choice until the correct answer is revealed. This method of answer-until-correct allows for partial credit to be awarded for each item of the assessment. It also provides immediate feedback for students and faculty members.

Of those who report using IF-AT forms in TBL sessions, only 2 specify using a partial grading method. (3-4) However, the grading method is not compared to other methods in these reports. Persky and colleagues assessed the impact ofIF-AT forms compared to traditional assessment methods (ie, multiple-choice, true/false, short-answer) for individual course examinations in a pharmacokinetics course not using TBL. (12) They found no differences in student performance but did find that students preferred IF-AT forms over traditional assessment methods. Published comparisons of student performance in pharmacy education using IF-AT forms for team assessments in TBL courses do not describe the impact on the quality of team interactions.

The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of awarding partial credit to team assessments using an answer-until-correct method compared to traditional methods of grading on both student performance and quality of team interactions.

METHODS

Team-based learning was implemented in 2008 in an elective course titled Ambulatory Care. (13) Since this time, the course has been offered annually during the fall semester to third-year student pharmacists and has used TBL as the sole instructional method. The course directors consistently incorporate the core elements of TBL in the course structure. (14) During the 2013 fall semester, IF-AT forms were introduced to the course to be used as the assessment tool for tRATs.

We conducted a retrospective longitudinal study that included students enrolled in the ambulatory care elective in the 2010, 2011, and 2013 fall semesters. The control group (full-credit) consisted of students enrolled in the course in the 2010 and 2011 fall semesters. The course used a traditional, full-credit assessment method for tRATs at those times. Students from those course offerings were identified as the control group because they had completed the Team Performance Scale as a component of the course to assess quality of team interactions. The intervention group (answer-until-correct) consisted of students enrolled in the course in the 2013 fall semester when IF-AT forms were used to grade tRATs. Topics included in each course offering varied slightly from year to year based on instructor availability. Table 1 displays the topics included in each course offering. Topics were consistent in the course except for anticoagulation part 2, women's health, and chronic noncancer pain. Students were divided into 5-6 member teams. At the start of each class session, students completed an iRAT, and immediately after, the tRAT. The topic instructor then led a discussion of misconceptions identified by the tRAT. Students completed the team application activity, which was followed by interteam discussions led by the topic instructor. …

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