Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Student Perceptions of Team-Based Learning vs Traditional Lecture-Based Learning

Academic journal article American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education

Student Perceptions of Team-Based Learning vs Traditional Lecture-Based Learning

Article excerpt


Team-based learning (TBL) is increasingly used in higher education because it employs active learning to promote self-directed learning (deep learning) and enhances student adaptability in problem-solving situations. (1,2) Deep learning results in greater retention of the material, likely because students understand and make personal sense of the material, rather than simply memorize and reproduce it. (3) Deep learning is an essential skill for health care professionals as they must retain knowledge and understand and incorporate new evidence as it becomes available. Team-based learning is a useful tool for developing deep-learning skills in a variety of disciplines and educational settings. (4) As a teaching strategy, TBL yields similar results as lecture-based formats on evaluations of short-term learning of application skills. (5)

Team-based learning is beneficial to both course facilitators and students. It improves student performance in both academically weak and academically strong students. (6-8) When TBL is employed, students perform better on examination questions, indicating their increased mastery of course content. (9-11) Using TBL may help students achieve the same or better knowledge scores than using more traditional methods; (12) it also may provide a small-group experience in a large class without needing a large number of faculty members. (13,14) Through use of TBL, faculty members can shift factual content delivery to pre-class preparation, leaving more class time for active learning and integration of new learning with the knowledge gained before class. (15) Faculty members perceive TBL may impact student behaviors, such as being better prepared for class, being more engaged during class, and taking more responsibility for their own learning. (16) Team-based learning also provides greater student-to-instructor engagement than traditional lecture during the learning process. (17)

Michealson et al describes TBL as beginning with guided student readings and assignments completed prior to class. (9,15) Upon arrival in class, students take an individual readiness assessment test (iRAT), which consists of approximately 10 multiple-choice questions covering the preclass work and targets the remembering and understanding levels of Bloom's Taxonomy. (18) After completion of the iRAT, the same quiz is taken by the TBL groups as a team readiness assurance test (tRAT). Discussion or a "mini-lecture" follows, during which muddy points identified by the readiness assessment process can be explained, and more complex issues can also be addressed. Next, TBL groups work on an application exercise, which requires the use of critical-thinking skills to apply the information learned to a complex problem or case scenario. The learning session concludes with discussion and wrap up.

Student perceptions of TBL are often positive as it provides students with a high degree of satisfaction and an engaging environment. (6,19,20) Pharmacy students indicate that TBL improves their professional competencies and abilities, as well as their ability to communicate and think critically. (16) Faculty members believe that, compared to other teaching strategies, TBL can enhance student engagement, preparation, and achievement of course outcomes. (16,18) However, little research compares student preference for TBL vs traditional, lecture-based learning.

Incorporation of TBL into pharmacy education is limited, despite the fact that it fulfills an Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) guideline under Standard 11, which encourages curricular incorporation of active-learning strategies to develop critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. (21) When incorporated, TBL is successful in pharmacy curricula because it provides a high level of student satisfaction. (4,10,18,22-24) It may also be more effective than traditional lectures at engaging students across all domains of Bloom's Taxonomy. …

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