Abstracts – Scholarship

101 – Comparing Traditional and Online I-RAT Methods
Jennie Brown, Samantha Bureau

Team-based Learning (TBL) is a teaching paradigm that requires students to complete an individual RAT (Individual Readiness Assessment Test) after they complete the reading for each unit. Various researchers and practitioners have wanted to streamline this process by moving the I-RAT online. This method would allow automatic grading and grade entry of this material, free up more face-to-face time in class, as well as allow TBL practitioners to go “paper-less.” However, it is unclear if there will be adverse effects such as dishonest behavior (cheating) and decreased discussion on the Team RAT. Student performance under three different conditions will be examined and discussed: traditional paper and pencil testing, online testing, and online testing with enhanced security measures.


102 – The Effects of TBL on Undergraduate Reading Abilities
Jennie Brown, Lauren Ramsey, Shannon Tighe, Samantha Bureau

Team-based Learning (TBL) is a teaching paradigm that involves a specific order of learning activities: 1. Students complete unit reading on their own to gain a basic understanding, 2. Students complete an Individual Readiness Assessment Test (RAT), and 3. Students complete a Team RAT. This process is repeated for each unit within a course. The order of these activities, unlike the traditional lecture method and other teaching methods, pushes students to complete reading and to gain a basic understanding of the material on their own. Students are not only tested on the Individual RAT, their knowledge is examined by their teammates during the Team RAT, creating social pressure for individual students to gain an independent understanding of the material. Therefore, the prediction of the current research is that this paradigm will enhance the reading abilities (reading speed and retention of content) of students enrolled in TBL courses. Students from both TBL and non-TBL courses were tested at the beginning and the end of the semester. Data collection is currently in progress.


103 – Examining students’ preference, satisfaction, and experience with team-based learning in an online environment
Naomi Twigg, Colleen Corte, Elaine Hardy, Alysha Hart

Over the last decade, the popularity of taking an online course in U.S. higher education has grown astronomically with a 17.3% growth rate totaling 6.7 million online learners. Students are attracted and satisfied with online courses because of the convenience they offer, however, they are dissatisfied with the lack of interaction with their instructor and other students in the course. Team-based learning (TBL) has traditionally been implemented in face-to-face or blended classroom environments, which have shown to increase students’ learning of the course concepts, increase students’ level of engagement, and improve students’ attitudes about teamwork compared to traditional lecture-format. While there has been great success with TBL in the classroom, there has been limited research on the effectiveness of TBL in an asynchronous online environment. The purpose of this study was to evaluate graduate nursing students’ preference, experience and satisfaction with taking a TBL course in an online environment. The authors hypothesize that graduate nursing students taking an asynchronous online TBL course would prefer and be more satisfied with this teaching methodology in comparison to a non-TBL, asynchronous online course. The sample included graduate nursing students (n=116) enrolled in an asynchronous, online TBL course. Students will be surveyed at the end of the 2015 fall semester using a 33-item adapted version of the Team-Based Learning Student Assessment Instrument (TBL-SAI). An analysis of students’ preference, experience, and satisfaction with taking an asynchronous online TBL course has the potential to lead to course developments and improve learning outcomes.


104 – The impact and effectiveness of Team Based Learning teaching methodology on health profession education in the RAK Medical and Health Sciences University
Alaa Shoushan

Research Question: The impact and effectiveness of Team Based Learning teaching methodology of health profession education in the RAK Medical and Health Sciences University.

Summary of the project: Team based learning is an active learning strategy established to motivate students to critically think and actively learn. This methodology has been newly implemented at our institution and through this study we would like to analyze the impact and effectiveness of TBL as well as gather information that will enable to improve it further. This methodology is only implemented at our institution in the whole of the UAE, and no similar research has ever been made in any university in the UAE or the Middle East.

Description: TBL’s were designed to encourage team work rather than group work, hence lifting the team spirit and making an active learning session more fun. It takes place in a class room with one or several instructors supervising several standard groups consisting of 5-7 students with diverse skills. It consists of a pre-TBL learning session and three active phases; first is the IRAT, followed by the GRAT and at the end is the discussion.

Pre-TBL learning session: This period is of approximately a week long, students are given a topic with a reference material to learn from and are expected to attend the active sessions later. The reference material should not exceed 5 pages long and should be within their level of understanding.

IRAT: Each student is examined individually and the papers are collected in 15 minutes.

GRAT: Each group is given the same paper again and they discuss it amongst themselves, they are given a scratch card and 5 option cards; A, B, C, D and E.

Discussion: The instructor(s) now displays the questions before all groups and each group raises their card of choice, the instructor sparks a discussion and each group justifies their answers respectively.

Grading: The grading is then based on the IRAT and the GRAT; the marks are added and divided by two.

TBL was implemented at our university in the Academic year 2013-2014 by the efforts of our MBBS College, Dean Dr. M.  Kannan. His plan was to lift his students’ level to reach the Global standards.

No such research has been conducted at our university since the introduction of team based learning methodology into the curriculum. Through this study we wish to shed some light on the effect of TBL on health education at our university and also to acquire feedback regarding the same and to obtain information which will further serve to overcome the limitations of TBL if any, the improvement is to be taken into consideration in a subsequent study that shall be held in the next few months and is not included in this study.

Study design and Setting: A cross-sectional study using questionnaires involving around 50-100 students per batch and their instructors inside of RAKMHSU, MBBS college. Duration is one month.

Results: Results shall be disclosed in the poster, statistics are being calculated and the conclusion is to be made in about a week.


105 – The Effect of Student Note Taking on IRAT and Exam Scores
Jennie Brown, Lacey Allain, Vincent Peters, Brittany Lund

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of taking handwritten notes on assigned reading on performance. Students in TBL courses were encouraged to take handwritten notes over the reading in two ways: 1. they were given assignment credit for taking notes, and 2. they were allowed to use these notes on IRATS and Team RATS. Many studies have demonstrated that note taking is an effective way to help students encode information into memory. The percentage of times students took notes (over the course of a semester) was calculated and correlated to student IRAT and Exam scores. Anecdotal evidence suggests that teams also used individual note taking as a measure of preparedness for team activities and commented on it in peer evaluations.


106 – The Effectiveness of Team-Based Learning in an Asynchronous Distance Education Graduate Nursing Course
Paula Timoney, DNP, ARNP, NNP-BC, Terri A. Cavaliere, DNP, APRN, NNP-BC

Purpose: It is proposed that the implementation of team-based learning (TBL) in the curriculum of an asynchronous distance education graduate nursing course will improve student engagement and satisfaction, and promote quality learning experiences.

Background: Studies have shown that the use of team-based learning improves conceptual mastery, develops critical thinking skills, and promotes student ownership. Recognizing that health care professionals must work as a team to improve care delivery and promote patient safety, Michaelsen, the founder of Team-Based Learning, suggests that TBL will help prepare students to be more effective health care providers. Team-based learning is an instructional strategy which consists of small group activities designed to provide students with both conceptual and procedural knowledge. Traditionally, educators focused on teaching essential course content. Many times the content was memorized without the ability to synthesize or apply the knowledge. In contrast, in TBL the instructor focuses on learning; students learn and apply factual knowledge to complex situations as the team develops. The instructor and students become partners in the educational process.

Methods: The learning activities of the neonatal pharmacology course were revised to incorporate principles of team-based learning. Learning activities consisted of individual reading assignments, completion of individual readiness assurance tool, followed by a team assignment, and completion of a group readiness assurance tool. Team clinical applications were completed and posted on a discussion board to be reviewed by all students in the course. Team discussions were facilitated by the course faculty. Peer evaluations were also completed. A validated assessment tool adapted from Gomez et al (2010) measured students’ perceived learning, motivation, engagement, and satisfaction. Individual pre-test and examination scores were compared with the scores of students in the course as it was previously delivered.

Implications: Findings of this study demonstrate effectiveness of TBL as a teaching strategy in distance education. Implementation of TBL in the NNP program introduced the concepts and skills necessary to build effective teams while promoting student learning. Team-based learning complements the use of evidence based practice. Effectiveness of TBL as a teaching pedagogy in this course will lead to expansion of TBL in other distance education courses.


107 – Team-Based Learning for Medical School Students with a Weak Science Background
John W. Schmidt, Debra A. Wollner

Background. In fall 2010 we committed 10% of instructional time to Team-Based Learning (TBL) in our team-taught Human Biology courses for first year medical students. Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine has a diverse student body including many students who were not science majors as undergraduates.

Description. We are comparing student performance on exam questions for cohorts that either had 1) conventional lecture, 2) narrated PowerPoint presentations with online quizzes as homework or 3) TBL. In addition, we are comparing the benefits of TBL for students who did or did not have science majors as undergraduates. One problem we have confronted is a large number of students who seem to make little or no effort to prepare for TBL sessions.

Results. Previously we reported that replacing lecture with TBL improved student performance on subsequent multiple choice examination questions. Initially, we allowed students to select how much of the total TBL grade was determined by the individual readiness assessment test (IRAT) (10 – 40%). Cohorts of students invariably made the IRAT worth only 10% of the TBL grade and then an average of 31% of students failed the IRAT quizzes. In an attempt to correct for this, we have tried increasing the value of the IRAT to 25% or 40% of the TBL grade. The number of students failing their IRAT quizzes under these conditions dropped to 11% and 10%, respectively.

Conclusions. Replacing some lectures with TBL can improved student performance on multiple choice examination questions, but some students will not prepare for TBL sessions if the IRAT quizzes account for too small a fraction of their course grade. TBL team members not coming prepared for group work can become a major source of student dissatisfaction with TBL. For our students, the IRAT must determine about 2.5% of the course grade in order to maximize student participation in the TBL group work.


108 – Empowering Student Engagement through Team-Based Learning in a Large Enrollment Orientation Course
Nadia Jaramillo, Wei Wang, Yi Jin

BACKGROUND: The proposed course for this presentation is an undergraduate orientation course with large enrollment. In the past, the instructors used lecturing as the main pedagogy, which constrained active learning and student engagement, thus failed to fulfill the intended learning objectives adequately. Besides this challenge, this course faced more difficulties caused by the conflicts in work and time coordination among multiple instructors and guest speakers. Therefore, the instruction team redesigned the course utilizing team-based learning pedagogical approach, combined with flipped classroom, which offer various potentials in cultivating students’ abilities in teamwork, problem-solving and critical thinking (Michaelsen & Sweet, 2008)

DESCRIPTION: The course includes four instructional units that utilize TBL. The instruction team administered a student personality survey before the semester started and grouped students in teams based on the survey results. Individual tasks include readings, videos, essays, and iRats. Teams work collaboratively during the class sessions on discussing and completing tRats using clickers and engaging in application exercises. These sessions have been characterized by students’ engagement in the course content, active participation and interaction with team members and utilization of concepts to solve problems

RESULTS: Preliminary data from surveys and observations shows that most students are prepared for class, and able to engage in collaborative teamwork, have more in-depth discussions, and apply knowledge to solve problems. It also shows that students enjoy the learning experience and develop a better understanding of the course content. We are in the process of collecting more data on the topics of 1. students’ learning experience and perceptions of TBL, and 2. instructors’ and guest speakers’ perceptions and experiences in designing and delivering the course.

CONCLUSIONS: The evidence demonstrates that students in this course exhibit more engagement, participation, and utilization of critical thinking skills. The combination of TBL and flipped classroom is an effective strategy to help students successfully achieve the learning objectives. Thus, the proposed pedagogical framework shows promises in engaging students in undergraduate courses with large enrollment.


109 – The Impact of Team Based Learning on the Transfer of Social Work Competencies in the Field
Julie Bach, Adrian Kok, Jodi Cressman

BACKGROUND: In 2012, Team Based Learning (TBL) was implemented as a teaching pedagogy throughout a Midwest graduate school of social work. All faculty is trained in TBL and expected to implement this pedagogy in all required courses. Previous data gathered supported that TBL increases student learning particularly in social work competencies. This research focuses on how TBL specifically helped social work students transfer these competencies into their internships.

DESCRIPTION: The study utilized a mixed methods approach to assess specific professional behaviors of social work interns impacted by TBL. A cross sequential explanatory model consisted of a survey which examined aspects of professional development TBL impacted and a sub-set of in-depth interviews which examined process of behavior change. The survey results from 95 students, responding to an online survey, provided insights to the specific professional competencies which were impacted by TBL. The follow-up, subset interview questions were based on the results of the online survey. Subsequently, in-depth interviews were conducted with 20 participants – 10 social work interns, 5 agency supervisors who directly supervised and evaluated their internship performance, and 5 faculty members who provided support for the interns at the university during their two semester placement. The multiple perspectives from three different groups not only provided the researchers a deeper understanding on how gains were generalized from the classroom to the field setting but provided triangulation of data gathered from two research methods.

RESULTS: The survey results indicate students perceive that TBL pedagogy increased their competencies in the following areas: self-reflection on one’s own behavior in groups; ability to think through a problem; skills in working with others; respect for the perspectives of others; and cooperative leadership skills. 70% of the students reported becoming a more effective communicator in groups, more likely to participate in team discussions and improvement in their ability to work effectively as a team member. Interestingly while 70% of survey respondents perceive a positive impact of TBL in the classroom, only 60% perceive the same impact of leadership outside of the classroom. The qualitative interviews may offer some insight into this difference in perceived impact. The in-depth student interviews explored the types of internship group activities, diversity among the internship groups and leadership opportunities. In-depth interviews with the intern supervisors explored observed team/group skills, leadership qualities and working with diverse group members. Questions provide expanded details on the extent the three groups attribute gains in graduate social work student skills in internship teamwork and leadership to team-based learning pedagogies encountered in the classroom.

CONCLUSION: While students develop competencies within the classroom we need to be more intentional in training students to transfer the TBL skills such as: leadership, cooperation, problem-solving, and understanding their own perspectives of others to the internship experience. This calls for a continued effort to assess interview data, the effectiveness of TBL from the students, faculty efforts in implementing TBL, and implement changes based on the input of this data

This study is supported by a TBL Collaborative research grant, 2014.


110 – The impact of TBL for an Elementary Spanish Review Course at University Level to enhance language skills
Milvia Hernandez

BACKGROUND: Team-Based Learning (TBL) method has been widely used in many disciplines and educational level. However, little to nothing is known about the implementation of TBL in language courses. With the evidence of the benefits of TBL in other fields, I began implementing it in the Spanish elementary review course. The purpose of this study is to employ the TBL method in an elementary Spanish review course and to evaluate TBL’s effect on the students’ learning outcomes. The three research questions are as follow: Does TBL influence students’ in-class engagement to practice Spanish language skills? Is it beneficial to have Spanish learners working in teams to re-activate previous language knowledge? Does TBL affect students’ academic performance?

I adapted the Readiness Assurance Process by creating individual and group RAP-Quiz to ensure students preparation at the beginning of the unit on the main grammar structure. Also, after a feedback phase used to verify answer, to engage learning and to create a motivational framework to practice the re-active grammar structure. Finally for the application-oriented phase, students will work on communicative and interactive activities in class. In order to close the unit, each group will have a team projects such as cultural reflection project and an online chat or dialogue to present in class.

DESCRIPTION: The participants of this study were 82 students from three classes of SPAN 103-Intensive Review of Elementary Spanish in 2013. This course offers a review of basic Spanish grammar, as well as an opportunity to improve the student’s listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. This course has been designed for students who have completed level 3 in high school and who are nevertheless unprepared for SPAN 201-Intermediate Spanish 1. Data was collected after the implementation of the TBL for a year. A survey was administered to the three classes to assess their opinions. In addition, the course final grades were used to measure students’ learning outcomes and to compare with previous non-TBL courses.

RESULTS: TBL in SPAN 103 significantly influenced the students’ learning outcomes. TBL provides opportunities to interact, which lead to more active engagement and teamwork among learners. Most participants reported positive acceptance of TBL, students were more engaged in class by working in the same small group because they felt supportive of each other. TBL has created a sense of community in the classroom. The students’ academic performance was significantly higher than in previous semesters. Students are more prepared for the class due to the Readiness Quiz, and improved participation. One of the major achievements of using TBL in this particular course was the fact that students worked in teams which helped them to re-active previous knowledge of the language.

CONCLUSION: As a result of the acceptance and benefit of TBL in SPAN 103 has become the method to be used in this particular course. In addition, I have been using TBL in SPAN 202- Intermediate 2 Spanish; however, no data has been collected yet.


111 – Team-Based Learning for RCR Training Supports Ethical Decision-Making
Wayne T. McCormack PhD, William L. Allen JD, Shane Connelly PhD, Lique M. Coolen PhD, Joshua Crites PhD, Jeffrey Engler PhD, Cynthia W. Garvan PhD, Paul Haidet MD, Joel Hockensmith PhD, William McElroy PE, Rebecca Volpe PhD, and Michael F. Verderame PhD

BACKGROUND: Responsible conduct of research (RCR) training programs are widespread but there is little consensus on best practices for training methods, and assessment of training is rare. Typical RCR curricula consist of lectures, unstructured small group discussions of case scenarios, and/or online training. A recent study of 173 learners across 21 universities using pre/post-testing of ethical decision-making (EDM) revealed considerable negative impact on EDM and social-behavioral responses (Antes et al., 2010, Acad Med 85:519). We sought to develop an RCR curriculum that would more reliably promote ethical decision-making using team-based learning (TBL), an active learning strategy that can be delivered by faculty using familiar facilitation skills.

DESCRIPTION: A TBL RCR curriculum originally developed at UF was revised. Research scenarios used for application exercises were revised to include content characteristics that support good EDM, including social context, goals of the characters, modeling mastery behavior, and providing forecasting prompts. We have also incorporated the “So Far No Objections” (SFNO) moral method, providing both a clear framework within which to think about ethical dilemmas related to research and concrete steps to guide learners in resolving ethical dilemmas. After initial piloting at two institutions in Fall 2014 and additional revisions based on learner performance, the curriculum was tested at four institutions in Spring 2015.

RESULTS: Analysis of the data for over 160 graduate students who completed both pre- and post-course surveys revealed more positive gains in EDM measures for learners participating in TBL courses compared to the traditional RCR courses. Interestingly, persisting negative effects of RCR training were related to decisions that reflected behaviors such as “seeking help” and “considering others”, which we expected would be improved by TBL. The results of an additional measure of self-efficacy for problem-solving used in this study suggest that learners are more confident (perhaps over-confident) in their EDM abilities after RCR training. Alternatively, they may fear negative consequences of revealing concerns or missteps to peers or faculty mentors.

CONCLUSION: The emphasis of TBL on shared problem-solving and decision-making may limit the development of self-protective behavior, get learners accustomed to making ethical decisions in a team setting, and establish a pattern of future behavior in research and professional practice. Improved learner engagement and satisfaction with RCR and ethics training may help science and engineering students overcome the notion that such courses or training are simply a requirement that must be endured, and help support the development of a culture of ethics and research integrity. Overall these results suggest that future research in RCR training must go beyond individual learner outcomes to explore broader aspects of the academic culture and its influences on the ethical behavior of researchers.