2019 Abstracts – Research & Scholarship

301 – Improvement of Communication and Reading Proficiency for ESL Students Through TBL and Use of Team Roles
Yuqin Hu, Lianjie Xiong, Allen Keshishian, Jeremy Hughes, Nicole Nielsen, Will Ofstad, and David Fuentes
California Health Sciences University

Introduction: CHSU offers a four-year doctor of pharmacy program delivered mainly through the Team-Based Learning (TBL) process and use team roles as part of the facilitation. Many students come from abroad, having learned a primary language in their native country, later learning English as a second language (ESL). ESL students can have difficulty with oral communication, pronunciation, and understanding complex grammar. ESL speakers may read slower than their native English-speaking peers, typically thinking and processing information first in their native language.  ESL students may need more time for pre-reading and group studying. Active application-oriented team discussions and the use of team roles may have a different impact on ESL students in the development of communication and reading proficiency.

Aim: To discuss the impact of TBL and team roles on communication and reading proficiency in ESL students, and to outline student perceptions on support systems related to skill set development.

Methods: Using a Likert scale we identified perceptions of self-growth for ESL students. Post-then-pre surveys were conducted in the graduate pharmacy program, including alumni. Participants were surveyed about their comfort with the English language both after and before starting their post-graduate education.

Result: Surveyed students showed that team-based discussion was a major component in improving English language skills, including communication, vocabulary, sentence structure, and the ability to effectively explain pharmaceutical concepts. Students also commented on how team discussions and collaborations using team roles can help ensure ESL students are supported and meet the College’s Global Learning Outcomes (GLOs).

Conclusion: ESL students enrolled in CHSU’s doctor of pharmacy benefited from the TBL intensive program with effective faculty facilitation.  ESL students have improved their English language skills in the areas of oral communication skills and reading proficiency. Students also met CHSU GLOs, with emphasis on communication, collaboration, and critical thinking.


302 – Reducing the Attainment gap: The Impact of Active and Collaborative Learning Strategies
Simon Tweddell and Rebecca McCarter
University of Bradford

Background: Previous experience, evaluation results, as well as anecdotal and literary evidence indicates that active, collaborative pedagogies can be used to address attainment disparities. Additionally, a focus on inclusive curriculum design moves the focus from ‘add on’ support for specific groups of students to a core, structural change that removes unintended barriers to student success. In the UK, while the overall proportions of students receiving a First or 2:1 degree have increased over the past decade, there continues to be a considerable gap between the proportion of white British students receiving these degree classifications compared to UK-domiciled students from minority ethnic groups. In addition there is also evidence that students with disabilities do not progress as well through academic programs as non-disabled students.

Description: The Scaling-up Collaborative Learning for Student Success project aims to increase the use of active and collaborative learning at three collaborating UK institutions to address differential attainment, test whether the benefits continue to work at scale and to blueprint solutions to overcome barriers so that the approaches can be adopted at scale. Historic degree attainment data from 2015-16 and 2016-17 was gathered for the institution. The mean degree outcomes for those studying Team-Based Learning courses were compared with those that weren’t. Additional comparisons were made based on gender, ethnicity and disability.

Results: Early findings from the Bradford results indicate that using Team-Based Learning (TBL) can contribute to the development of an inclusive curriculum that improves the experience, skills and attainment of all students, in particular helping to narrow the attainment gap for those in protected characteristic groups. Female students demonstrated a higher level of improvement than male students in TBL courses. The attainment gap between BME and white students narrowed for those taking TBL courses compared with those that weren’t. The results also suggest that the attainment gap for students with declared disabilities was completely closed for those taking TBL courses, suggesting that students with disabilities perform as well as those without declared disabilities in courses delivered by TBL.


303 – One for All: Group-Added Value in Team-based Learning Readiness Testing
Peter Clapp, Andrea Do, and Ji Won Lee
Regis University School of Pharmacy

BACKGROUND: Group active-learning techniques like team-based learning (TBL) have been shown to improve educational outcomes across many subject areas.  Fewer studies have shown that potential gains in problem-solving acuity are transferable to future teams. If successful team behaviors are learned over time and these skills can be applied to future group problem-solving events, students exposed to TBL may be better prepared for multidisciplinary team environments such as those common to healthcare, business, andOther professions.

DESCRIPTION: The current project examines the effect of TBL experience on the quality of team performance using problem-solving assessments in the classroom as a measure of successful teamwork.  Readiness assurance testing (RAT) is a TBL assessment practice that establishes accountability for individual students to come to class prepared and rewards teams for making use of the diverse assets of team members.  First-year doctor of pharmacy students completed 36 multiple-choice RATs over 32 weeks in an integrated pharmacotherapy course series.  Individual scores and team scores were used to calculate measures of team performance: group-added value (GAV) is the difference between team scores and the highest individual score on a team, positive events (PE) occur when a team scores higher on a RAT than the highest individual and negative events (NE) occur when a team scores lower on a RAT than the highest individual.

RESULTS: Teams scored higher on RATs than the highest scoring individual member by an average of 3.9 ± 0.16 percent.  Variability in team performance measures was associated with the number of hours of team contact (i.e., classroom time), and was higher early in the semester.  Fewer NE occurred for teams in the second 8 weeks of a class, compared to the first 8 weeks.

CONCLUSION: Team problem-solving performance in the classroom increased over time as teams gained experience working together.

This work was supported by an intramural grant provided by the Regis University Research and Scholarship Council (URSC).  A.D. and J.W.L. are current doctor of pharmacy students.


304 – Distance Team-Based Learning with Virtual Reality: Is Social Interaction Enough?
Brittany L. Parmentier, Jody K. Takemoto, Rachel A. Sharpton, Thayer Merritt, and Leanne Coyne
Department of Clinical Science, Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Tyler, Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Tyler, Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy, The University of Texas at Tyler

BACKGROUND: Virtual Reality (VR) has been used to describe various educational experiences. Few VR applications provide interaction with the environment orOther people. It is unknown how much interaction with the VR environment is necessary to provide an optimal VR TBL experience. This pilot study sought to determine the level of immersion and perceived engagement are necessary for VR-TBL.

DESCRIPTION: Two student teams with a maximum of 5 students per team. Upon completion of a paper-based Readiness Assurance Process, students entered the VR space to complete application 1 in either a social only environment or an interactive environment. In a social only environment teams could see avatars and talk with eachOther. In an interactive environment teams were able to use VR controllers to drawing, move around the room, and interact with objects in the room. Following application 1, the two teams discussed the activity together outside of VR. They then entered VR again switching environments, completed application 2, and discussed the activity together outside of VR. The students then completed a survey about their experience.

RESULTS: 46 students participated in the study. 44 of the students preferred the activity in the interactive environment and 2 students had no preference over the two activities. 93.5% of the students were in favor of using tools for discussion with the team. 87% of the students felt like they learned in the VR environment and that they forgot about their surroundings while working on the task. Students listed the drawing tool and the VR controllers as the most helpful tools in the VR environment.

CONCLUSION: Students in the TBL teams preferred a VR environment that was more interactive with drawing tools and the ability to move objects. Future development of VR-TBL experiences should include the use of tools to interact with the environment.

Funding: This study was supported by funding provided by the Ben and Maytee Fisch College of Pharmacy


305 – Team-based learning replaces Problem-based learning: Sydney Medical School experience
Annette Burgess, Jane Bleasel, Inam Haq, John Hickson, and Ceren Guler
The University of Sydney, Australia

BACKGROUND: In 1997, Problem based leaning (PBL) was introduced to Sydney Medical School (SMS), providing a long-established form of student-centred teaching with in the medical curriculum. However, increasing student numbers (from 142 Year 1 students in 1997 to 332 in 2016) and limited teaching resources, rendered this model of teaching unsustainable.  With a lack of standardisation across cohorts, student satisfaction with the PBL model had decreased in recent years. In 2017, Team-based learning (TBL) replaced PBL.  This evaluation study sought to explore students’ perceptions of TBL in Year 1 and Year 2 of the 2017 medical program in 2017.

METHODS: Year 1 students (n=275) completed three blocks of TBLs: Foundations, Musculoskeletal, Respiratory. Year 2 students (n=350) completed three blocks of TBLs: Neurology, Endocrine, Renal.  Student feedback was collected by questionnaire, using closed and open ended items.  Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis.

Ethics approval was received from The University of Sydney Human Research Ethics Committee.

RESULTS: In total, 232/275 (84%) Year 1 and 258/350 (74%) Year 2 students responded. Students found positive aspects of TBL included the small group dynamics; intra-team and inter-team discussions; interactions with facilitators; provision of clinical contexts by clinicians; the readiness assurance process (online individual MCQs prior to class, team MCQs at commencement of class). Suggested improvements included: better alignment of pre-reading tasks with the TBL case; shorter class time; increased opportunity for clinical reasoning; and more feedback on the mechanistic flowchart.

CONCLUSION: TBL provided a successful replacement for PBL. Interactions and discussion with experts as facilitators, the presence of clinicians; the tests with feedback and explanation; problem solving in small groups; interactions with teams in one large room were all aspects of TBL experience that the students found positive.  Suggested improvements included better alignment of pre-reading tasks with the TBL case; reduced class time; increased opportunities for discussions and feedback with the tutors on team work.


Best Poster Award Nominee
306 – The Best of Two Worlds? Combining PBL with TBL
Jerome Rotgans, Preman Rajalingam, Juliana Koh, and Naomi Low-Beer
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

Background: Problem-based learning (PBL) and Team-based learning (TBL) are two popular instructional approaches in which students work collaboratively in small groups. However, a distinctive difference between both approaches is that in PBL a problem is used to arouse interest in the topic and kickstart the learning process. Recently, it has been suggested that TBL would benefit from presenting a problem to students before they engage in self-study. It is hypothesised that this would arouse interest in the topic to be studied and would enhance student learning in TBL. The objective of the present study was to test this hypothesis.

Method: An experiment was conducted in which 64, year-two medical students participated. Participants were randomly allocated to two conditions. In a treatment condition, students received a problem, whereas a filler-text was presented to students in the control condition. Thereafter both groups engaged in self-study by reading the same instructional text. After this, students completed an individual readiness assurance test (iRAT), followed by a team readiness assurance test (tRAT). During the experiment, situational interest was measured five times; before and after the problem/filler text, after reading the instructional text, after the iRAT and tRAT. The iRAT and tRAT scores were used as indicators of learning. Differences between groups were determined by means of ANOVAs.

Results: The results suggest that the problem significantly aroused students’ interest in the topic, whereas the filler text did not. However, this difference in interest did not result in better learning; no significant differences were observed between both groups for the iRAT and tRAT.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that using a problem from PBL with TBL does not result in better learning. TBL works as it is. Implications of these findings are discussed.


Best Poster Award Nominee
307 – Developing Flexible Problem Solving Skills in Math Courses Through Team-Based Inquiry Learning
Drew Lewis and Julie Estis
University of South Alabama

Background: While the need to increase active learning in mathematics education is well established, the question of which methods are the most effective remains unanswered. Flipped learning and Inquiry-Based Learning are arguably the two dominant pedagogies; very little work has been done on using TBL in math courses. We implemented TBL as a means of hopefully solving one particular challenge we see in math courses, namely that students become quite proficient at applying algorithms, but have difficulty thinking flexibly enough to apply their knowledge in new situations. Thus, we endeavored to study if TBL could increase students’ flexibility in problem solving skills.

Methods: We used a quasi-experimental setup, with two instructors teaching one linear algebra section via TBL and one via lecture in the same semester. The following semester, all six sections were taught using TBL. A common set of materials was used across all courses. Students were surveyed at the beginning and end of the course, and a focus group with students from a TBL section was conducted at the end of the second semester.

Results: In the quasi-experimental setup, students in TBL sections had a larger increase in flexible mathematical mindset (as measured by a short survey) over the course of the semester. Interestingly, in the second semester, this change was larger for female than male students. Moreover, in examining student work on assessments, students in the TBL sections were more likely to use a variety of strategies to solve a problem, while lecture students were more likely to blindly apply a memorized algorithm. Qualitative data from surveys and the focus group indicated that students recognized that the TBL structure allowed them to see multiple approaches to a problem.

Conclusion: TBL increases flexibility in problem solving for linear algebra students.


308 – Digital Capture of Active and Collaborative Learning: A feasibility study
Judy Currey, Stephanie Sprogis, Gabby Burdeu, Julie Considine, Ian Story, Alex Gentle, Sher Graan, Nicky Hewitt, and Elizabeth Oldland
Deakin University

BACKGROUND: Administration processes associated with TBL are labour intensive. InteDashboard software has been developed to mitigate such burdens, but research into the feasibility of its usage has not been conducted.

DESCRIPTION: This descriptive exploratory research tested the feasibility of integrating InteDashboard via iPads (Digital TBL (D-TBL)) into health curricula. The experiences and perspectives of students and teachers participating in digital TBL activities were sought using convenience sampling.  The sample were postgraduate specialist Master of Nursing Practice, 3rd year undergraduate Master of Optometry students, and health faculty at Deakin University, Australia. Data were collected via surveys for: 1) demographics; 2) student/teacher perceptions of D-TBL (pre, mid, post-test System Usability Surveys); 3) student Self-Report of Engagement of D-TBL (pre, post); and 4) student/teacher Post-Study System Usability Questionnaire (PSSUQ). Data via observations measured student engagement and learning focus during classes. Ethics approval was gained.

RESULTS: Of 167 eligible students, 162 (97%) participated. Overall mean Student Self-Report of Engagement scores for paper-based TBL (=3.97, SD= .26) and D-TBL (=4.16, SD=.19) reflect high student engagement. Statistically significant higher student scores for D-TBL were reported for ‘I participated in class discussions’ and ‘most students were actively involved in class’. System Usability Scale scores for paper-based TBL (=75.50, SD=13.05) and D-TBL (mid:=72.35, SD=15.70; post: =74.02, SD=14.00) were above average relative toOther systems. No statistically significant differences between scores occurred over time (p=0.37). Results of the PSSUQ revealed students (=2.40, SD=0.19) and teachers (=2.36, SD=0.80) were highly satisfied with InteDashboard/D-TBL. Students and teachers were most highly satisfied with the quality of the InteDashboard interface. Observations revealed students spent more time focused on peers in D-TBL, and had fun.

CONCLUSION: Larger scale adoption of TBL in various disciplines depends on TBL being digitally delivered. High satisfaction and student engagement with InteDashboard on iPads suggest learning via D-TBL is feasible and enjoyable.


310 – The Effects of Team-Based Learning on Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy for Literacy Instruction
Lauren R Brannan and Hannah D Szatkowski
University of South Alabama

BACKGROUND: The preparation of quality literacy teachers is essential for high achieving students (Darling-Hammond, 2000). In a meta-analysis, Klassen and Tze (2014) found that teaching efficacy is strongly associated with teaching performance and achievement levels of students. Bandura (1977) described self-efficacy as “the conviction that one can successfully execute the behavior required to produce the outcomes” (p. 193). To impact preservice-teachers’ teaching efficacy, Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, and Hoy (1998) recommended gradually immersing students into teaching experiences with increasing levels of complexity. The application activities within team-based learning (TBL) might serve as a scaffold for this immersion experience when preservice teachers are presented with significant problems to solve with the support of their team under the guidance of the course instructor.

DESCRIPTION: An undergraduate teacher education course focused on methods for teaching elementary reading and writing was redesigned using TBL. Application activities situated the preservice teachers in decision-making scenarios similar to those they will more than likely face as elementary teachers. In addition to coursework, students completed an internship three days per week in an assigned elementary classroom. 34 students were enrolled in one section of the sixteen-week course and all agreed to participate in the study. Since teacher efficacy is specific to the context and the subject-matter being taught (Tschannen-Moran, Woolfolk Hoy, & Hoy, 1998), a literacy-specific measure was selected, the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy for Literacy Instruction (TSELI) scale (Tschannen-Moran & Johnson, 2010). This instrument was administered on the first day of the class, at mid-term, and again on the final day of class.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Results will be calculated and conclusions will be drawn upon completion of data collection (Winter 2018).


Best Poster Award Nominee
311 – Student Satisfaction and Exam Performance with the use of Team-Based Learning in an Entry-Level Physical Therapy Course
Amy McQuade, Karma Peters, and Lenny Ramsey
Carroll University

BACKGROUND: Team-Based Learning (TBL) is a method of active learning that involves structured modules of student preparation, individual and team quizzes, and application activities.  There is a lack of evidence on TBL use in physical therapy education, therefore the purpose of this study was to look at both student satisfaction and exam performance following implementation of TBL in a physical therapy classroom.

DESCRIPTION: This study included third year Entry-Level Doctor of Physical Therapy students from two consecutive cohorts taking a General Medicine course.  The first cohort (n=77) was taught using a primarily lecture-based format while the second cohort (n= 76) was taught using TBL for a series of 5 modules.  At the end of the semester students completed an anonymous survey on their perceptions and satisfaction with the use of TBL in the classroom.  In addition, individual exam questions from each of the 5 topic areas were compared to the previous cohort.

RESULTS: In the cohort of students taught using TBL, 58/76 students (76%) completed a survey considering their experience with TBL.  The majority of students felt that TBL helped to increase their understanding of course material, was an effective way to learn, and facilitated their ability to work in a team.  In addition, 91% of students had a positive attitude toward TBL after the course.  Individual scores on a subset of exam questions from each of the 5 topic areas were also compared between cohorts.  Overall there was a trend toward improved performance on exam questions repeated from one cohort to the next in 3 of the 5 topic areas, however it did not reach statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: Use of active learning strategies such as TBL may facilitate better knowledge acquisition by entry-level doctor of physical therapy students and was well received by the students.


312 – Skills needed for teachers to apply Team Based Learning in a nursing school: Perception of teachers
Mariana Lucas da Rocha Cunha, Andrea Gomes da Costa Mohallem, Maria Mercedes Samperiz, and Fernanda Amendola
Faculdade Israelita de Cioncias da Saode Albert Einstein

Background: Nowadays teachers are challenged to use Active Learning Methodologies mainly at universities context. Researches consider active learning the best way to teach but there is little evidence about the necessaries competencies to professors to be confident in this use. The questions tha guided this study was: Are there many differences between professors’ tradicional teaching competencies versus active learning? How the professor had to be prepared do deal with students development in a active learning context?

Description: To identify what kind of competencies are necessary for university teachers to use Team Based Learning Methodology na exploratory and descriptive study with qualitative approach was developed. Data collection occured guided by the Case Studies Methodology with semi-structered interviews. Eight female teachers from a Nursing School were interviewed in June 2017.

Results: They had had an average experience of 16 years in nursing school teaching and have applied Team Based Learning since 2015. They applied this methodology throughout the four years of the undergraduate nursing course. They all had previous experience with the active learning method. Data analysis emphasized that when using Team Based Learning, teachers should be prepared with creativity, be a good communicator and empathize. The most demanding competence presented was to know how to enhance student autonomy and engagement in learning.

Conclusion: All teachers interviewed acknowledged the importance and need to develop specific skills to use Team Based Learning.


313 – What do the Students Say? Participants’ Reflections on Team-Based Learning
Judi Bradetich
University of North Texas

BACKGROUND: Two challenges faced by faculty who implement team-based learning include skepticism (from students and colleagues), and push-back from those who have had negative experiences with teamwork. However, once classes have worked through one or two rounds of the Reading Assessment Process (RAP), most uneasiness fades. When asked, students describe encouraging differences that contrast with traditional classes, such as feeling compelled to participate more readily, and learning through interactions with teammates. These comments complement research findings related to overall student outcomes and success in TBL courses (DesLauriers, Schelew, & Wieman, 2010; Haidet, Kubitz & McCormack, 2014; Hake, 1998).

DESCRIPTION: One way to learn participants’ perceptions of TBL, is to gather information about their experiences, which can be done through the use of the Critical Incident Questionnaire (CIQ) developed and described by Brookfield in his book The Skillful Teacher (2006). This 5-question survey can be completed quickly at the end of a module, or at the close of a workshop. Questions such as, “At what moment did you feel most engaged with what was happening,” and, “What about the class this week surprised you the most?” innately draw reflections by participants about teamwork.

RESULTS: An overview of CIQ’s administered across UG human development courses and TBL workshops confirms the findings of TBL proponents, that students feel more engaged with eachOther and the material, find themselves thinking more critically, and appreciate opportunities to hear from their peers. Though CIQ’s do not specifically refer to TBL, students frequently mention TBL experiences as providing significant help for understanding course material and improved learning.

CONCLUSION: Reflective practice enhances student learning, and timely feedback helps instructors improve their practices. CIQ’s provide evidence for skeptics andOthers that TBL is an effective, engaging, active learning strategy.


Best Poster Award Nominee
314 – Two Birds with One Stone: Examining Students’ and Instructors’ Perceptions of TBL Across Face-to-Face and Online Courses
Katie Guffey, Christopher Parrish, David Williams, and Julie Estis
University of South Alabama

BACKGROUND: Team-based learning (TBL) has a positive effect on multiple aspects of student learning and engagement; however, the supporting evidence is primarily from TBL within face-to-face courses. As student enrollment in online courses steadily increases, examining TBL within online environments is of particular need. In response, we sought to determine how students’ and instructors’ perceptions of TBL within the same course, one section offered online and theOther face-to-face, were similar and different.

METHODS: This study employed a convergent parallel design with the target population being the instructor and students of either (a) Curriculum and Teaching in Secondary Schools, face-to-face, or (b) Curriculum and Teaching in Secondary Schools, online. Data sources included (1) Small Group Instructional Feedback (SGIF), conducted at mid- and end-of-semester and (2) weekly instructor reflections around successes and challenges with planning and teaching.

RESULTS: Overall, students in both settings enjoyed the use of TBL, specifically, working in teams. Interestingly, students within the online section viewed the readiness assurance tests as beneficial while those in the face-to-face course felt they were too difficult. Lastly, those students in the online course were explicit in stating they felt a sense of connectedness to both the instructor and their peers.

Both instructors felt that using TBL was overall effective. The online instructor felt the greatest challenge was planning in a manner that brought all online tools together seamlessly while the challenge was not present for the face-to-face instructor. Second, while the online instructor has implemented TBL in previous semesters, this was the first semester of using TBL for the face-to-face instructor, and therefore, her challenges were related to TBL implementation.

CONCLUSION: Based off these results, we will offer both sections of Curriculum and Teaching in Secondary Schools using the online TBL format.

A grant through the University of South Alabama, TeamUSA Projects to Enhance Scholarship of Team-Based Learning Pedagogy, was received to conduct research for this project.


Best Poster Award Nominee
315 – Application of an instrument about student’s perception regarding the Team Based Learning Method (TBL) in a nursing graduation course
Mariana Lucas da Rocha Cunha, Andrea Gomes da Costa Mohallem, Maria Mercedes F Samperiz, and Fernanda Amendola
Faculdade Israelita de Cioncias da Saode Albert Einstein

Introduction: Team Based Learning is a new teaching-learning methodology in Brazil, especially in undergraduate nursing. The literature that addresses the students’ experience with the TBL method is rather limited, especially in relation to the student’s perception of the learning process. In order to meet this need, an instrument that evaluates the student’s perception composed of 24 items in 4 dimensions, was constructed and validated. The instrument is student’s perception of the TBL Method (APB TBL).

Objective: Evaluate the student’s perception about the Team Learning Method (TBL) in a nursing undergraduate course. Method: The study was conducted in a private nursing school, considered a reference in Brazil, with an average of 280 students in total. The instrument was applied to 150 students of this course, with the majority of them being female (95.3%). The students’ ages ranged from 18 to 44 years, with a mean of 24.9 years (SD = 6.1 years). The sample consisted of 1st year students (27.3%), 2nd year (24.7%), 3rd year (22.7%) and 4th year (25.3%).Results:  In dimension 1 of the instrument that evaluates “Group influence on individual performance” highlighted issues such as the learning promoted by the debate among group members and between groups as important for developing student decision-making and deepening on content. In dimension 2 on “Teacher Performance”, the material selected was essential to aid in learning. Regarding Dimension 3 “Student Performance”, students recognize the importance of pre-class preparation for student success and finally, in Dimension 4 “Individual influence on group performance”, team success depended on how much the student was able to collaborate with the group.

Conclusion: the nursing students’ perception is satisfactory in relation to the use of the method. The developed and validated instrument was effective in evaluating the student’s perception.


Best Poster Award Nominee
318 – A new perspective on the student learning contract in a team learning context
Peter Balan and Michele Clark
University of South Australia, University of Nevada at Las Vegas

BACKGROUND: Anderson, Boud and Sampson (1998) identified learning contracts as one example of negotiated learning, a program of study that is jointly determined by staff and students. A learning contract can reconcile the external needs and expectations of the organization with the internal needs and interests of the learner (Knowles, 2005). A typical learning contract as used in higher education is a formal written agreement between the learner and a supervisor which details what is to be learnt, the resources and strategies available to assist in learning it, what will be produced as evidence of the learning having occurred, how that product will be assessed and within what timeframe the learning will take place (Knowles 1975; 1986).

In summary, learning contracts are useful to acknowledge a student taking responsibility for their own learning, and are considered as an approach to clarify and codify individual learning and working commitments. In addition, when teams are used in the classroom, contracts codify relationships between the individual, the team, and the educator (Mahler 2012). However, the traditional learning contract will have limited effectiveness if students do not have a clear understanding of the classroom behaviors required for the particular form of instruction.

This research describes an innovative “grounded” or abductive approach to develop the student “learning contract” in the modern teaching and learning environment that requires students to take increased responsibility for the learning, and with an emphasis on students working in Team-Based Learning teams. Data was collected using in the form of qualitative data using minute paper evaluations (Stead 2050) and results were anlayzed using concept mapping (Balan et al, 2015)

RESULTS: Prior research has not addressed the learning contract in the context of teaching requiring teamwork. This “grounded” research identified key dimensions of the “learning agreement” for several marketing classes where students worked in teams. Results could be combined for several classes and revealed the key dimensions of the learning agreement for each of the three stakeholders: students, teams and educator. Evaluation research showed that students valued this approach to identifying the behaviors in the classroom that are required for them to be successful.

CONCLUSION: Learning contracts are demonstrated to have value, compared with past research that used a “top-down” approach. In addition, this research provides the basis for using results in a creative manner to manage classroom behaviors.


319 – Paperless TBL: Streamline Grading and Faster Feedback
Nicole M Nielsen and Will Ofstad
California Health Sciences University

Introduction: TBL is a powerful method to flip the classroom, ensure student readiness, and leverage teams to problem-solve and support continuous performance improvement. As faculty transition to TBL, the increased use of classroom applications and readiness testing can increase faculty workload and tax resources if not well-planned. While active learning and assessment is essential for deeper learning, if unmanaged the time and resource commitment can exhaust faculty and poor process can distract students away from high-value learning. Paperless TBL may streamline this process.

Aim: Our hypothesis is paperless TBL streamlines grading, provides faster feedback, increases student satisfaction, and manages educational resources.

Methods: For each phase of TBL, three potential streamline strategies were identified to improve resource efficiency and reduce reliance on paper, typically through session design or better use of technology. Following the implementation of paperless TBL across three classes at a college of pharmacy, qualitative and quantitative measures were assessed by surveying learners’ perceptions of paperless TBL compared to previous years of TBL with handouts. Surveys conducted with faculty and staff also assessed strengths, improvements and insights of a paperless TBL classroom, with estimates of resource savings calculated.

Results: Surveying learners demonstrated no perceived loss in quality and improved access to learning materials. Estimates of time and resource savings for a class of 100 students demonstrated a reduction of approximately 200 sheets of paper and three grading hours per three hour TBL topic streamlined. Streamline strategies proposed for each TBL phase are included as a handout to accompany the poster.

Conclusions: Strategies for paperless TBL with streamlined grading can reduce faculty workload and resource requirements. These findings suggest that students readily adopt a paperless classroom and value the easy access to learning materials. This research may serve as a toolkit for faculty and institutions who move to paperless TBL.


320 – Assessment by means of Team-Based Learning
Maria Cristina Tommaso and Bruna Casiraghi
UniFOA

BACKGROUND: Active learning methods have basic axis in transforming action-reaction-action.  Team-Based Learning (TBL) has advantages of continuous studies, independency and responsibility, allows biopsicosocial integration and prepares working group. Diversity of themes and classes with large number of students might be disadvantage. Abrupt changing from traditional to innovative method might cause insecurity, behavior changing, uncertainty and uneasiness, demanding maturity and organization. TBL is a variety of learning practices based on one another in order to strength instructional effects and drafted in planned and defined steps. TBL was the selected method to enhance learning in a Brazilian university class with 69 students in 2017.

DESCRIPTION: We analyzed the impact of TBL as assessment in a Brazilian private university. Sixty nine students were submitted to assessment by means of Team Based Learning method. We surveyed 69 students’ satisfaction/ perception of TBL as assessment tool. Their comments were analyzed by the Discourse Analysis Theory of Bardin (1977) and Orlandi (1999) in fourteen categorized terms that showed how students realized the experience.

Method limitations – unfamiliarity to the TBL method and anxiety generated by assessment.

RESULTS:  Among 69 students, 57 (82.6%) answered YES and 12 (17.3%) answered NO to the question: Would you like to be evaluated by means of TBL again? Among125 citations, 118 demonstrated positive perception about TBL as assessment method and seven (5.6%) were negative perception. Term categories/number of citations were: learning/27(39.1%); interaction/24(34%); dynamism/18(26.1%); cooperation/11(15%); entertainment/9(13%); applicability/7(10%); facilitation/7(10%); productivity/6(8.6%); discussion/4(5.7%); participation/3(4.3%); arbitrariness/3(4.3%); short answer time/2(2.8%); absence of printed questions/2(2.8%) and creativity/2(4.3%).

CONCLUSION: TBL is very productive evaluation method. It encourages aspects of daily life such as self responsibility, working together and solving problems. Further studies will allow inferences not captured in this study. Use of Plickers/software, outcome comparison applying TBL and control group and best explanation of TBL method are recommended.


Best Poster Award Nominee
321 – Evaluating the quality of student-generated questions in an undergraduate medical programme that uses team-based learning
Preman Rajalingam, Juliana Koh, Jerome I. Rotgans, Paul Gagnon, and Naomi Low-Beer
Lee Kong Chian School Of Medicine, Singapore

TBL is an instructional approach where a significant amount of students’ time in-class is spent in discussion with peers and subject matter experts. Students’ questions are crucial to this process and play a role in motivating students and helping them fill knowledge gaps (Chin, 2002). However these questions are often raised verbally in the course of the intra and inter team discussions, and are not typically captured for further analysis and research. The technology enhanced implementation of TBL, throughout the curriculum at a Singapore based medical school, has enabled the introduction of an in-class activity focusing on capturing student-generated questions immediately following the tRAT.

The aim of this study was to examine these student-generated questions and the factors that affect the quantity and quality of these questions. Participants were three cohorts of undergraduate medical students (n=220) and were enrolled in a TBL programme for an uninterrupted period of 2 years. These students in their teams generated 5303 questions, which were coded to Bloom’s Taxonomy by two independent coders. Each student-generated question was associated with an MCQ within the tRAT.  A mean score was calculated for each MCQ and each team’s performance in the tRAT. Analyses were done at a team level as the questions were generated as a team.

Results indicate that oveall 20% of questions are higher-order and there was no significant change in the quality of their questions over time. Low scoring MCQ items correlated strongly with more student-generated questions. Counterintuitively, teams who were high performing in the tRAT contributed more student-generated questions then low performing teams. High performing teams also contributed proportionally more higher-order questions.

These results may be explained psychologically by the knowledge-deprivation hypothesis. These results also raise questions about the benefits of TBL for low performing teams and may provide insights into better engaging this group of learners.


322 – A Mixed Method Analysis of Intelligence Writing Students’ Performance in a Generic Flipped Classroom versus a TBL Classroom
Brooke Shannon
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

While research on the effectiveness of TBL exists, no literature on the effectiveness of TBL in the field of Intelligence Studies exists. This study compared the writing samples of two different cohorts enrolled in the same intelligence writing course. A flipped classroom style was applied to both cohorts, but a strict team-based learning (TBL) strategy was applied to one. I hypothesized that the TBL cohort would perform better on writing assignments when compared to the generic-flipped classroom cohort. To measure their performance, three quantitative data points were used. One was the overall grade for the course. The second data point was their scores on information-only reports, and the third was overall scores on analytical reports. For reports, the same rubric was used for both cohorts. In addition, because of the subjective nature of analytical reports, the original instructor’s score was averaged with that of an additional grader’s score. In addition, a qualitative descriptive analysis of what the instructor observed during the TBL process is discussed. Results indicated that, when compared with the generic flipped classroom, the TBL cohort did better overall and on writing assignments. One teaching and learning implication is that TBL is effective in an intelligence writing course, in which students have to make judgments based on incomplete or ambiguous information. The descriptive analysis shows that the TBL process facilitated deeper understanding of differentiating between evidence and assumptions and making substantiated judgments.


Best Poster Award Nominee
323 – TWU Active Engagement Academy: Improving Active Engagement in Academic Courses
Sandra Westmoreland and Tina L. Gumienny
Texas Woman’s University

Support for this research was provided by an Innovation Grant from Texas Woman’s University.

Background: According to Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Office of Institutional Research and Data Management, 20% of students in TWU large lecture classes (classes with 50 or more students) earn the grade of D or F. Notably, this rate is nearly twice that of students enrolled in classes with smaller size (classes with less than 50 students). In the five years, 2010-2015, on average, 1,849 TWU students in large classes earned a grade of D or F every semester. This segment of students is at increased risk for failure to complete degree requirements and to persist to graduation. A lack of student engagement in high-enrollment classes leads to increased D and F rates and decreased student retention at the institution (Braxton et al., 2000, 2008). Active learning promotes sense of social integration and indirectly affects students’ decision to stay in school (retention). We sought to promote active engagement strategies by training faculty to use them in high-enrollment courses. Faculty are often untrained in active engagement teaching methods, which take time and effort to implement.

Description: We applied for TWU Innovation Grant Funds, recruited TWU faculty who teach courses with 50+ students (all disciplines), and, provided financial support for faculty to attend training, implement active learning strategies in their courses in 2016-20017, and to report on how it worked. The authors organized and directed the Active Engagement Academy Summer 2016 Workshop. Faculty wrote and submitted their Implementation Plans, implementing new active engagement teaching and learning methods including Team-Based Learning and personal answer devices. IRB approval and consent was obtained to collect data from courses of participating faculty.

Results: The passing rate in the Intervention courses as compared to the Traditional courses taught by the same instructor was significantly higher (+4.4%, p < 0.001) while the drop rate showed no significant change (+0.1%, p = 0.342) The change in passing rate by course was positive for six out of 10 courses. Faculty reported that 100% of them felt the intervention helped them meet the goal of increasing active engagement in their classrooms and that they would use the strategy again and recommend it to a colleague.Other comments by faculty included, “It changed the way I look at teaching and learning”; “It brought a new excitement to statistics  [class] and a true desire to learn”; and “As a relatively new instructor with limited teaching experience, I got to see what can/should be done and hear fromOthers about their teaching experiences.” As faculty member also noted, one participating student said, “This class rocks! I love how we are doing this!”