I am currently an Associate Professor of Physiology at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine in Lewisburg, WV. I have been a faculty member at WVSOM since 2007, and was introduced to TBL in 2008. I have developed several TBL modules for our integrated curriculum at WVSOM and have a particular interest in emphasizing the role of biomedical science in clinical decision making. I am part of the TBL review committee at WVSOM which provides input regarding the implementation of TBL across the preclinical curriculum and provides feedback to individual faculty regarding design of TBL modules. I currently teach respiratory physiology, renal physiology and the physiology of excitable tissues. I have a research lab that investigates the biochemical basis of susceptibility to ventricular fibrillation during myocardial ischemia.
Any “adaptations” or “improvements” of TBL
TBL application exercises should be ‘4S’ applications, of which a specific choice is one of the critical ‘S’ features of such exercises. Lately I have been considering how to make applications open ended in order to improve higher order thinking skills and engagement of the teams but also make sure they adhere to the 4S format. In a recent TBL module I provided a patient case and asked teams to work to identify the mechanism of the patient’s problem (related to renal function). They would do this by identifying lab tests that would provide information regarding the degree of function of physiological regulatory systems in the patient. I had choices A-E on the application exercise but intentionally left these blank, requiring that the teams provided suggestions to populate the A-E choices. These then provided the basis for intra-team discussion followed by simultaneous report, so that the class in effect decided which lab test they would choose first. As facilitator, I then revealed the result of the lab test, which provided information to the teams for them to begin the process again until the precise mechanisms of the patient’s problem had been established. In this way I think you can have an open ended problem, but still retain a 4S structure to the application exercises.