ETBLC Board – Prabha Parthasarathy

Discipline: Biosciences

About Me: I am a Clinician by training and my expertise is in Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. I completed M.D in Microbiology from the University of Delhi in 2003 and subsequently M.Sc( Infectious Diseases) from National University of Singapore in 2009. As a Research Fellow in Singapore, I set up the molecular typing laboratory for MRSA strains. Following a career as a Clinician, I decided to pursue my passion in teaching in 2011 and have been a Teaching Fellow since then in the University of Sussex. I lead modules and actively teach on several of them, my main input is in Microbiology and Anatomy in the Biomedical Science degree.

During my early Teaching Fellow career, I became aware of the changing landscape of education, in particular the lack of student engagement in lectures. This prompted me to undertake a scholarly work with the aim to determine the different innovative practices that enhance student learning in such a setting. I introduced several practices during my early career including Just-in time teaching and clicker technology. This was widely appreciated by students and I subsequently received Student Led Teaching Awards in 2014 and 2016.

In 2016, I was privileged to become the Degree Convener for Biomedical Science. This role helps me take a broader perspective on education focusing on programme level outcomes over and above module level learning outcomes. In 2016, I attended a workshop on Team based learning and at once, I could envisage the impact this strategy could have at enhancing the learning experience at the module and degree level. Hence , I piloted this for the first time in one of my modules , which was based around Anatomy. Subsequently, in 2017, I flipped 30% of the lecture content and used TBL to facilitate classroom teaching. As these sessions were for large groups of 100 students, I used a TBL management system to promote interaction between faculty and students. During this time, I also developed an interest in the scholarship and research around Team based learning and have been involved in conferences around this theme. With each year, I find myself using the increased involvement with pedagogic research to drive teaching practices.

Interest in TBL: I am interested in using TBL to enhance the learning in large group teaching session. In addition, I have an active interest in the role of technology in TBL sessions.

Publications/Presentations on TBL:

  • Oral presentation titled “ Supporting learning through formative feedback opportunities” at Teaching and Learning Away Day, June 2018
  • Pecha Kucha presentation Titled “Team Based Learning model using technology to facilitate and support learning in a large group setting” at Active Learning Conference in Sussex, June 2018
  • Conducted workshop titled “Assessment and Feedback strategies in large group sessions. It doesn’t have to be a lecture all the time!” at University of Sussex Teaching and Learning conference in May 2018 on the theme of Assessment and Feedback in large teaching groups.