Flashcards and Clickers in TBL – Is The Nature of the Feedback Tool Related to Student Satisfaction?
Jared Danielson*, Holly Bender, Roberta DiTerlizzi, Vanessa Preast & Serkan Toy
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50011
In Team Based Learning (TBL), learning groups simultaneously respond to identical questions. In early TBL classrooms, groups indicated answer choices by raising large color-coded flash cards. More recently, electronic response systems (clickers) were introduced. This study asks: are students’ attitudes towards team-based learning associated with response medium type (i.e. flashcard or clicker)?
From 2004 – 2008, TBL was used in a core Veterinary Clinical Pathology course. Flash cards were used in 2004, infrared clickers in 2005 and 2006, and radio frequency clickers in 2007 and 2008. Following each course, students completed a questionnaire (five point satisfaction scale) regarding (a) the effectiveness of flashcard OR clicker use (depending on which was used), and (b) the effectiveness of TBL activities.
Overall, 522 students (approximately 100 per year) responded. Differences in satisfaction across years were analyzed using an ANOVA. There was no statistically significant difference across years in students’ satisfaction with TBL activities. Satisfaction with flashcard/clicker use differed across years, with students being significantly more satisfied in 2006, 2007, and 2008 than 2004; 2005 satisfaction did not differ significantly from other years.
Because satisfaction with TBL activities was stable across years, this study provides no evidence that simultaneous report mechanism is related to overall satisfaction with TBL. The finding that significant differences in satisfaction with flashcard/clicker use did not coincide with changes in the medium suggests that the instructor’s growing facility in managing TBL affected the change in attitude more than did the difference in response medium.
PBL FROM THE LEARNER’S PERSPECTIVE
Vancouver BC V5V2A6
Much has been written about the theory behind, and the methodology associated with, PBL in which it has been described as a ‘learner centered’ educational method. This begs the question as to how the learner perceives this educational approach. This study was designed to probe the learner’s perspective on PBL
A 31 item survey probing their beliefs about PBL was delivered to an incoming medical class: (i) before any orientation to PBL; (ii) after an orientation session on PBL; (iii) after their first 5 week PBL block; (iv) after 3 PBL blocks; and, (v) at the end of their first year of (7) PBL blocks. The survey probed their beliefs about: a) the tutorial process, including the role of the tutor; b) teamwork; c) group dynamics; and d) the advantages of PBL.
The students were in agreement with many of the 31 statements made about PBL however, they disagreed amongst themselves about: the role of the tutor in the group process, including whether the tutor should hold back on their professional knowledge; whether students should speak for an equal amount of time; whether group dynamic problems should be solved by the whole group or, separately, by the individuals involved; and, whether PBL was an advantageous learning methodology for the acquisition and organisation of knowledge.
CONCLUSIONS/ FUTURE DIRECTIONS
The students have identified a number of issues associated with the PBL methodology with which they struggle. Focus groups designed to probe these issues is the next step.
CLINICIANS VS. BASIC SCIENTISTS: TEACHING PERSPECTIVES OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING TUTORS
Pawel Kindler*, Dan Pratt & John Collins
The University of British Columbia
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z3
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) tutors facilitate student learning by encouraging development of higher order thinking skills and monitoring group dynamics, but without directly transferring knowledge. However, the beliefs and intentions that influence and justify tutors’ behaviours are poorly understood. This study contrasts expert tutor clinicians against those with basic science backgrounds to investigate their own “teaching perspectives” and views about the most effective approaches to PBL tutoring in the first two years of the medical curriculum.
Participants were sixteen clinicians and nineteen basic scientists; all experienced and identified as superior facilitators. Each (a) ranked summary descriptions of the five teaching perspectives in order of decreasing effectiveness as PBL tutoring strategies, then (b) completed their own on-line Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) surveys.
Tutors consistently ranked the Developmental perspective description as the most congruent with the PBL approach, followed by Nurturing, Apprenticeship, Transmission and Social Reform. Clinicians ranked Nurturing and Apprenticeship higher than basic scientists (Mann-Whitney U, 0.047 and 0.028, respectively). Their TPI profiles confirmed the Developmental perspective as most dominant among most participants. Clinicians, however, were significantly higher in Apprenticeship (t=2.90, p<0.008)
Our results confirm the Developmental perspective – firmly rooted in the constructivist philosophy – as overwhelmingly dominant among experienced and highly regarded PBL tutors, whether clinicians or basic scientists. A comprehensive outline of the results, their potential contributions to the ongoing debate regarding the impact of professional background on tutor expertise and their implications for tutor training constitute the take-away sheets for this poster session.
VALUE OF TEAMS FOR FIRST TIME TBL STUDENTS IN JAPAN
Christine Kuramoto*, Takehiko Yokomizo & Motofumi Yoshida
In 2008, a class of 115 medical and biomedical science majors in their second year of study began taking scientific English classes at Kyushu University. The program posed problems for language learning because of the high teacher/student ratio. In foreign language classes 20 students or less is recommended for optimal learning (Johnson, 2001). Team Based Learning (TBL) was implemented to provide a better language learning environment. The course was taught following Michaelsen’s (2002) principles of TBL with students divided into 19 teams. This study investigated whether Japanese students who have primarily been taught using didactic methods find working in teams valuable enough to warrant continued use of TBL.
A “value of teams” questionnaire, as shown on the poster, was used to survey 105 second year students upon completion of the course. Responses were made on a scale of 1-5 from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Four of the 13 items measured student perceived value of working with peers (WP), and 5 items measured perceived value of group work (VGW). An additional 4 items were distractors.
Students valued working with peers very highly with an average 72 students (N = 105) responding to the WP items positively. An average 25 students responded “neither agree nor disagree” and an average 7 students responded negatively on WP items. Group work was valued less with an average 60 students responding positively to VGW items. An average 35 students responded “neither agree nor disagree” and an average 8 students responded negatively to the VGW items. Learning outcomes and student course evaluation results will be discussed in the presentation.
Although students highly valued working with their peers, there was less value placed on group work. The results support the further use of TBL as a teaching strategy with over half of the students showing that they value both WP and VGW. Improvement of group assignments and instruction on the value of groups will be undertaken to increase the effectiveness of TBL. Extrapolating TBL to other physical skills will be encouraged for faculty and curriculum development.
PLEASING SOME OF THE PEOPLE, ALL OF THE TIME… EXPERIENCES WITH TBL
St. George’s University
With class sizes of > 400 students, the Medical Microbiology “small group” sessions were no longer meeting our educational goals and had become highly time and faculty intensive. The partial integration of Team Based Learning was therefore explored and subsequently initiated. The goal of this poster is to present our main observations from the first year of implementation and to discuss the challenges encountered, therefore providing useful information for faculty considering implementing TBL.
A series of pre-reading assignments were assigned via a Course Management system. These were followed by individual (Scantron based) and team readiness assessment tests (IF-AT forms) at the start of each two week module. The remainder of the first and remainder of the second week consisted of team-based activities. With some modifications, this basic structure was followed for both the Spring (400 students) and Fall terms of 2008 (480 students).
The full format of the sessions, samples of the tests and assignments, etc., will be provided. This will be accompanied by a discussion of the specific challenges encountered, such as faculty preparation time, and the associated student impressions: enthusiasm and “buy-in” to the TBL format, perception of pre-reading assignments and exercises as valuable, etc.
CONCLUSIONS/ FUTURE DIRECTIONS
The initiation of a new teaching methodology, especially when it is unfamiliar, brings various challenges and problems. One of the biggest problems we encountered was the overall student attitudes with regard to aspects of the TBL set-up. Details are provided as to either how these attitudes were resolved or how they could have been prevented from occurring.
USE OF LEARNING ISSUES AS STUDY RESOURCES AND EFFECT ON STUDENT PERFORMANCES: IN TBL ANATOMY COURSE
Nagaswami Vasan* & David DeFouw
New Jersey Medical School
Newark NJ 07103
In medical education, in addition to changing pedagogy, a variety of teaching strategies now serve to promote active learning. In teaching anatomy to first year medical students, we have implemented a modified Team-Based learning (TBL) strategy, that included replacement of lectures with learning issues and quizzes as self guided study resources. TBL allowed us to maintain an enriched course content that promoted active learning.
A total of 170-195 students were divided into teams of 5 to 8. For weekly discussion, students received a series of learning issues derived from textbooks of basic anatomy, embryology and clinical correlations. In order to assure that each student completed the assigned out of class preparation, weekly sessions started with an ungraded quiz, which also served to monitor individual student progress.
We measured student scores in the departmental tests and a final NBME subject examination. As seen, students in the TBL curriculum performed better than students in the traditional curriculum. These changes are statistically significant (p<0.01).
CONCLUSIONS/ FUTURE DIRECTIONS
The several positive attributes of TBL aided successful management of the anatomy curriculum and improved students’ performances. TBL is being introduced in other courses, and this will allow us to assess the long-term influence of team learning in future professional behavior of our graduates.