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Teach Learn Med. 2003 Spring;15(2):131-9.

The effect of using team learning in an evidence-based medicine course for medical students.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine-General Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Mail Code BTGH, Houston, TX, USA. danielh@bcm.tmc.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We implemented team learning, an instructional method that fosters small-group learning, in an evidence-based medicine (EBM) course. Our goal was to align instructional methods with EBM practices.

DESCRIPTION:

Team learning provides an alternative to lectures in large-group settings. It involves out-of-class preparation followed by in-class readiness assurance tests and group application activities. We used the method to teach a 7-week course in EBM for 2nd-year students. We evaluated the course using student performance, external observation, and student focus groups.

EVALUATION:

Students performed well on all written assignments, indicating attainment of learning objectives. Observation data revealed a high level of student engagement in the classroom. Focus group data indicated that desired learning behaviors tended to occur but that many students devalued the method.

CONCLUSION:

Team learning served as a useful framework, enabling a large enrollment course to have small-group experiences without large numbers of faculty. The method fostered individual accountability and promoted teamwork--behaviors consistent with effective EBM practice. Students' lack of enthusiasm for the method may stem from their comfort with didactic lectures.

PMID:
12708072
DOI:
10.1207/S15328015TLM1502_11
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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