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Teach Learn Med. 2011 Jan;23(1):28-30. doi: 10.1080/10401334.2011.536756.

A trial of team-based versus small-group learning for second-year medical students: does the size of the small group make a difference?

Author information

1
Division of General Internal Medicine, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08903, USA. willetlr@umdnj.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Team-based learning is a large-group instructional modality intended to provide active learning with modest faculty resources.

PURPOSE:

The goal is to determine if team-based learning could be substituted for small-group learning in case sessions without compromising test performance or satisfaction.

METHODS:

One hundred and sixty-seven students were assigned to team-based or small-group learning for 6 case discussion sessions. Examination scores and student satisfaction were compared.

RESULTS:

Instruction modality had no meaningful effect on examination score, 81.7% team based versus 79.7% small-group, p=.56 after multivariate adjustment. Student satisfaction was lower with team-based learning, 2.45 versus 3.74 on a 5-point scale, p<.001. Survey responses suggested that the very small size (8-10 students) of our small groups influenced the preference for small-group learning.

CONCLUSIONS:

Team-based learning does not adversely affect examination performance. However, student satisfaction may be inferior, especially if compared to instruction in very small groups of 10 or fewer students.

PMID:
21240779
DOI:
10.1080/10401334.2011.536756
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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