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APMIS. 2012 Sep;120(9):718-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0463.2012.02897.x. Epub 2012 Mar 20.

Comparing the efficacy of team based learning strategies in a problem based learning curriculum.

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Clinical Sciences Department, College of Medicine, University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.


We introduced two variants of team based learning (TBL) strategies in pathology course to seek their efficacy in a problem based learning (PBL) curriculum. The TBL strategy was adopted in two different sessions. One during regular resource session (RS-TBL) and other during a weekly review session (RVS-TBL) of the PBL curriculum. The study involved 104 second year students during their 8 weeks of cardiovascular-respiratory units and 3 weeks of hematology units. RS-TBL was adopted for cardiovascular-respiratory unit and RVS-TBL for hematology unit. The first 8 weeks of the course were implemented as RS-TBL and the last 3 weeks as RVS-TBL. The results showed that the group performance was markedly improved than individual performance in both RS-TBL and RVS-TBL (p < 0.001). Comparison between the RS-TBL and RVS-TBL revealed that individual student and group performance was better in the RVS-BL (p < 0.001). The result of the student attitudinal survey indicated an 88% agreement that TBL enhanced their understanding of pathology concepts and critical analysis. Most of the participants (85%) found RVS-TBL to be more useful. Post-TBL, end of semester examination results proved beneficial for the students in risk. The study demonstrated that RVS-TBL may be preferably adopted to enhance the philosophy of TBL in a PBL curriculum.

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