Background: Team-based learning (TBL) combines active and collaborative learning, while incorporating aspects of the flipped classroom approach and problem-based learning. The COVID-19 pandemic presented certain challenges in the delivery of TBL in class. In this study, we investigated the impact of TBL on the academic performance of final year Biomedical Sciences’ undergraduate students in the context of an “Endocrine Disorders” study block. We did so by comparing the classical in-person approach and online delivery due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: A non-compulsory TBL session was introduced to the curriculum of this block, which followed the traditional 2-h lecture delivery. Comparative analysis was performed for the exam and coursework performance of students who attended the TBL sessions (online and in-person) and those that did not. Results: Both cohorts of students who attended either in-person (n = 66) or online TBL sessions (n = 109) performed significantly better in their exams (p < 0.05) and a related coursework (p < 0.001 and p < 0.05, respectively) when compared to those that did not attend. For both these cohorts the exam mark distribution was much narrower compared to those that did not attend the TBL sessions where the majority of fails and “no shows” were recorded. Conclusions: Online and in-person TBL, can successfully supplement traditional lecture-based teaching and enhance the learning/performance, for complex medical subjects/topics. Our findings demonstrate that it is possible to deliver these sessions online with demonstrable benefit for students suggesting that there is greater flexibility in the use of TBL in higher education.
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- Application exercise
- Endocrine disorders
- Higher education
- Mariann Rand-Weaver and Emmanouil Karteris should be considered joint last authors
ASJC Scopus subject areas