The effect of online and in-person team-based learning (TBL) on undergraduate endocrinology teaching during COVID-19 pandemic

Shafeena Anas, Ioannis Kyrou, Mariann Rand-Weaver, Emmanouil Karteris

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    14 Citations (Scopus)
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    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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number120
    Number of pages9
    JournalBMC Medical Education
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2022

    Bibliographical note

    © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativeco domain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data


    • Application exercise
    • Endocrine disorders
    • Higher education
    • iRAT
    • Mariann Rand-Weaver and Emmanouil Karteris should be considered joint last authors
    • tRAT

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education


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