One of the many innovations available to the UCSF education community through the new Teaching and Learning Center will be classrooms designed for Team-Based Learning. Team learning or team-based learning (TBL) is an instructional strategy designed to transform small groups into powerful, cohesive learning teams, enhance active learning in the classroom, leverage the diversity of experience in a typical class, and provide opportunities to apply course concepts to solve problems. TBL has been shown to improve learning outcomes and help learners improve skills in collaboration and communication (1-6). Furthermore, TBL allows a single instructor to engage multiple small groups simultaneously in the same classroom, and is thus ideal for active learning activities when faculty resources are limited.
The key components of a TBL session focus on both individual accountability and teamwork. Learners are initially exposed to content through pre-assigned readings and are held accountable for preparation using a Readiness Assurance Process (RAP). Following the RAP, learners practice applying content in teams in a series Application exercises. The TBL method has been adapted widely to learners at various levels, and has been used effectively to address many disciplines and competencies.
Learn more about team-based learning at the TBL Collaborative website.Watch a 12-minute video that shows TBL in action in the lecture hall.
The new Teaching and Learning Center will be equipped with several classrooms in which TBL can take place in a variety of configurations. 4 large classrooms are each designed to hold 4 teams of up to 6 students, and 7 smaller classrooms each accommodate 2 teams of up to 5, or 1 team of 6-10. Each team can construct and apply knowledge through the TBL process and report back to the instructor and the larger group through projection systems in place for each team. The close proximity and technological advances in these classrooms will allow a small number of facilitators to oversee multiple teams and facilitate inter-team debate and discussion.
View examples of how the new TLC classrooms can be configured to home teams of 5-7, ideal for TBL.Find health science learning modules designed for team-based learning on MedEdPortal.
- Dunaway GA. Adaption of team learning to an introductory graduate pharmacology course. Teach Learn Med. 2005;17 (1):56–62.
- Haidet, P, Morgan RO, O’Malley K, Moran BJ, Richards BF. A controlled trial of active versus passive learning strategies in a large group setting. Adv Health Sci Educ Theory Pract. 2004;9 (1):15-27.
- Koles P, Nelson S, Stolfi A, Parmelee D, Destephen D. Active learning in a Year 2 pathology curriculum. Med Educ. 2005;39 (10):1045-55.
- Letassy NA, Fugate SE, Medina MS, Stroup JS, Britton ML. Using team-based learning in an endocrine module taught across two campuses. Am J Pharm Educ. 2008;72 (5):103.
- Vasan NS, DeFouw D. Team learning in a medical gross anatomy course. Medical Education. 2005;39 (5), 524-.
- Zgheib NK, Simaan JA, Sabra R. Using team-based learning to teach pharmacology to second year medical students improves student performance. Med Teach. 2010;32(2):130-5