Understanding the early effects of team-based learning on student accountability and engagement using a three session TBL pilot

Anita Sharma, Kristin K. Janke, Andrea Larson, Wendy St Peter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background and purpose This study examined the early effects of a team based learning (TBL) pilot, including differences in student engagement with TBL compared to lectures, and student accountability, preferences, and satisfaction with TBL. Educational activity and setting Three TBL sessions were delivered in the nephrology section of pharmacotherapy and then students completed the team-based learning student assessment instrument (TBL-SAI), which assesses TBL relative to lecture on three subscales (i.e., student accountability, preferences, and satisfaction). Students also completed a modified engagement instrument for a lecture and again for a TBL session. Findings All students (160) participated in the survey (100% response rate). When comparing TBL and lecture engagement, five of eight statements were statistically significantly different. In TBL, students reported the strongest agreement with statements related to contributions (i.e., contributing fair share [mean 3.97], contributing meaningfully [mean 3.96]). Using the TBL-SAI, the mean score for accountability (30.64) was higher than neutral (24) indicating a higher level of accountability with TBL. Student satisfaction with TBL was neutral (mean 26.62, neutral = 27). Discussion and conclusions In a three-session pilot, TBL had positive effects on engagement and accountability. Early positive effects could aid programs in building and maintaining momentum with the TBL approach while working towards outcomes that may take longer to achieve, such as changes in professionalism or teamwork. Duration of exposure and perseverance through the transition to TBL may be important in developing preferences and satisfaction. This study provides insights to programs and instructors about student perceptions and attitudes as TBL is introduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalCurrents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017


  • Accountability
  • Engagement
  • Preference
  • Satisfaction
  • Team based learning


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