Perceptions and Attitudes of First-Year Medical Students on a Modified Team-Based Learning (TBL) Strategy in Anatomy

Ibrahim M Inuwa

Abstract


Objectives: Although team-based learning (TBL) is widely used in medical education, its evaluation from the perspectives of the students exposed to it has been limited. This paper reports on a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of perceptions of first year medical students towards TBL. Methods: Lectures in an anatomy course were transformed into a series of TBL sessions for two cohorts of first-year medical students. Each session consisted of pre-class reading, in-class readiness assurance tests, and problem-solving of clinical cases by student teams. At the end of each course, students were surveyed using qualitative and quantitative instruments to assess their perceptions of the strategy. Internal consistency of questionnaire items was determined by a reliability analysis (Cronbach’s alpha). Principal component factor analysis and correspondence analysis were conducted on the quantitative data. Open-ended questions were explored by thematic analysis. Results: Students’ evaluations indicated that TBL is a welcome alternative to lecture-based teaching; as implemented in this study, it encouraged clinical problem solving and fruitful in-class discussion. Principal component factor analysis identified five factors (Cronbach’s alpha 0.602–0.875). However, the majority of students disapproved of mixed gender TBL teams. Most students agreed that the strategy facilitated consistency in their study, generated an increased awareness about selfdirected learning, and had a positive impact on their learning attitudes. Conclusion: TBL is a welcome instructional strategy as reported by our first-year medical students. It was perceived to be a better approach compared to content-based lectures. The effect on actual student performance is currently being investigated.



Keywords


Active learning; Problem solving; Attitudes; Cooperative behavior; Oman.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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