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Applying team-based learning of diagnostics for undergraduate students: assessing teaching effectiveness by a randomized controlled trial study

Authors Zeng R, Xiang L, Zeng J, Zuo C

Received 14 November 2016

Accepted for publication 31 January 2017

Published 9 March 2017 Volume 2017:8 Pages 211—218

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S127626

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anwarul Azim Majumder


Rui Zeng,1,* Lian-rui Xiang,2,* Jing Zeng,3 Chuan Zuo4

1Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, 2Department of Public Affairs Development, 3Department of Internal Medicine, 4Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, West China Hospital, School of Clinic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: We aimed to introduce team-based learning (TBL) as one of the teaching methods for diagnostics and to compare its teaching effectiveness with that of the traditional teaching methods.
Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial on diagnostics teaching involving 111 third-year medical undergraduates, using TBL as the experimental intervention, compared with lecture-based learning as the control, for teaching the two topics of symptomatology. Individual Readiness Assurance Test (IRAT)-baseline and Group Readiness Assurance Test (GRAT) were performed in members of each TBL subgroup. The scores in Individual Terminal Test 1 (ITT1) immediately after class and Individual Terminal Test 2 (ITT2) 1 week later were compared between the two groups. The questionnaire and interview were also implemented to survey the attitude of students and teachers toward TBL.
Results: There was no significant difference between the two groups in ITT1 (19.85±4.20 vs 19.70±4.61), while the score of the TBL group was significantly higher than that of the control group in ITT2 (19.15±3.93 vs 17.46±4.65). In the TBL group, the scores of the two terminal tests after the teaching intervention were significantly higher than the baseline test score of individuals. IRAT-baseline, ITT1, and ITT2 scores of students at different academic levels in the TBL teaching exhibited significant differences, but the ITT1-IRAT-baseline and ITT2-IRAT-baseline indicated no significant differences among the three subgroups.
Conclusion: Our TBL in symptomatology approach was highly accepted by students in the improvement of interest and self-directed learning and resulted in an increase in knowledge acquirements, which significantly improved short-term test scores compared with lecture-based learning. TBL is regarded as an effective teaching method worthy of promoting.

Keywords: team-based learning, diagnostics, symptomatology, medical education
 

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