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A comparative study on perceptions of medical students from the different curriculum on team-based learning

Vijayalakshmi S. Bhojaraja, , Joan Kumar, Anand Srinivasan, Jeevan K. Shetty

Abstract: Objectives: Our medical school followed the traditional curriculum earlier, and due to a large amount of content embedded in each discipline, which had less scope for active and deep learning. To overcome this, we adopted an integrated curriculum and introduced a few active teaching/learning (T/L) methodologies, which promote deep learning and problem-solving skills. One such T/L methodology we introduced was team-based learning (TBL). Before implementing this active T/L methodology in the integrated curriculum, we evaluated the effectiveness of TBL in medical students from the traditional curriculum and aimed to determine students’ perceptions. Furthermore, we aimed to explore the perception of TBL in students who underwent integrated curriculum to evaluate the difference in their perception compared to the traditional curriculum. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in RAK Medical and Health Sciences University on the 1st year medical students from the traditional and integrated curriculum. Institutional ethical committee clearance and informed consent were obtained before starting the study. A pre-validated 5-item survey questionnaire comprising questions related to the content, process, and teamwork was used to obtain perceptions of students’ on TBL. Results: The students positively perceived the teaching-learning experience using TBL and understood the concepts better. Even the students with integrated curriculum had the same positive impact on their learning attitudes. The majority of students in both cohorts agreed that discussion among their teams helped them to learn better. Around two-thirds (66%) of students from the traditional curriculum and one-third (39%) of students from integrated curriculum wanted TBLs as T/L methodology over didactic lectures. Conclusion: TBL helped to learn better and understand the subject and promoted self and peer engagement, which facilitated their learning by clarifying the doubts with peers. Due to this positive TBL experience, most students from both curriculums recommended its use as a T/L method over lecture. Hence, TBL sessions in medical schools can be used as an effective T/L method to facilitate meaningful learning.
Keywords: traditional curriculum / integrated curriculum / team / perceptions / survey / TBL / T/L / students

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