Knowledge acquisition in team-based learning
Tong, Claudia Ren Hwee
Date of Issue2017
Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine)
Introduction: Team-based Learning (TBL) has been shown to fulfil learning objectives and improve academic performance in medical education. However, evidence of actual knowledge acquisition through each phase of TBL – TBL-Preparation, Individual Readiness Assessment (IRA), Team Readiness Assessment, Burning Questions (BQ) and Application Exercise (AE) – has not been explored. The use of Concept Recall Test (CRT) as an instrument for tracking and quantifying knowledge has been used in Problem-based learning (PBL) but not in TBL. This study’s aim was to administer CRTs to understand the trend of knowledge acquisition and gain a deeper understanding into the mechanism of how knowledge is developed in TBL. We hypothesised that knowledge is cumulative throughout the stages of TBL. Methods: First-year and second-year students from an undergraduate medical course were recruited. CRTs were administered in between each phase of TBL– giving a total of 6 CRTs per TBL. The CRT scores were determined by two independent markers. These CRT scores reflect the amount of knowledge acquired based on the theory of spreadingactivation in cognitive psychology. Analysis of the mean scores was done using repeated measures ANOVA. Results: In both cohorts, the bulk of knowledge acquisition took place in the self-study phase (p<0.01). Significant declines in CRT scores were seen post-BQ for the first-years; and post-IRA and BQ for the second-years (p<0.01). Discussion: A significant increase in knowledge acquired from baseline to the post-TBL-preparation phase validates the TBL design that develops accountability within teams and therefore motivates students to come well-prepared for TBL lessons. The decline in CRT scores from post-TBL preparation to post-AE is possibly due to knowledge encapsulation of learned concepts. Further studies could be done to validate this phenomenon.
Final Year Project (FYP)