A team-based learning (TBL) experience in gross anatomy laboratory improves physical therapy student perceptions of teamwork.

Purpose/Hypothesis : As healthcare shifts towards increased interdisciplinary patient care, it is essential for students to master critical thinking, communication, and group problem solving skills and develop a positive attitude towards teamwork. Team-based learning (TBL) is an educational strategy that fosters high-level cognitive learning and collaborative group dynamics. First adapted for medical education in 2002, TBL combines pre-class learning assignments with in-class active learning centered around small groups. The study objective was to determine the effect of TBL on student perceptions of course performance, teamwork, and TBL as an effective learning method in gross anatomy course.Number of Subjects : 209Materials/Methods : For this study, we used a Likert scale to survey 2 cohorts of DPT students: one received a traditional cadaveric gross anatomy lab (n=119); the other received the TBL hybrid approach wherein students alternated between traditional cadaveric dissections and TBL learning modules (n=90). The TBL learning modules consisted of 4 stages: an individual readiness assurance test (IRAT), a group readiness assurance test (GRAT), a clinical case study, and anatomy peer teaching. Surveys were administered to traditional format students after they completed gross anatomy and to the TBL format students before and after their gross anatomy course. Comparisons were made between groups of survey responses to 8 questions that assessed students' perceptions of course preparedness, critical thinking, teamwork and collaboration.Results : Our results indicate that all students (traditional and TBL) had positive attitudes towards the TBL method and believed that it would improve their course performance and content mastery. Perceptions of the necessity for teamwork and group problem solving in order to achieve success in PT school were significantly better for the TBL format students as compared with the traditional format students (p<0.017). Importantly, TBL students also felt more strongly (p<0.017) that collaborating with peers would increase professional performance as a PT.Conclusions : Our results show students perceive TBL as positively influencing their anatomy content mastery, and TBL greatly improves student perceptions about group work in the educational and clinical contexts.Clinical Relevance : Our results support the implementation of TBL in the gross anatomy lab as an effective method for developing positive attitudes toward interprofessional communication and teamwork. While TBL has been used previously in medical gross anatomy education to replace the didactic lecture format, there is no publication record for its use in the gross anatomy laboratory. Therefore, this implementation was the first of its kind in the fields of Anatomy and Physical Therapy.

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  • Control #: 1727188
  • Type: Platform
  • Event/Year: CSM2014
  • Authors: Tiffany Huitt, William S. Brooks, Anita Killins
  • Keywords: team based learning |Gross Anatomy|Dissection

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