We are among the few medical schools in the world to use TBL as a significant method for classroom instruction. We intend to utilise the experience and expertise of our existing community of TBL practitioners to support the development of the MBBS curriculum.
TBL sessions will be run by experienced TBL facilitators who will be joined by medical and health professionals (Content Experts) in the subject area being taught. This creates a highly interactive and collaborative learning environment for our students.
In TBL, students carry out some pre-study and then come together with their team. They first assess their own knowledge before working in their team – learning together. Students collectively solve clinical problems by applying their knowledge to real-life medical situations.Students are assigned to a team of six students at the beginning of the academic year and will remain in their team for the whole year.
This will allow strong bonds to be created so that peer-to-peer learning can be maximised.
Video - Team-Based Learning (TBL) at Brunel Medical School
Benefits of Team-Based Learning at Brunel Medical School
• Allows students to develop interpersonal skills (e.g. teamwork, communications and problem-solving skills), which are essential in the healthcare profession
• Helps develop students’ ability to work in multi-cultural and diverse teams
• Provides an opportunity to apply previously acquired scientific and medical knowledge to real-life clinical cases
• Enables continuous and timely feedback, both from the Content Experts and team mates.
• Encourages students to become independent learners and engage in pre-study materials in order to make a good contribution to their team.
Team-Based Learning phases
Phase 1: Preparation
Students, on their own, study course content outside of class either by online/offline reading, or listening to/watching high pre-recorded lectures.
Phase 2: In-Class Readiness Assurance Process
2a) Individual Readiness Assurance Testing (iRAT)
In class, students independently complete a short multiple-choice (Single Best Answer, SBA) test on their preparation study. These tests contribute to the evaluation of student performance. Students are expected to attend all sessions in person. If necessary, some changes to this approach may be brought in, for example in response to pandemic issues.
2b) Team Readiness Assurance Test (tRAT)
Students share and discuss their answers with their team members and together agree on the correct answer. A Leader (team spokesperson) is selected to report back on the team responses.
2c) Class-wide discussion
Content Experts, provide clarification on questions that students have found particularly difficult or problematic, addressing knowledge gaps before progressing to the next TBL phase.
Phase 3: Application
Finally, again working in their teams, students collectively solve clinical problems by applying their newly acquired knowledge to real-life medical situations. It is here that the Content Experts together with the TBL facilitator encourage classroom discussion to help draw conclusions and to strengthen the learning of the session. Phase 2 and 3 tasks are conducted using TBL-enabled software.
4) Peer Review
Students will be encouraged to give and receive constructive feedback from their team mates; an essential skill set required in the work place where health professionals are expected to work with teams from several disciplines.We have developed a process which allows students to highlight the positive behaviours of their peers and also develop the skills to provide constructive feedback to their peers.
What we expect from our students
• Students are expected to attend all TBL sessions, in-class
• There will usually be two full days of TBL sessions per week during each term in the first two years of the course
• Students will be allocated a half-day time-tabled time to do their preparatory work prior to each TBL session
• Students will be expected to dress appropriately and professionally in class and on-line as they should consider themselves members of the health profession right from the start of the MBBS course
• A professional approach is important as students may be interacting daily with clinicians, academics, patients and other health professionals.