Students’ Perceptions of Team-based Learning in an Undergraduate Optics Module

Vianya-Estopa, Marta (2019) Students’ Perceptions of Team-based Learning in an Undergraduate Optics Module. In: The 7th European Conference on Education, Birkbeck, University of London & University College London.

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Team based learning (TBL) uses collaborative learning to engage students with course material and has been adopted in various health-related courses. This new pedagogy offers many advantages including an improvement in marks and positive student perceptions. In addition, it offers the right environment to develop communication skills and teamwork. Although TBL is increasingly been used in medical and nurse education, to date very few studies have reported on the preferred teaching methods in optics courses. This study, evaluated students’ experiences with TBL in an optics undergraduate module using a questionnaire developed in 2012 by Heidi Mennenga (Team-based Learning Student Assessment Instrument). The questionnaire contains 33 items in 3 subscales: accountability, preference for TBL and student satisfaction with TBL. When responding, students were reminded that TBL was only included in the tutorials of this module as lectures included active learning but did not include a TBL approach. During tutorials students worked in small groups and the same structure was followed for each session: individual Readiness Assessment Test (iRAT), team RAT (tRAT) and application exercises (optics calculations based on the theory covered during lectures). Two-consecutive cohorts (2017/18 and 2018/19) taking this module were invited to complete the questionnaire anonymously. In both cohorts, students reported a more favourable experience with TBL compared to traditional lectures. The satisfaction subscale showed the highest score compared to the other two subscales within the questionnaire. Based on these findings, a TBL approach should be promoted in optics related courses to increase student satisfaction with the courses.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: active learning, team-based learning, questionnaire
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
Depositing User: Ian Walker
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 13:11
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:54

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