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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 110-111

Introducing Team-Based Learning Within the Purview of Competency Driven Curriculum: Points to Ponder

1 Vice Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit & Medical Research Unit, Department of Community Medicine, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication28-Aug-2018

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College & Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur-Guduvanchery Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram 603108, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_32_18

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Introducing Team-Based Learning Within the Purview of Competency Driven Curriculum: Points to Ponder. MAMC J Med Sci 2018;4:110-1

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Introducing Team-Based Learning Within the Purview of Competency Driven Curriculum: Points to Ponder. MAMC J Med Sci [serial online] 2018 [cited 2020 Apr 5];4:110-1. Available from: http://www.mamcjms.in/text.asp?2018/4/2/110/240003


Team-based learning (TBL) is a teaching–learning method widely employed to ensure interactive small group teaching.[1] The method involves active participation of the students to negate their fears and gives them a chance to organize as an individual and as a team to sort out the given problem.[1] Predominantly, it is a student-centered approach, with inbuilt components of constructive criticism, peer assessment, and feedback.[2] In addition, the method has shown to promote interest among students about the subject and improve their attendance and interaction with team members.[2]

The underlying principles for TBL include each of the team comprises of the same number of different types of members with specific attributes so that each team has a mixture of knowledge and experience and that members together can analyze and solve problems in collaboration.[1],[2] Further, students are accountable for their prelearning and for team work and that the given assignments should encourage learning as well as team development.[1],[2] In addition, the participating students should receive prompt and frequent feedback from the peers and the facilitators.[1]

In general, TBL is performed in three stages, and it involves both individual and team responsibilities to work collectively to resolve clinical scenarios by means of a recall of gained knowledge and the practical application of the same.[2],[3] Moreover, it is important to understand that teacher just acts as a facilitator to enhance learning and that student should consider the argument between their preconceptions and new experiences to eventually develop new understanding about the given topic.[3] Further, to enhance learning, reflection component should also be added and relevant problems should be selected, so that teams can relate to them and interact effectively.[2],[3],[4]

Competency-driven curriculum has been recognized as the need of the hour, and all efforts are being taken by the Medical Council of India to expedite the transition. In the competency driven curriculum, TBL can be incorporated as a method to ensure effective learning among the students.[2] This could be because TBL is a student-centered approach, in which students take the onus of their learning (one of the essential principles of competency-based learning) instead of the conventional learning (which is teacher centered).[4] In addition, the given clinical scenarios/problems tend to have different solutions, which allows extensive discussion not only among the group members, but also between different groups, and hence aids in the development of higher skills in all three domains of learning.[3],[4]

Further, feedback is an essential and integral element of the entire process of learning, which in turn gives a chance for the learners to improve in a constructive manner.[2],[3] This makes the complete process as a formative one, which is once again a defining feature of competency driven curriculum.[1],[2] Moreover, the extent of accomplishing the power of reasoning can be used as a marker to assess the competency levels of the student.[3] A wide range of medical colleges across various nations have incorporated TBL within their curriculum, and the method has given encouraging results in terms of student outcome and quality of discussion.[4]

However, for its implementation within any set-up, it requires a lot of ground work in terms of sensitizing the faculty about the process, designing, and validating the modules with the aid of subject experts, formation of similar groups which will promote greater exchange of ideas, and assigning a proper and adequate time slot for the exercise.[2],[3],[4] Considering the shortage of faculty in most of the institutes, a definite thought should be given before implementing the method, especially regarding its sustainability by involving faculty from different departments.[1],[2],[3],[4]

In conclusion, TBL is an effective way to motivate learning, ensure better engagement of students, and allow constructive criticism, so that they develop critical skills and combine theory with practice to make good decisions with regard to solving the given problem.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Burgess A, Bleasel J, Haq I, Roberts C, Garsia R, Robertson T et al. Team-based learning (TBL) in the medical curriculum: Better than PBL? BMC Med Educ 2017;17:243.  Back to cited text no. 1
Chen M, Ni C, Hu Y, Wang M, Liu L, Ji X et al. Meta-analysis on the effectiveness of team-based learning on medical education in China. BMC Med Educ 2018;18:77.  Back to cited text no. 2
Schynoll G, Irish E, Wayne J, Smith R. Feasibility of a comprehensive medical knowledge curriculum in internal medicine using team-based learning. J Grad Med Educ 2018;10:78-83.  Back to cited text no. 3
Reimschisel T, Herring AL, Huang J, Minor TJ. A systematic review of the published literature on team-based learning in health professions education. Med Teach 2017;39:1227-37.  Back to cited text no. 4


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