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By Kendall Lombard, Neurobiology
Advisor: Brent Stoffer
Presentation ID: AM_C19
Abstract: Team-based learning and individual readiness are tools that have been increasingly more popular. They are used to increase participation, aid students in complex subjects, and help them apply difficult topics. Our study examined multiple objectives to determine whether team-based learning strategies improve student assessment in undergraduate freshman biology labs. First, we examined whether the length of time an individual spent preparing for class influenced the assessment performance. Students completed a survey, addressing whether they worked on the individual readiness assessment test (iRAT) individually or in groups and how long they spent working on the assignment. In one assignment, students performed better on their iRAT if they spent more time working on the assignment. Students scored better on their iRAT if they worked on their iRAT with their peers. Second, we examined whether groups of students perform better than individual students. We analyzed the scores students received on their iRAT in comparison to the score for their team-readiness assessment test (tRAT). Groups performed significantly better on the tRAT than the iRAT. Finally, we examined the overall impact of changing the curriculum to emulate team-based learning. We analyzed the improvement in group scores relative to individual scores across both formats. Overall improvement was greater in the new format. Taken together, we conclude that team-based learning has been effective. Not only have we observed improved scores on students assessments, but overall student engagement and instructor feedback has been positive as well.