Team-based learning in neuroanatomy

Stephney Whillier*, Reidar P. Lystad, Joyce El-Haddad

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
8 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Team-based learning (TBL) is an active learning method in which student teams participate in individual work, teamwork, and the application of learned concepts to problem solving. It has been widely adopted in the education of health professions. The aim of this study was to assess whether TBL in tutorials would be beneficial to students’ assessed knowledge and subjective sense of satisfaction as compared to traditional modes of teaching.

Methods: In 2018, TBL was introduced into the tutorials of a clinically oriented undergraduate course of neuroanatomy, and its benefits in improving student grades and satisfaction were assessed. The Welch 2 sample t test was used for group differences in continuous variables, and Pearson’s χ2 test with Yates’ continuity correction was used for group differences in dichotomous variables. Linear modeling was used to look for group differences while adjusting for significant baseline characteristics.
Results: Our study found that in comparison to more traditionally delivered teaching, TBL did not improve grades or alter overall satisfaction. A post hoc pairwise comparison of satisfaction among lectures, tutorials, and practical classes showed that students appeared to be most dissatisfied with the TBL.
Conclusion: Analysis of our methods, results, student comments, and the literature indicate that the length of the tutorials, at 1 hour, was too short to conduct TBL to the standards required. In addition, there is an imperative to persist in preparing students for a different knowledge-transfer paradigm, and it takes a few iterations to improve the approach and application of this method of teaching.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)184-191
Number of pages8
JournalThe Journal of Chiropractic Education
Issue number2
Early online date4 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Publisher 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Team-Based Learning
  • Neuroanatomy
  • Teaching Methods
  • Active Learning


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