Effectiveness and student perspective of a pilot effort in team based learning in pharmacology for medical undergraduate

Nayana K. Hashilkar, Mark H. Gelula, Netravathi B. Angadi


Background: Teaching in pharmacology is passive with less emphasis on clinical application. There is a need to incorporate newer instructional designs. Team based learning (TBL) is one such new strategy that encourages peer interaction and self-directed learning. The present study aimed to assess the effectiveness of team based learning to teach pharmacology to medical undergraduates as compared to tutorials. The secondary objective was to obtain the students attitudes regarding their experience.

Methods: The entire regular batch of MBBS in pharmacology was randomly divided into two groups. Four topics pertaining to cardiovascular system were selected that were notified to both the groups well in advance. One group received TBL as the instructional strategy while the other group had conventional tutorials dominated by a tutor. At the end of the cardiovascular module, a written test was conducted to assess the effectiveness of TBL and the mean scores of both the groups were analysed using unpaired t-test. The students were requested to provide feedback regarding their experience using a feedback form.

Results: The mean scores of the TBL group were significantly more as compared to the conventional tutorial group. The students in their feedback about the new teaching-learning strategy appreciated the group dynamics, team work and expressed their willingness for continuing TBL for rest of the topics in pharmacology.

Conclusions: Team-Based Learning is an effective teaching-learning method to teach pharmacology to medical undergraduates. It encourages pre-class preparation, student’s participation in small teams and improves their basic knowledge as well as skills of critical thinking.


Effectiveness, Student perspective, TBL, Pharmacology

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