Council on Medical Student Education in Pediatrics


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COMSEP Meeting in Ottawa, ON

Poster Presentation:

Lessons Learned: Creating and Implementing a Hands-on, Interactive & Practical Medically-Oriented TBL

Haneme . Idrizi,University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio,San Antonio,Texas,Linda Solis,University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio,San Antonio,Texas,Bonnie Taylor,University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio,San Antonio,Texas

Background:  Although Team Based Learning (TBL) has gained popularity in medical education, challenges remain in creating and implementing medically-oriented sessions that stress both educational content and the application of knowledge in the clinical setting.  In order to provide an effective educational experience for second year medical students about the evaluation of pediatric short stature, a creative and interactive learning opportunity was developed that adhered to all of the classic hallmarks of TBL. 

Objective: Create an interactive and practical TBL, using innovative technology that simulates future medical experiences and promotes clinical reasoning skills. 

Methods: Through the use of backward design, clear learning goals were developed, followed by application exercise design, then the creation of Individual/Team Readiness Assurance Tests with reading assignment selection. Application exercises consisted of multiple-choice type questions, wiki pages, populated visual tools viewed on a document reader, and simulated clinical materials that required teams to order and interpret laboratory data and use this information to refine differential diagnosis lists. TBL activities culminated in video submissions illustrating a role-play of the physician discussing the evaluation and diagnosis with the patient and her family.  Videos were reviewed by the TBL facilitator and were rated for ability to discuss medical complexity sensitively and without jargon.

Results: Following completion of the TBL, a reflective critique was performed by all facilitators and student feedback was solicited. Through this process, modifications were made to improve the learning experience. For example, learning goals were greater specified to reflect the expected TBL learning outcomes, less emphasis was placed on the ultimate diagnosis of the patient and more on the evaluative process, and multiple-choice type application exercises were made more challenging.

Discussion: Although TBL is a rich  method of education, some may hesitate to use it when teaching complex medical topics requiring advanced clinical reasoning skills.  When tasked to instruct medical students about the detailed evaluation of pediatric short stature, a successful hands-on and practical TBL was created incorporating diverse technology. Through self-reflection and student evaluations, great care was taken to modify and improve the experience with each implementation.