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Office of Medical Education ~ Faculty Development ~ Team Based Learning


Introduction   Readings   Learning Modules



Can you see yourself in this picture?


Just one faculty facilitator can guide this large collection of small groups through a TBL session with students as active participants in their own learning process and working in teams to learn, self-assess and report. TBL helps students with conceptual & applied learning, and fosters development of teamwork and communication skills.

Students also learn and practice peer evaluation during TBL.

Tulane School of Medicine began using Team-Based Learning™ (TBL) during 2008-2009 in response to the dean’s initiative to introduce team training and active learning into the curriculum, to address the development of competencies related to improvement in patient care and safety,

Team-Based Learning™ (TBL) is a learner-centered, small-group instructional technique that can substantially improve quality of learning in terms of:

  • increasing problem-solving skills,
  • decreasing lecture time,
  • boosting student motivation,
  • and promoting team work tbl-pic2

The Team-Based Learning™ method, developed by Larry K. Michaelsen, PhD, allows a single instructor to conduct multiple small groups simultaneously in the same classroom. Learners actively participate through pre-class preparation, in-class group discussion, and post-class peer review. TBL focuses on application and integration of information rather than on memorization of facts. The instructor retains control of content, and acts as both facilitator and content expert guiding learning by selecting appropriate resources, providing an opportunity to apply knowledge, and clarifying questions and misconceptions. TBL allows assessment of both individual and team performance; consequently, it directly addresses the School of Medicine’s initiative to increase team-based and active learning experiences in the curriculum.


Suggested Readings

Getting Started with TBL

  • Team-Based Learning Collaborative. A website with a multitude of resources for Team-Based Learning.
  • 12 Tips for Doing Effective Team-Based Learning (TBL™)
    Parmelee, D.X., and Michaelsen, LK
    Medical Teacher; 32:118-122. 2010.
  • Team-Based Learning™: Moving Forward in Curriculum Innovation: A Commentary
    Parmelee, D.X.
    Medical Teacher; 32:105-107. 2010.
  • Factors Influencing Implementation of Team-Based Learning™ in Health Sciences Education
    Thompson BM, Schneider VF, Haidet P, Perkowski LC, Richards BF
    Academic Medicine: 2007 Oct; 82(10 Suppl):S53-6
  • Using a Media Centre to Facilitate Team-Based Learning™
    Ortega RA, Stanley G, Snavely A
    Journal of Visual Communication in Medicine: 2006 June; 29(2):61-65
  • Team-Based Learning™: A Strategy for InterprofessionalCollaboration
    Rider EA, Brashers V
    Medical Education: Volume 40, issue 5 (May 2006), p. 486-487
  • Koles P, Nelson S, Stolfi A, Parmelee D, DeStephen D
    Medical Education: 2005 Oct; 39(10):1045-1055
  • Team Learning in a Medical Gross Anatomy Course
    Vasan NS, DeFouw D
    Medical Education: 2005 May; 39(5): 524.
  • Team-Based Learning™ in a Medical Gross Anatomy and Embryology Course
    Nieder GL, Parmelee DX, Stolfi A, Hudes PD
    Clinical Anatomy 2005 Jan; 18(1): 56-63
  • Adaption of Team Learning to an Introductory Graduate Pharmacology Course
    Dunaway, GA
    Teaching and Learning in Medicine: 2005 Winter; 17(1):56-62
  • Application of Team Learning in a Medical Physiology Course
    Seidel CL, Richards BF
    Academic Medicine: 2001 May; 76(5):533-534
  • Ismail, NAS. Effectivenss of Team-Based Learning in Teaching Medical Genetics to Medical Undergraduates.
    Malays J Med Sci. 2016 Mar; 23(2): 73-77.
  • Mann, K., & O'Neill, P. (2010). Facilitating a small-group discussion. In K. M. Skeff & G. A. Stratos (Eds.) (2010). Methods for teaching medicine (Chapter 4). Philadelphia, PA: ACP Press.
  • Garrison, D. R. (1997). Self-directed learning: Toward a comprehensive model. Adult Education Quarterly, 48(1): 18-33.
  • Eshach, H., & Bitterman, H. (2003). From case-based reasoning to problem-based learning. Academic Medicine, 78(5), 491-496.