Team-based learning in pharmacy: The faculty experience

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Aim: To assess faculty perceptions and experiences when implementing team-based learning (TBL) across a pharmacy curriculum. Study design: A total of 19 faculty members participated in a series of individual semi-structured interviews that allowed freedom of discussion within a structured framework of inquiry. Data were transcribed, coded using NVivo, and analyzed to establish common themes. Participant quotations were chosen to reinforce the themes and give a voice to the participants. Findings and discussion: The benefits of TBL were perceived to be enhanced student engagement, peer learning, increased faculty enjoyment of teaching, and student development of transferable skills. Challenges included increased initial workload, writing effective application exercises, and facilitating learner-centered classes. TBL may be useful in optimizing course content to ensure outcomes and activities focus on important concepts. Peer learning appears to benefit student learning. TBL may help equip students with valuable transferable skills. TBL requires an initial upfront investment in faculty development and time to prepare resources. A student-centered approach to learning may be daunting for faculty and require new skill sets. Conclusions: Faculty described their support for TBL concluding that the pedagogical benefits of engaging students in active learning, the development of transferable skills for the workplace, and the personal satisfaction felt after a TBL class, outweigh the initial challenges of transitioning to TBL.

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