Integrative Student Learning: An Effective Team Learning Activity in a Learner-Centered Paradigm
Purpose: An Integrative Student Learning (ISL) activity was developed with the intent to enhance the dynamic of student teamwork and enhance student learning by fostering critical-thinking skills, self-directed learning skills, and active learning.
Case Study: The ISL activity consists of three portions: teambuilding, teamwork, and a facilitator driven "closing the loop" feedback discussion. For teambuilding, a set of clue sheets or manufacturer's drug containers were distributed among student pairs who applied their pharmaceutical knowledge to identify two more student pairs with similar clues or drugs, thus building a team of six. For teamwork, each team completed online exams, composed of integrated pharmaceutical science questions with clinical correlates, using only selected online library resources. For the feedback discussion, facilitators evaluated student impressions, opened a discussion about the ISL activity, and provided feedback to teams' impressions and questions. This study describes three different ISL activities developed and implemented over three days with first year pharmacy students. Facilitators' interactions with students and three surveys indicated a majority of students preferred ISL over traditional team activities and over 90% agreed ISL activities promoted active learning, critical-thinking, self-directed learning, teamwork, and student confidence in online library searches.
Conclusions: The ISL activity has proven to be an effective learning activity that promotes teamwork and integration of didactic pharmaceutical sciences to enhance student learning of didactic materials and confidence in searching online library resources. It was found that all of this can be accomplished in a short amount of class time with a very reasonable amount of preparation.
Type: Case Study