Measuring the Effectiveness of Team-Based Learning Outcomes in a Human Factors Course

Bickelhaupt, Sarah
Dorius, Cassandra
Bestler, Laura
Gahn, Sandra
Jacobs, Keri
Smiley-Oyen, Ann
Artz, Georgeanne
Dorneich, Michael
Bender, Holly
Lamm, Monica
Rongerude, Jane
Stone, Richard
Caissie, Beth
Orgler, Lisa
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Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering

This paper will describe a synopsis of the development and application of a survey instrument to assess team skills and professional development outcomes of Team-Based Learning (TBL) in a human factors course. TBL is an advancing teaching pedagogy that shifts instruction from a traditional lecture-based teaching paradigm to a structured learning sequence that includes individual student preparation outside of class followed by active, in-class problem solving exercises completed by student learning teams. As an evolving teaching method, TBL appears to be producing new empirical learning outcomes in areas that have only preliminarily been explored. Traditionally, the effectiveness of TBL has been assessed through grades and numeric measures of performance; however, TBL was designed to both enhance learning as well as team collaboration and critical thinking skills. Thus there a need for a validated measurement instrument emerged to assess the development of team skills in TBL classes. The newly developed survey instrument is designed to assess three overarching factors within the TBL framework: 1) attitudes and beliefs about learning; 2) motivation to learn; and 3) professional development. A pilot survey was created and administered in the summer of 2013 to 25 undergraduate students at a large Mid-Western university and was tested for internal consistency. To further improve the quality of the survey, two focus groups were also conducted. In the fall of 2013 the revised survey was administered to 182 undergraduate students and in the spring of 2014 to 197 undergraduate students. Based on encouraging results, the survey was used to assess the learning outcome gains in a graduate level human factors course. Preliminary results for this sample showed modest gains in critical thinking and external motivation. The survey has the potential to provide instructors a mechanism to measure student learning gains in TBL educational settings.


Copyright Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 2015. Posted with permission.