Implementation of Team-Based Learning in an Asynchronous Distance Education Graduate Nursing Course

SUNY , State University of New York , IITG , Innovative Instructional Technology Grants , Team-Based Learning , Online Education , Student Engagement
It is suggested that the implementation of team-based learning (TBL) in the curriculum of an asynchronous distance education graduate nursing course will improve student engagement and promote quality learning experiences. Health care professionals must work as a team to improve care delivery and promote patient safety. Michaelsen (2008) suggests that TBL will help to prepare students to be more effective health care providers. Team-based learning is an instructional strategy which consists of small group activities designed to provide students with both conceptual and procedural knowledge. The four essential principles are student accountability, self-managed groups, meaningful assignments, and frequent and timely feedback. The Stony Brook neonatal nurse practitioner program has a long and successful history with distance education. The content is delivered asynchronously through recorded lectures, reading assignments, worksheets and clinical applications. To elevate the quality of the program, Neonatal Pharmacology, a required course in the program, will be revised to incorporate principles of TBL: learning activities consisting of individual and group assignments, discussion boards, peer evaluations, and objective exams. The students will be randomized to groups of five to seven members. Validated tools will be adapted to measure student engagement and student and faculty satisfaction. Examination scores will be compared with the scores of students in the course as it is currently delivered. Results will be disseminated through publications and presentations at conferences. Successful implementation of TBL in this course will lead to expansion of TBL in other distance education courses. This project supports the objectives of the Open SUNY initiative designed to ensure student success and promote faculty development in providing innovative strategies to maximize student learning.
Findings of this study demonstrate effectiveness of TBL as a teaching strategy in distance education.