Team Based Learning: Preparing pharmacy students for an integrated curriculum during induction


  • Jason Hall Manchester Pharmacy School, Manchester
  • Sally Freeman Manchester Pharmacy School, Manchester
  • Harsha Parmar Manchester Pharmacy School, Manchester
  • Alain Pluen Manchester Pharmacy School, Manchester


Team Based Learning, Integrated Curriculum, Induction


Background: Pharmacy students have to integrate their science and practice learning and be able to apply it in practical situations. Integrating knowledge and skills from diverse disciplines can be a challenge and supporting students in this was a priority for the school. Team Based Learning (TBL) has been used as an active learning strategy to promote a supportive learning environment where students work in small groups to solve case-based problems.

Aims: The aim was to describe how TBL was introduced to students during their induction and to describe the student response.

Method: The first year of the undergraduate pharmacy programme started with a week-long induction comprising four TBL sessions, designed in part to set out the expectation of integrating pharmaceutical science and pharmacy practice knowledge and introducing the Code of Conduct for pharmacy students. The student experience of TBL was determined using an online survey and the marks students achieved in the assessments.

Results: The students’ individual assessment means were 72%, 80% and 49%, whilst the team means were 96%, 97% and 74%. Five themes emerged from the students comments on TBL which were: comfort, how TBL helped learning, assessing too early in the programme, preparation time and having the opportunity to meet others on the programme.

Conclusion: The students responded positively to TBL in the induction. The TBL sessions set the expectation of pre-learning/preparation for all teaching sessions and science-practice integration throughout the programme. TBL also allowed students to engage with a greater number of their peers than would have been possible with more didactic forms of teaching.


BMA & RPS (British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society) (2013) British National Formulary number 65. BMJ Group and Pharmaceutical Press. London.

General Pharmaceutical Council (2010) Code of Conduct for Pharmacy Students, London.

Haidet, P. & Fecile, M.L. (2006) Team-based learning: a promising strategy to foster active learning in cancer education. Journal of Cancer Education, 21(3), 125-8.

Hall, J., David, T. & Tully, M. (2011) Ethical dilemmas and fitness to practise. General Pharmaceutical Council.

Hrynchak, P. & Batty, H. (2012) The educational theory basis of team-based Learning. Medical Teacher, 34, 796–801.

Hunt, D.P., Haidet, P., Coverdale, J.H. & Richards, B. (2003) The effect of using team learning in an evidence-based medicine course for medical students. Teaching & Learning in Medicine, 15(2), 131-9

Michaelsen, L.K. (2002) Getting started with team learning. In Team Learning: A transformative use of small group (eds. L.K. Michaelsen, A.B. Knight & L.D. Fink), Westport. CT Greenwood.

Middleton-Green, L. & Ashelford, S. (2013) Using Team-Based Learning in Teaching Undergraduate Pathophysiology for Nurses. Health and Social Care Education, 2(2), 53-58.

Ofstad, W. & Brunner, L.J. (2013) Team-based learning in pharmacy education. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 77(4), 70.

Parmelee, D.X., DeStephen, D. & Borges, N.J. (2009) Medical Students’ Attitudes about Team-Based Learning in a Pre-Clinical Curriculum. Medical Education Online, 14(1).

Tan, N.C.K., Kandiah, N., Chan, Y.K., Umapathi, T., Lee, S.H. & Tan, K. (2011) A controlled study of team-based learning for undergraduate clinical neurology education. BMC Medical Education, 11(91).

Thompson, B., Scheider, V., Haidet, P., Levine, R., McMahon, K., Perkowski, L. & Richards, B. (2007) Team based learning at ten medical schools: two years later. Medical Education, 41, 250-257

Wormald, B.W., Schoeman, S., Somasunderam, A. & Penn, M. (2009) Assessment drives learning: an unavoidable truth? Anatomical Sciences Education, 2(5), 199-204.

Young-Su, Ju. (2009) Evaluation of a Team-Based Learning Tutor Training Workshop on Research and Publication Ethics by Faculty and Staff Participants. Journal of Education Evaluation for Health Professions, 6(5).





Research Article