Faculty Instructional Development

Team Learning

Team Learning (TL) is one method of instruction used at UA COM during preclinical years. The purpose is to provide students an opportunity to learn and apply medical knowledge individually and working in small groups and to obtain feedback from instructors. 

The figure below depicts this three-phase process, and is followed by a brief description of the method. Please use the Team Learning menu at left to access resources for Team Learning Facilitators.

[Source: Graphic by Susan Ellis, EdS, Office of Medical Student Education]

Phase 1 - Preparation

The Team Learning (TL) session starts with preparatory work, assigned by the faculty instructor and completed by students outside of  class time. These activities are done in advance of  TL session, and can be a single task or combination of tasks (e.g., assigned reading, lab participation). The second portion of  a TL session is designed to assess students’ understanding of  key concepts from Phase 1 and ensure preparedness.

Phase 2 - Readiness Assurance

The components of Phase 2 are: (1) Individual Readiness Assessment Test- IRAT; (2) Group Readiness Assessment Test - GRAT; and (3) Instructor feedback.

Phase 3 - Application of Key Concepts

The final portion of  the TL session is the Group Application Problem (GAP). In this segment, students work together in their teams to answer the GAP questions. After the teams have completed the GAP items, there is a large group discussion during which students debate and defend their team’s answers.

Related Resources

TL Design