Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Many health sciences disciplines have adopted team-based learning (TBL) as part of their education pedagogy, with studies showing increased classroom participation and learner satisfaction. However, it will be beneficial to explore the learning experiences of occupational therapy students in TBL using a mixed methods approach. In an undergraduate occupational therapy program, students undertook three clinical modules using TBL in years two and three. This study explored their perceptions and experiences of TBL. This was a mixed methods prospective cohort study, during which two cohorts of students from Academic Year (AY) 2016 and AY2017 completed the Team-Based Learning Student Assessment Instrument (TBL-SAI) at the end of their first (midway evaluation) and third clinical module (final evaluation). In addition, they completed a semi-structured survey to share their learning experience. One-hundred twenty-seven occupational therapy students from both cohorts had full data and their results showed higher than neutral for Accountability, Preference for TBL, and Student Satisfaction sub-scales and composite scores at midway and final survey. Collectively, there were no significant changes in TBL perceptions, and no significant relationships were found between TBL-SAI scores and module results. Within the AY2017 cohort, there was positive moderate association between Accountability sub-scale midway score and module results. Qualitative analysis produced four themes: 1) power of discussion; 2) time use; 3) changed learning process and outcome; and 4) tailoring aspects of TBL to enhance learning. Occupational therapy students’ scores in the TBL-SAI domains were higher than neutral at midway and final evaluation. TBL may be a suitable method to aid learning of clinical occupational therapy knowledge.


Assoc Prof Bhing-Leet Tan, PhD, is the Director of Programs (Health and Social Sciences) at the Singapore Institute of Technology. She was accorded the National Day Award Commendation Medal and National Healthcare Group Allied Health Educator Award. Her research interests include cognitive rehabilitation, education, vocational rehabilitation, and recovery issues in mental health.

Dr. I-Ling Yeh, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy Programme, Health and Social Sciences Cluster, Singapore Institute of Technology. Her research focuses on neurorehabilitation, use of technology for rehabilitation and health promotion among older adults. She is a council member of Singapore Association of Occupational Therapists.

Dr. Phyllis Liang, PhD, is a principal investigator and research fellow at the Rehabilitation Research Institute of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University. She is a senior occupational therapist and she specializes in neurological rehabilitation. Her research interests include stroke, driving, family caregiving, quality of life and education. She conducts mixed methods studies.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.