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Collaborative Learning, Nursing Students, Pharmacology, Standardized Test, Team-Based Learning



  1. El-Banna, Majeda M. PhD, RN, CNE
  2. Whitlow, Malinda DNP, FNP-BC, RN
  3. McNelis, Angela M. PhD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, CNE


Background: Team-based learning (TBL) is a collaborative teaching and learning strategy emphasizing student engagement and application of knowledge.


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the differences in scores on pharmacology course final and standardized criterion-referenced examinations between students taught in a traditional lecture-based approach and those taught under the TBL approach.


Methods: Using a before-and-after design, 338 prelicensure students were taught pharmacology using either a traditional lecture-based approach or a TBL approach.


Results: Significant differences on course final and standardized examination scores were found between the groups, with students taught using TBL scoring higher than students in the traditional lecture-based group.


Conclusions: Team-based learning had a positive impact on learning outcomes. Moreover, TBL may be a more efficient approach to teaching, as students in the TBL group had only 3 credit hours of content versus students in the traditional lecture-based group, who had 4 credit hours.