Students perceive Team-Based Learning facilitates development of graduate learning outcomes and professional skills

Judy Currey, Stephanie K. Sprogis, Gabby Burdeu, Julie Considine, Joshua Andrew Allen, Elizabeth Oldland


In tertiary education, generic professional skills should be developed along with discipline-specific knowledge and skills. Team-Based Learning (TBL), an active learning strategy, creates deep learning and enhanced student engagement; however, its effects on the development of generic learning outcomes are unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate postgraduate specialty nursing students’ perspectives of how TBL impacts the acquisition of skills defined by the university’s eight Graduate Learning Outcomes (GLOs).

A descriptive exploratory design was used in this study. Postgraduate nursing students in 2016-2017 at one university were invited to participate. Data were collected via demographic survey, a ranking tool, and written reflections. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and content analysis. The response rate was 97.2 per cent (172/177). Participants were mostly females (n=152, 88.4%) aged 25–34 years (n=115, 66.9%). Student (n=156) rankings showed TBL contributed to the acquisition of critical thinking (n=90, 57.7%) and problem solving skills (n=56, 35.9%) the most. Students (n=144) made 2719 comments regarding how TBL led to the acquisition of GLOs in written reflections. Almost 98 per cent (n=2657) of all reflective comments were positive. All students mentioned at least one GLO positively due to TBL. Most positive reflections related to self-management (n=520, 19.6%) and communication (n=434, 16.3%).

Postgraduate specialty nursing students perceived TBL classes contributed to the acquisition of their university’s GLOs, particularly critical thinking, problem solving, and self-management skills. The active learning strategy of TBL facilitates learning and engagement, and the attainment of essential professional attributes which are highly valued by employers.


Team-Based Learning; graduate attributes; professional skills; active learning; higher education; reflective practice; employability; postgraduate education

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