The Impact of Team-Based Learning on Students’ Achievement, Leadership, Communication and Teamwork across Disciplines

Principal Investigator: Prof Gan Chee Lip, Director, Renaissance Engineering Programme
Co-Investigators: Hong Huaqing and Betsy Ng, Research Scientists, Centre for Research and Development in Learning; Lim Fun Siong, Deputy Director, Teaching, Learning, and Pedagogy Division
Collaborators: Paul Gagnon, Director, e-Learning and IT services, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCSM); Guo Libo, Lecturer, National Institute of Education; Dr Redante Mendoza, Pedagogical Practice, LKCSM; Felipe Garcia, Assistant Professor, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences


Nanyang Technological University (NTU) operates with a sound morale compass to equip students with 21st century skills that would make them thrive, not just survive, in an increasingly complex knowledge-based economy. These learning, literacy, and life competencies are necessary to address today’s human capital performance gap in most industries.
Under this premise, the University adopts a pedagogical approach called Team-Based Learning (TBL), which aims to impart disciplinary knowledge competency, communication excellence, teamwork, and critical and creative thinking among students who will transition to professional practice post their stay in NTU. With this, TBL has become one of the key initiatives of NTU’s educational strategy 2020 to develop the above skills.
While the adoption of TBL has been fast and extensive given the ease of its administration and low-cost requirements, scholarship is still needed to validate the efficacy of its outcomes. In heed to this, the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE@NTU) collaborates with different University Schools and Centres for an interdisciplinary research to investigate how TBL helps in the development of teamwork, communication, and leadership outcomes needed in the 21st Century professional market place. 
Existing research appear to differ on the effectiveness of TBL in developing disciplinary knowledge competency. Research on the development of communication and teamwork skills are also limited to mostly self-report. Further, there appears to be no research done on how TBL develops leadership.
Hence, this research is aimed at investigating how learning attitude, behaviours, academic performance, and interaction patterns in teams change over time, and what are the relationships among these changes. Moreover, it attempts to address how does the effectiveness of TBL differ across disciplines and learning spaces. 
The study involves students from Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Renaissance Engineering Programme, School of Biological Sciences, and National Institute of Education. Student profiles are studied along with changes in their attitudes, behaviours, discipline knowledge, and interaction patterns throughout the TBL-styled course programme. Measures are also triangulated with logged online activities, face-to-face class interactions, and participation in focus group discussions.
This research will contribute to the application, implementation, research methodology and scholarship of TBL in Singapore and beyond. Specifically, the study would make recommendations for the enhancement of TBL; produce a well-tested survey instrument to measure soft-skill outcomes from TBL; and develop a multidimensional approach using data analytics to analyse the effectiveness of TBL.