Faculty members Thomas Newpher and Minna Ng were selected the winners of the best poster award at the 20th annual meeting of the Team-Based Learning Collaborative. Their poster abstract was titled: Class Size and Student Performance in Team-Based Learning.
Team-Based Learning (TBL) is a popular form of small-group collaborative learning. In TBL, students work together in permanent teams throughout the course term, and are motivated to learn through the use of frequent formative assessments taken with and without their teammates. Growing evidence indicates that TBL increases student content knowledge outcomes when compared to lecture-based courses. However, the factors affecting the student experience with TBL have yet to be fully explored. In particular, it remains unknown how the size of a TBL classroom affects content knowledge outcomes, perceived learning, and course satisfaction. To address these questions, we analyzed student performance on summative exams and specific measures of classroom dynamics from a single TBL-taught course over four terms with a range of enrollment sizes (19-103 students). We found that the course term with small enrollment, compared to the term with large enrollment, produced higher ratings for course and instructor quality. Despite these differences in perceived course quality, student performance on summative exams and other measures of classroom dynamics were similar across all course term sizes. Taken together, our data suggest that the content knowledge outcomes in a TBL course are not negatively impacted when enrollment size increases from small to large.