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Table 2 Student responses to “the best features of CBLs?” and facilitator responses to “the most positive aspects of tutoring CBLs”

From: Scaffolding medical student knowledge and skills: team-based learning (TBL) and case-based learning (CBL)

Theme Example of students comments
Student responses to “the best features of CBLs”
Students felt the session mirrored the format of a clinical consultation. I liked how the sessions were set up as if it was a clinical consultation. I liked how systematic it was.
Really help us in forming Differential Diagnoses.
Opportunity to speak directly with clinicians and receive immediate feedback. Ability to speak to clinicians directly, highly interactive.
It was good to receive immediate feedback and answers from tutors. For example, there could be ongoing conversations between tutors and students about the case without interruptions, unlike TBLs. The flow and pace of CBLs were good.
The faster pace of CBL (1.5 h) helped students to stay focussed and engaged. The structure and shorter time required for this activity were so much better than TBL. It is more clinical based than the TBL, fast paced enough that people stay engaged. We were able to get to the point of the case and learn more about the clinical features and management of the condition rather than going more in depth behind the science and brushing over the clinical information.
The smaller group size gave students more confidence to ask the facilitator questions, and receive immediate responses. The small group size made CBL so much more effective than any TBL we have done thus far. Being able to discuss directly with the tutor made learning much more pointed and efficient. I also felt much more confident to ask questions than I do in TBL because of the group size.
It was a small learning environment, - great one to one teaching. Questions are able to be answered right away without feeling pressure.
CBLs were more relevant for future practice, although students recognised the need for basic science in TBLs. Small groups were very beneficial. That combined with the relatively minimal guidance given in the CBL material meant that we had great discussions with the doctors. I felt it was more relevant for future practice, however, I appreciate the need to balance with basic science in the earlier years of medical degree - There was less basic science learning than in the current TBL.
The process of CBL helped students to identify gaps in their knowledge and focus on the clinical aspects of the case. We would go through the case first alone and discuss as a group. Then the tutors would jump in if we were stuck. We get to know more about the clinical side of the disease e.g. what are the more common presentations of a disease, what test would clinicians prefer doing and what are the diagnostic and treatment algorithms. The part where we were asked about what extra information we wanted to look up is good. This helps us identify gaps in our knowledge and to practice our EBM skills.
Facilitator responses to “The most positive aspects of tutoring CBLs”
Facilitators felt that having the cases based on real life patient cases encouraged students’ critical thinking and systematic application of knowledge to a problem. Encouraged critical thinking and allowed for good group contribution and joint learning. Mirrored real life situation as closely as possible.
Interactive, more close to a real life meeting, good positive interaction encourage students to use knowledge they have and organise it/apply it systematically to a clinical problem.
Facilitators found working through the case simulated real life patient presentations
The smaller student groups of CBL, compared to TBL, encouraged group discussion.
I think it is a great way to move through a patient case and it encourages contribution. I believe it closely simulates a real life presentation quite well but goes through it at a good pace to encourage participation and teamwork.
Students were interactive and very keen to learn (compared to a larger group setting e.g. TBL). The case was interesting and seem to be at a level that was appropriate for students. The interactive nature of the material made the session more interesting.
Facilitators found the CBLs to be more interactive than TBLs, and students were more forthcoming in answering questions. Provides interactive learning environment, more reflective of real clinical scenarios. Engaged students who were forthcoming in attempting answers.
Good student engagement. The students were quite knowledgeable and very receptive. All were willing to interact so it was not difficult to elicit responses. CBL was effective at getting them to think critically about a case.
Facilitators had a greater opportunity to role model their clinical reasoning, and impart their knowledge compared to TBL. Students found that it was a lot more clinically relevant than TBLs and easy to understand. Lots of opportunities for tutors to distil clinically useful knowledge.
Interesting cases Information revealed bit by bit, which helped to formulate the differential and provisional diagnosis.