Discover how the School of Pharmacy at University of Maryland tackled the issue of utilizing numerous platforms for team-based learning through the integration of InteDashboard - a comprehensive TBL platform - into their in-person classes. By leveraging InteDashboard’s real-time data feature, the School of Pharmacy was able to improve student learning outcomes and streamline their TBL process.
About University of Maryland School of Pharmacy
Established in 1841, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is the fourth-oldest school of pharmacy in the United States. According to U.S. News and World Report, the School of Pharmacy is ranked 14th among more than 140 schools of pharmacy in the country. Currently, the school has 1,200 students enrolled in its PharmD, Ph.D., and MS programs.
Streamlining Team-based Learning classes
In 2020, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy utilized a combination of platforms including OneNote, Google Documents, spreadsheets, and other tools to facilitate Team-based Learning classes. However, this approach posed significant challenges and consumed a considerable amount of faculty and admin time.
In 2021, Dr. Zachary Noel, Assistant Professor, successfully convinced the administrative team at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy to adopt InteDashboard, an all-in-one Team-based Learning platform, to replace the use of multiple platforms. Since its implementation, InteDashboard has streamlined the TBL process by providing a consistent experience for both instructors and students, and consolidated all TBL activities into a single platform.
“Because InteDashboard is entirely built for TBL, you don't have to fiddle with a lot of settings and multiple softwares, so that certainly saves time. And now that we're in our third year of using InteDashboard, we're able to copy the activities from the prior years and use those, so that has certainly saved time as well,” said Dr. Zachary Noel, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
In addition to streamlining the workflow, InteDashboard offers several key benefits, including:
Improved student engagement: InteDashboard enhances student engagement through its interactive tools that promote learning outcomes in various settings, including in-person, online, and hybrid class settings.
Save time by automating grading: With InteDashboard, instructors can view student and team performance data holistically for all team-based learning activities in a single place. The platform auto-grades all team-based activities upon submission, saving instructors valuable time. Instructors can even set decremental scoring for TRATs.
Enhanced data-driven insights: InteDashboard offers enhanced data-driven insights that enable instructors to identify student trouble spots and provide immediate feedback, thereby improving the overall learning experience.
The overwhelmingly positive feedback from students in Dr. Noel's classes convinced other courses within the curriculum to adopt InteDashboard as well. As a result, seven courses are now using InteDashboard for their Team-based Learning classes in the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Team-based Learning in the School of Pharmacy at University of Maryland
At the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, all TBL classes are conducted in an in-person setting to provide students with an immersive learning experience. These classes adhere to the TBL process, which consists of prework, IRAT, TRAT, Application Case activities, and Peer Evaluation. There are nine to ten TBL sessions in a course, with each session lasting for approximately two to three hours. At the start of every semester, the instructor forms teams of five to seven students to facilitate TBL activities.
Prework for the TBL classes at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy comprises readings and pre-recorded videos. During the in-class sessions, students are tested on five RAT questions, with the entire process typically taking 20 to 25 minutes, including the clarification portion. Following this, students work on approximately three Application Case activities over the course of 1.5 to 2 hours. Each case includes a series of questions that follows the “4S” framework, and instructors are able to conduct the simultaneous report and facilitate discussion of each case between advancing to the next one.
Team-based Learning with InteDashboard
Dr. Noel shared how InteDashboard has made a significant impact on his curriculum through the platform’s features, such as:
Team Reporter: Prior to using InteDashboard, one of the most common complaints in TBL classes was the lack of clarity regarding who would write or present the answers in a shared document for the class. With the number of students in the class, there would frequently be issues with the shared document crashing. However, with InteDashboard's Team Reporter feature, only one person can submit answers at a time, making the process more efficient.
Randomized Answer Choices: Instructors can set randomized answer choices, which helps to deter cheating among students.
Immediate Feedback: InteDashboard provides real-time feedback on student performance, enabling instructors to easily identify and address students' trouble spots. Students also receive immediate feedback on their answers, which enables them to better understand their performance and raise questions to the instructor if needed.
“Two things I like about the immediate feedback feature – one is that it preserves the original intent of TBL – I love that it replicates the IF-AT cards and scratch cards. I've not been able to replicate that in any other system. I love that it preserves the kind of integrity of TBL at its core. But then I also think from a team building standpoint, there's a lot of value in teams working together, coming up with an answer, and then seeing immediately [in InteDashboard] if it's right. I love that and I think that's a really valuable feature,” said Dr. Zachary Noel, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Clarification Requests: During TRATs, students can conveniently submit clarification requests, making it easier for instructors to promptly address any doubts during the discussion phase.
e-Gallery Walk: InteDashboard can be used to conduct an online digital gallery walk. Instructors have the option to display the team's answers through the ‘Presentation Mode’ of InteDashboard and participating learners can then read through, scrutinize, and evaluate them, similar to the traditional gallery walks. Feedback from students comes in the form of votes and digital comments sent in through the app – which can contain the usual text type of comment or a file attachment. Both students and faculty enjoy this feature.
“The features in InteDashboard help to save time when we decide to do the e-Gallery walk. Let's say we've got 16 teams, and half of those teams have similar responses, I as the facilitator, can go in and just pick the responses that I think are really good, and then let the students vote. And that actually is a really big time saver and helps to bring all the students together on the same page.” said Dr. Zachary Noel, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Peer Evaluation: InteDashboard can be used to conduct peer evaluation using Michaelsen’s method (Divide-the-money), grid-based method, and qualitative method. Students can also evaluate themselves, their team as a whole unit, and instructors. Additionally, peer evaluation results can be released anonymously.
Seamless integration with LMS: InteDashboard allows easy integration with existing learning management systems, such as Canvas and Blackboard, using Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) integration.
“There is a way to essentially make it to where InteDashboard plugs into the learning management system for the activation of the students’ subscription. And so, students can go into the learning management system, which they're obviously already familiar with, click a button and [their InteDashboard account] is active. They don't have to do anything else - they don't have to purchase anything else, which is super convenient and useful. It saves a lot of time and frustration. So, two thumbs up there!” said Dr. Zachary Noel, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Dr. Noel also commended InteDashboard's responsiveness to feedback and recalled how he requested to add a randomize feature to the TRATs, which was previously only available for IRATs. The InteDashboard team considered his feedback and successfully implemented the feature within a couple of months.
Overall, InteDashboard has helped the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy streamline their TBL classes and enhance student learning outcomes by providing a single platform for all TBL activities. InteDashboard continues to be used in the institution’s in-person classes today, and both students and instructors have expressed their satisfaction with it.