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Team-Based Learning and Life Skills: A Qualitative Study from Psychological Students Point of View

Nadia Rania, Laura Migliorini and Stefania Rebora

Purpose: This research employs a modified Team-Based Learning method to realise students perspective on how it can develop traits characteristics such individual growth and important life skills, like critical thinking. In fact the higher education has been criticized for not developing the competences specific for professional expertise, which are a necessary requirement in the training of psychologists in Europe today. The present work goes beyond the employment of TBL method mainly in courses regarding healthcare, enriching the small number of studies that used TBL in teaching Psychology.

Methods: Taking part in these study 50 psychology students of a university of the northwester Italy. The study used the qualitative method of the diary. Participants were asked to write a diary about their TBL experience. The content of the diaries was analysed using the qualitative analysis software NVivo.

Results: The topics strictly concerning the team and its functioning, emerged are: team, communication, comparisons with other teams, feelings, group atmosphere, TBL method’s strengths, TBL method’s weaknesses and evaluation. Participants identified TBL as a positive experience and one, which the university system should employ more in its courses. This experience allowed them, in their opinion, to develop important life skills, like critical thinking. From those findings is possible to affirm that modified TBL is a method much appreciated by students because improve their personal growth. They identified overall positive emotions arising from the TBL experience, especially in relation to their expectations about the result of the final exam. Generally, students appreciate TBL experience: teams are described with a positive impression of teammates, as a place where mutual listening and open and a collaborative atmosphere are experienced.

Conclusion: This study improves the lacking literature about the employment of TBL in psychology classes by qualitative approach.