Large Group Case-Based Learning (TB-CBL) Is an Effective Method for Teaching Cancer Chemotherapy to Medical Students Article

cited authors

  • Maas, JA; Toonkel, RL; Athauda, G


  • Background: Case-based learning (CBL) has been shown to yield improved outcomes and mixed student perception compared to traditional didactic lecture-based learning (LBL). Data on the effect of CBL on student performance in pharmacology is limited, and the effect of CBL on undergraduate medical education in chemotherapy is unknown. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a novel large group team-based (TB)-CBL method compared to LBL on student perception and learning outcomes in cancer chemotherapy education. Methods: A retrospective cohort design was used to compare five graduating classes of medical students (n = 583). The first two classes (Group 1, n = 231) experienced LBL, while the last three classes (Group 2, n = 352) experienced TB-CBL. Independent two-sample, two-tailed t tests of the mean at a confidence level of 95% were performed to compare the two groups’ final exam scores. A short survey was administered to one class in the TB-CBL group to assess student satisfaction. Results: Group 2 outperformed Group 1 by 7.0% in assessment using chemotherapy questions and by 9.2% in assessment using chemotherapy questions addressed in the TB-CBL session. Students had an overall favorable perception of the TB-CBL session, with 88% reporting improved confidence in their understanding of the material and 52% agreeing that the TB-CBL was a valuable use of their time. Conclusion: Active learning modalities such as TB-CBL may lead to improved exam performance and perception of the educational experience. The TB-CBL methodology enables active learning while minimizing institutional cost.

publication date

  • March 1, 2018

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

start page

  • 191

end page

  • 194


  • 28


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