Leading Academic Change: Experiences of Academic Staff Implementing Team-Based Learning

  • Michael Nelson, Ph.D., R.Ph. College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Simon Tweddell Bradford School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford


Team-based learning (TBL) is a collaborative learning model that shifts classroom time from a teacher-centred to student-centred approach. TBL emphasises accountability to learning, teamwork, immediate feedback, peer feedback, and critical thinking. While many educators value the increased student engagement that results from TBL, the transition from traditional teaching methods to TBL poses challenges. Using a qualitative approach, this study aimed to explore the experiences of 26 academic staff in the United Kingdom who implemented TBL in the higher education setting. Thematic analysis of interview text generated eight themes related to preparing academics to use TBL, challenges related to TBL, and engagement of students with the curriculum. Derived from these themes, a set of recommendations for supporting academic staff who transition to TBL was developed.

Author Biographies

Michael Nelson, Ph.D., R.Ph., College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa

Michael Nelson Ph.D., R.Ph. is Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management and a team-based learning consultant-trainer. This research was completed while he was Chair and Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Regis University, Denver, Colorado, United States.

Simon Tweddell, Bradford School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford

Simon Tweddell BPharm, FRPharmS, PFHEAis a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice at the University of Bradford, a National Teaching Fellow, and a team-based learning consultant-trainer.


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How to Cite
Nelson, Ph.D., R.Ph., M., & Tweddell, S. (2017). Leading Academic Change: Experiences of Academic Staff Implementing Team-Based Learning. Student Engagement in Higher Education Journal, 1(2), 100. Retrieved from https://sehej.raise-network.com/raise/article/view/nelson
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