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Open Access

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Honors Thesis/Project Advisor for this Particular Submission:

Caryn J. Brause



Background: Team-based learning (TBL) was developed in the 1970s to improve student engagement in college courses. TBL, which promotes active learning through four key components (1) carefully formed and managed teams (2) frequent and timely feedback (3) student peer evaluation and (4) problem solving, stems from an earlier model, Adult Learning Theory (ALT). Implemented into higher education in 1968, ALT emphasized the importance of keeping adult learners engaged because adults learn 80% of what they discover for themselves. The findings of three theorists in the fields of public health and psychology support active modes of learning; Dr. Dan Gerber, and psychologists Alexander W. Astin and Terrell Strayhorn. The academic benefit of teambased learning is already documented with statistically significant data through a variety of cohort studies and empirical analyses. This thesis aims to investigate the health and well-being benefits of TBL in higher education. It will analyze these perceived benefits relating to ideas introduced by the three theorists through original survey data.Methods: Original data was collected through a descriptive research study consisting of ranking and short answer questions about student experiences in both TBL and lecture style courses. All data was considered to draw insights and suggest implications for future TBL practiceHypothesis: UMass students who engage in team-based learning environments will self-report higher levels of social, emotional and intellectual well-being compared to those enrolled in lecture based learning.