Team-based learning in a UK medical school: Using mobile- friendly technology to support the in-class individual readiness assurance test

Shihab Khogali, Alisdair Smithies, Alison Gray, Annalisa Manca, Natalie Lafferty

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


Team-based learning (TBL) provides opportunities for application of knowledge and problem-solving. The TBL strategy incorporates structured individual and teamwork activities and multiple small groups in a single classroom setting. Students are required to prepare individually before attending in-class sessions during which they take an individual readiness assurance test (iRAT) followed by team readiness assurance test (tRAT), based on the same set of questions. The TBL process culminates in student teams engaging in face-to-face problem-solving activities. Traditionally, iRAT responses may be captured by clickers or on paper processed by optical-mark-reader systems, which can be difficult to process for a large class size. This paper describes a case study, in which mobile online assessment technology was successfully applied to support automated capture and processing of iRAT responses during TBL. An open-source online learning platform, Moodle (version 2.6), was accessed by students in a state-of-the art lecture theatre with WiFi provisioning for 900 simultaneous connections, to deliver iRATs for 195 Year 3 medical students. During each TBL module, individual students were presented with a set of iRAT multiple-choice questions in-class and required to respond within ten minutes. Students were asked to use their own devices (mobile or laptop) in-class to enter responses for iRAT questions. More than 95% of students were able to access the platform in-class without problems. With the assessments taking place at the beginning of an in-class session, the results can be compiled and presented to the facilitator whilst the student teams were discussing the questions to complete the tRAT. Individual students were unable to identify which questions they answered incorrectly before the teams completed the tRAT. Facilitators were able to use the information provided from the iRAT platform together with that from the tRAT to inform focused explanation of concepts, before student teams engage in the problemsolving activities of TBL. Moodle (version 2.6) fulfilled our functional requirements for an iRAT assessment platform during in-class TBL sessions, demonstrating usability, accessibility, validity and accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL-2014
EditorsKarin Tweddell Levinsen, Rikke Orngreen
PublisherAcademic Conferences and Publishing International Limited
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781910309674
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Event13th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2014 - Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 30 Oct 201431 Oct 2014
Conference number: 13th

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL
ISSN (Print)2048-8637
ISSN (Electronic)2048-8645


Conference13th European Conference on e-Learning, ECEL 2014


  • Formative assessment
  • Mobile devices
  • Open source
  • Team-based learning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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