Research & Projects

There are hundreds of academic papers on LAMS effectiveness as a online learning design platform. These are a few that are related to Team-Based Learning that has shaped LAMS support for it.

Reassessing Assessment: Very Short Answers Questions for Assessment

In recent times, as teachers we’ve been creating assessments mainly with multiple choice questions -or single-best-answers (SBA). However, SBA questions can give a false impression of students’ competence while Very Short Answers (VSAs) questions have greater authenticity and can provide useful information regarding students’ cognitive errors, helping to improve learning as well as assessment.

Authors: Dr. Claire Canning, Dr. Preman Rajalingam, A/Prof. Naomi Low-Beer - LKC Medicine. NTU; Prof. Amir Sam, Imperial College London.

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Implementation of team-based learning on a large scale: Three factors to keep in mind

Team-based learning (TBL) is a structured form of small group learning that can be scaled up for delivery in large classes. The principles of successful TBL implementation are well established. TBL has become widely practiced in medical schools, but its use is typically limited to certain courses or parts of courses. Implementing TBL on a large scale, across different courses and disciplines, is the next logical step. The Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), a partnership between Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Imperial College London, admitted its first students in 2013. TBL accounts for over 60% of the curriculum in the first two years, and there is continued learning through TBL during campus teaching in the remaining years. This paper describes our experience of rolling out TBL across all years of the medical curriculum, focusing on three success factors: (1) "team-centric" learning spaces, to foster active, collaborative learning; (2) an e-learning ecosystem, seamlessly integrated to support all phases of the TBL process and (3) teaching teams in which experts in pedagogical process (TBL Facilitators) co-teach with experts in subject matter (Content Experts).


Authors: Preman Rajalingam, Jerome I Rotgans, Nabil Zary, Michael Alan Ferenczi, Paul Gagnon, Naomi Low-Beer

Using team-based learning in a problem-based learning medical course to improve transition from a pre-clinical to clinical learning environment 🌟

Many medical schools choose between using either a problem-based learning (PBL) or a team-based learning (TBL) approach to curriculum to teach pre-clinical students the foundational sciences needed to understand disease processes. This study explores whether it is possible to combine the strengths of both approaches to better prepare medical students for the transition from a pre-clinical to a clinical learning environment. While PBL allows students to identify gaps in learning and then apply new knowledge to an established problem, TBL gives students the opportunity to apply their learning to multiple new clinical problems thus providing opportunities for knowledge transfer. We used the Learning Activity Management System (LAMS) to run modified TBL sessions that were designed to fit within the normal lecture program. Iterative development of the intervention over five years based on staff and student feedback has delivered positive educational outcomes.

Authors: Dr Bronwen Dalziel, Assoc. Prof. Slade Jensen, Dr. Elizabeth O'Connor, Charles McCafferty, Prof. Iain Gosbell - Western Sydney University (Australia)

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🌟 Excellence in Teaching Award Winner!

The implementation of this paper and their authors were awarded the Western Sydney University 2020 Excellence in Teaching Award!

The Impact of Team-Based Learning on Students’ Achievement, Leadership, Communication and Teamwork across Disciplines

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) operates with a sound morale compass to equip students with 21st century skills that would make them thrive, not just survive, in an increasingly complex knowledge-based economy. These learning, literacy, and life competencies are necessary to address today’s human capital performance gap in most industries. Under this premise, the University adopts a pedagogical approach called Team-Based Learning (TBL), which aims to impart disciplinary knowledge competency, communication excellence, teamwork, and critical and creative thinking among students who will transition to professional practice post their stay in NTU. With this, TBL has become one of the key initiatives of NTU’s educational strategy 2020 to develop the above skills. While the adoption of TBL has been fast and extensive given the ease of its administration and low-cost requirements, scholarship is still needed to validate the efficacy of its outcomes. In heed to this, the Centre for Research and Development in Learning (CRADLE@NTU) collaborates with different University Schools and Centres for an interdisciplinary research to investigate how TBL helps in the development of teamwork, communication, and leadership outcomes needed in the 21st Century professional market place.


Principal Investigator: Prof Gan Chee Lip, Director, Renaissance Engineering Programme

Co-Investigators: Hong Huaqing and Betsy Ng, Research Scientists, Centre for Research and Development in Learning; Lim Fun Siong, Deputy Director, Teaching, Learning, and Pedagogy Division

Collaborators: Paul Gagnon, Director, e-Learning and IT services, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCSM); Guo Libo, Lecturer, National Institute of Education; Dr Redante Mendoza, Pedagogical Practice, LKCSM; Felipe Garcia, Assistant Professor, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences Funding Agency: Ministry of Education – Tertiary Research Fund

Technology Enhanced Burning Questions : Optimising Classroom Discussions to Promote Comprehension and Critical Thinking


TBL is an instructional approach where a significant amount of students’ time in-class is spent in discussion with peers and more knowledgeable others. Hence, the questions that students ask play an important role in meaningful learning and inquiry. According to Chin and Osborne (2008) students’ questions (i) direct learning and drive knowledge construction; (ii) foster discussion and debate, thereby enhancing the quality of discourse and classroom talk; (iii) help students to self-evaluate and monitor their understanding; and (iv) increase motivation and interest in a topic by arousing epistemic curiosity. However both within TBL circles and in the broader higher education community very little has been done to study the types of questions that students ask or instruct students on how to ask better questions.

At LKCMedicine our implementation of TBL is enhanced by a customised eLearning ecosystem which allows the capture of important student generated artefacts, such as the questions that students ask during class. We routinely capture these team generated “burning questions” prior to a class wide discussion in the middle of TBL.

We propose to use this database of questions to better understand how the quality and quantity of student questions change with time, thereby allowing us to decide how to best train students to ask better questions. We believe that the “burning questions” themselves have pedagogical merit outside TBL. Hence, we plan to modify the “burning question” tool to allow for greater interactivity and for it to be used in other learning contexts at NTU.

Authors: Dr. Preman Rajalingam, Paul Gagnon, Alan Loe - LKC School of Medicine - NTU.

Scaffolding the flip: Developing an activity support system for instructors of flipped classroom courses

Despite the benefits of a flipped classroom, for instructors unfamiliar with the format, it can create unease and ambiguity when they intend to structure and organise a flipped classroom with meaningful activities. This paper proposes an improvised flipped classroom framework embedded with an e-scaffolding learning support system which can be adopted in ‘real-time’ during class. For instructors, the framework would facilitate the development of a structured and systematic approach which would enable them to achieve their course’s intended learning outcomes. The proposed framework comprises pre-class online learning and face-to-face seminars, with the goal of helping students be more engaged in their learning through collaborative activities, to think deeply and critically in the process, and be involved in peer learning. The face-to-face seminars are enhanced through technology-enabled learning interventions and are built upon the foundation of pedagogies such as active, experiential and blended learning, where collaborative and team-based learning are the focal points. Pre-class online learning takes the ‘information transmission’ aspect of lectures out of the classroom and students enjoy freedom and flexibility in learning. A post-course survey was carried out with 59 undergraduate business students, from which twelve were interviewed about their experience of this flipped classroom learning design and the e-scaffolding learning support system. The results indicated that the majority of students had a positive learning experience in terms of the course design enhancing levels of engagement, collaborative learning, and enabling higher levels of critical thinking. The student feedback also indicated that they would like to see more of such a course design. A comparative analysis was also carried out on student performance before versus after they had gone through the flipped learning. The findings were positive, providing validation that the flipped learning approach enables more thinking, which leads to better comprehension of course content, eventually leading to better academic performance.


Author: Dr Kumaran Rajaram

Study of a COVID-19 induced transition from Face-to-Face to Online Team-Based Learning in Undergraduate Family Medicine

The COVID-19 pandemic has been presenting new challenges for medical schools worldwide. Medical educators are coming-up with creative solutions to address those unprecedented challenges. The purpose of this study is to reflect upon an experience of an online TBL in a Family Medicine Clerkship.


Authors: Lisa Jackson, Farah Otaki, Leigh Powell, Ernie Ghiglione, Nabil Zary.

Exploring the feasibility of using very short answer questions (VSAQs) in team-based learning (TBL)

Team-based learning (TBL) currently relies on single best answer questions (SBAQs) to provide immediate feedback. Very short answer questions (VSAQs) are a reliable and discriminatory alternative that encourage learners to use more authentic clinical reasoning strategies compared to SBAQs. However, the challenge of marking VSAQs has limited their integration into TBL; we therefore explored the feasibility of VSAQs within a TBL session.


Authors: Kate R. Millar, Michael D. Reid, Preman Rajalingam, Claire A. Canning, Omid Halse, Naomi Low-Beer, Amir H. Sam

Collaborative Learning with Real-time Learning Interventions

This paper describes the process of collaborative learning and project design work using various collaborative tools. Teachers use “doKumaran”, within the LAMS * Learning Activity Management System, to manage collaboration within different groups of students in the learning process. Outside the learning process, collaborative tools available in the market ("JIRA" and "Slack") can also be used that also offer the ability to be used to create project tasks in a group. The paper demonstrates the use of “doKumaran” LAMS collaborative activities within the learning process and the application of "JIRA" and "Slack" collaborative tools used in the software development industry. Outside the learning process, collaborative tools available in the market ("JIRA" and "Slack") can also be used, and they also offer the ability to be used to create project tasks in a group. The paper demonstrates the use of “doKumaran” LAMS collaborative activities within the learning process and the application of "JIRA" and "Slack" collaborative tools used in the software development industry.


Author: Nebojsa Gavrilovic, Univerzitet Metropolitan - Serbia

Implementation of an interprofessional team-based learning program involving seven undergraduate health and social care programs from two universities, and students’ evaluation of their readiness for interprofessional learning

Interprofessional learning is gaining momentum in revolutionizing healthcare education. During the academic year 2015/16, seven undergraduate-entry health and social care programs from two universities in Hong Kong took part in an interprofessional education program. Based on considerations such as the large number of students involved and the need to incorporate adult learning principles, team-based learning was adopted as the pedagogy for the program, which was therefore called the interprofessional team-based learning program (IPTBL). The authors describe the development and implementation of the IPTBL program and evaluate the effectiveness of the program implementation.


Authors: Lap Ki Chan, Fraide Ganotice, Jr, Frances Kam Yuet Wong et al.

A Technology-Enabled Flipped Classroom Model – [Book Chapter]

This chapter presents the approach taken by LKCMedicine, NTU Singapore to re-imagine the learning and teaching paradigm. Building on the creative and skilful weaving of the strands of technology, curriculum and pedagogy, we create a unique DNA. Central to the development of the LKCMedicine, DNA is the replacement of a lecture-based curriculum via a rich and seamlessly integrated technology-enabled team-based learning (TBL) pedagogy. To that end, we present how our mobile technologies play a key role in ensuring that pedagogy remains at the forefront of the learner experience. The chapter outlines how to exploit mobile and tablet technologies to (i) dispense with face-to-face lectures, (ii) facilitate personalised learning, and (iii) actively engage students through extended communication opportunities.


Authors: Paul Gagnon, Dr Redante Mendoza, Jan Carlstedt-Duke

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