Using concept maps in a modified team-based learning exercise

Barbara E.C. Knollmann-Ritschel, Steven J. Durning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Medical school education has traditionally been driven by single discipline teaching and assessment. Newer medical school curricula often implement an organ-based approach that fosters integration of basic science and clinical disciplines. Concept maps are widely used in education. Through diagrammatic depiction of a variety of concepts and their specific connections with other ideas, concept maps provide a unique perspective into learning and performance that can complement other assessment methods commonly used in medical schools. In this innovation, we describe using concepts maps as a vehicle for a modified a classic Team-Based Learning (TBL) exercise. Modifications to traditional TBL in our innovation included replacing an individual assessment using multiple-choice questions with concept maps as well as combining the group assessment and application exercise whereby teams created concept maps. These modifications were made to further assess understanding of content across the Fundamentals module (the introductory module of the preclerkship curriculum). While preliminary, student performance and feedback from faculty and students support the use of concept maps in TBL. Our findings suggest concept maps can provide a unique means of determining assessment of learning and generating feedback to students. Concept maps can also demonstrate knowledge acquisition, organization of prior and new knowledge, and synthesis of that knowledge across disciplines in a unique way providing an additional means of assessment in addition to traditional multiple-choice questions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalMilitary Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


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