Middle Years and Elder Years Team-based Learning Exercise

Document Type


Publication Date



Introduction: This exercise is used in a first-year medical curriculum Human Development course. It was developed in 2012, and has been used twice. This team-based learning (TBL) session utilizes a Readiness Assessment Test (RAT), with questions regarding development during the middle and elder years, and an application exercise consisting of two case vignettes. One case involves two siblings, both in their middle years of life, who struggle with what to do with their ailing father, from whom they had previously had minimal contact with for a number of years. The second case involves physician who receives a diagnosis of cancer. It is well-suited to the first-year medical student curriculum. Methods: Learning involves preclass reading and completion of a tutorial by students, in-class application exercise, which includes analysis and discussion of clinical scenarios. Assessment of student learning includes an in-class quiz and class discussion. Materials include citations for the preclass readings and outlines of the tutorial in PowerPoint form, a faculty guide for the RAT and application exercise, RAT, and application exercise. This session works well with up to about 100 students organized in groups of about six to seven students. Results: Course evaluation data for the TBL sessions for the last two years averaged 4.18 (with 5 being the highest) for the graded part (individual/group RAT)) and 4.21 for the non-graded application exercise. This resource overall was rated a 4.27 and 4.45 respectively by the students, reflecting how confident they felt in their ability to master the objectives for these topics. Discussion: This module is one of seven modules for the course entitled Human Development: Health Across the Lifespan and is intended for first-year medical students. The authors have extensive experience developing and facilitating TBL exercises.