Background: Incentives for preparation and participation in case-based (CBL) and team-based learning (TBL) differ by virtue of differences in assessment, allowing us to evaluate the role these incentives play in preparation and participation in these activities as well as overall course performance. Methods: Weekly TBL and CBL participation and performance as well as performance on the course final examination were recorded. Student participation was quantified and correlated with: (1) CBL preparation, participation, teamwork and completion of learning objectives scores, and (2) TBL individual readiness assurance test (iRAT) scores. Results: Student final examination scores (n = 95) were more strongly correlated with TBL than CBL performance. No significant correlation was found between iRAT and CBL scores. Student participation was measured in 3 CBL groups (8 students/group) and 4 TBL teams (6 students/team). TBL participation was more strongly correlated with final examination scores than CBL participation. TBL participation was also correlated with iRAT scores. CBL scores for preparation, participation, teamwork and completion of learning objectives did not significantly correlate with iRAT scores or TBL participation. Conclusion: These results suggest that the assessment incentives and methods used in TBL result in student performance that better predicts performance on summative examinations.
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