Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dale Niederhauser

Second Advisor

Jared Danielson


Proponents of Michaelsen's Team-Based Learning (TBL) have claimed this teaching method quickly produces highly effective teams which are characterized by high trust among team members. Presumably, the high trust boosts performance because members feel less inhibited during discussions involving sharing personal views and challenging others' views. These team interactions can determine how well teams utilize their members' intellectual resources and make decisions. These assertions, while logical and compelling, did not appear to be fully verified within the TBL literature. This exploratory study used mixed qualitative and quantitative methods to describe performance, trust and behavior patterns over time within TBL teams in a second-year veterinary medical course. No variables were experimentally manipulated. Throughout the semester, I measured performance using students' individual and group quiz scores and measured trust using students' responses to custom trust surveys. Within the context of this study, there was no significant relationship between trust and performance and no consistent increase in trust over time. To investigate team behaviors, I observed five randomly-chosen teams on a weekly basis for the entire semester. The analysis suggested that some teams increased the speed and density of their intra-team communication and experienced greater member participation with time. The task type (in-lecture "clicker" questions vs. quiz questions) appeared to elicit different team interactions. The data hinted that decision-making may have been based on the majority answer held by members and that individual correct or incorrect members may have difficulty swaying the group. The students' open-ended responses illustrated fourteen characteristics that teams desired in their members. Although the findings are not generalizable, this study suggests a variety of interesting avenues for future study. For example, researchers may wish to explore how specific behaviors exhibited by teammates influence group processes, decision-making, trust and performance within TBL.


Copyright Owner

Vanessa Preast



Date Available


File Format


File Size

146 pages