This is an Evidence-Based paper which describes the impact of a form of team based (TBL) and multi-modal learning on short and long term content retention in a biomedical engineering course. Our previous work has demonstrated that students have varied learning preferences: visual, aural, kinesthetic, and read/write, with almost two-thirds preferring a multimodal approach. TBL enables us to integrate these preferences into an effective student-centric learning environment. Students scored significantly higher on the team-based assessments (group readiness assessment test or gRAT exams) than on the individual readiness assessments (iRAT exams) demonstrating the effectiveness of team based collaborative learning. In addition to the short-term knowledge gain acquired through peer instruction, we also measured long-term retention of final exam material four months’ post-final. On both the final exam and the four month post-final retest, students scored significantly higher on material taught through TBL. Thus, team based learning, which includes a combination of reading, writing, kinesthetic and aural methods of learning, demonstrated significant short- and long-term gains in content retention.
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