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Title: Effect of seating arrangement on class engagement in team-based learning : a quasi-experimental study
Authors: Seet, Andrew Hong An
Tan, Emmanuel
Rajalingam, Preman
Keywords: Social sciences::General
Issue Date: 2022
Source: Seet, A. H. A., Tan, E. & Rajalingam, P. (2022). Effect of seating arrangement on class engagement in team-based learning : a quasi-experimental study. Medical Science Educator, 32, 229-237.
Journal: Medical Science Educator
Abstract: Introduction: This study investigated the effects of seating distance and orientation on engagement in novice and experienced learners in a large classroom explicitly designed for team-based learning (TBL). Learning what affects TBL engagement may improve its implementation. Methods: Participants were novice first-year and experienced second-year undergraduate medical students in Singapore (male = 103, female = 57). Their age ranged from 18 to 23 (M = 19.5, SD = 1.06). This quasi-experimental study considered two factors. Firstly, the distance from the teams’ table to the tutor’s table. Secondly, students’ orientation at each table, with either their front or back facing the tutor. Engagement was measured using two instruments, Situational Cognitive Engagement Measure and Classroom Engagement Survey at two TBL sessions — before and after swapping seating arrangements. Results: For experienced students, seating distance did not significantly affect engagement (p = 0.08–0.89). Novice student’s engagement levels decreased significantly for those who moved further; M = 3.30 to 2.98 (p = 0.009–0.023). However, overall engagement also decreased post-swap regardless of direction moved; M = 3.26 to 3.00 (p = 0.004). For both cohorts, seating orientation did not significantly affect engagement (p = 0.07–0.62). Those unaffected by seating arrangement commended the classroom’s design, such as screens all around and quality audio-visual system. Novice students exhibited a stronger preference to sit nearer to the tutor than experienced students. Both groups preferred sitting with their front-facing the tutor. Discussion: Within specially designed TBL classrooms, seating distance and orientation did not significantly affect engagement. Technologically enhanced team-centric spaces provide a favourable environment for TBL, though students’ preferences for seats may change with more TBL experience.
ISSN: 2156-8650
DOI: 10.1007/s40670-021-01469-7
Rights: © 2021 The Author(s) under exclusive licence to International Association of Medical Science Educators. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:LKCMedicine Journal Articles

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