Using Team-Based Learning to Teach Human Subjects Research Ethics



For health sciences students, understanding human subjects research ethics is essential for providing equitable healthcare. Active learning approaches were needed to engage students with the content and support transfer of knowledge to clinical practice.


A team-based learning (TBL) module was developed and implemented in an evidence-based practice undergraduate nursing course across 3 semesters with 169 students to promote understanding and application of research ethics principles.

Results and Discussion

Thematic analysis of student reflections showed five themes: change in attitude, learning/understanding, application of ethical principles, specific terminology, and specific examples. Faculty facilitators reported increased engagement, understanding, and application.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Chrystal L. Lewis.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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The study was approved by the IRB as exempt.

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Lewis, C.L., Estis, J.M. Using Team-Based Learning to Teach Human Subjects Research Ethics. Med.Sci.Educ. 30, 617–620 (2020).

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  • Ethics
  • research
  • Team-based learning
  • Nursing education
  • Medical education