Purpose: The literature suggests that the ability to numerate cannot be fully understood without accounting for the social context in which mathematical activity is represented. Team-based learning (TBL) is an andragogical approach with theoretical links to sociocultural and community-of-practice learning. This study aimed to quantitatively explore the impact of TBL instruction on numeracy development in 2 cohorts of pharmacy students and identify the impact of TBL instruction on numeracy development from a social perspective for healthcare education.

Methods: Two cohorts of students were administered the Health Science Reasoning Test-Numeracy (HSRT-N) before beginning pharmacy school. Two years after using TBL as the primary method of instruction, both comprehensive and domain data from the HSRT-N were analyzed.

Results: In total, 163 pharmacy student scores met the inclusion criteria. The students’ numeracy skills measured by HSRT-N improved after 2 years of TBL instruction.

Conclusion: Numeracy was the most significantly improved HSRT-N domain in pharmacy students following two years of TBL instruction. Although a closer examination of numeracy development in TBL is warranted, initial data suggest that TBL instruction may be an adequate proxy for advancing numeracy in a cohort of pharmacy students. TBL may encourage a social practice of mathematics to improve pharmacy students’ ability to numerate critically.


This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Korea Health Personnel Licensing Examination Institute

Date of publication

Fall 10-17-2022



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Publisher Citation

Carpenter, R. E., Silberman, D., Coyne, L. & Takemoto, J. (2022). Enhanced numeracy skill following team-based learning in United States pharmacy students: a longitudinal cohort study and social practice view. Journal of Educational Evaluation for Health Professionals, 19(29), 1-8.