Original Publication
Open Access

Immunology Team-Based Learning: Basic Concepts in Immunology

Published: February 26, 2010 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7888

Included in this publication:

  • Immunology Basic Concepts.pdf

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Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


Introduction: This resource is a team-based learning (TBL) exercise to help learners understand the basic principles of innate and adaptive immunity as well as effector mechanisms of adaptive immunity and how to apply those principles in experimental settings. Methods: Specific topics introduced in this module include cell types and tissue organization; functions of B cells and T cell subsets; humoral and cell-mediated immunity; lymphocyte activation; and antigen presentation. Learners are also introduced to the historical development of current concepts in immunology regarding the use of antisera to cell surface molecules as markers for lymphocyte subsets, B-T lymphocyte interactions during humoral responses, and antigen recognition by B and T cells. Results: Student satisfaction with this TBL is very high, as assessed by course evaluations over the past 3 years. Students say that TBL helps them keep up with material and helps them prepare for exams. Student performance on high-stakes exams reveals modest improvements in overall scores. Discussion: These materials have been used in teaching immunology to biomedical science graduate students in a course entitled "Principles of Immunology." This material is also suitable for use in teaching immunology to medical students, dental students, residents, and fellows.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, learners will be able to:

  1. Evaluate an experimental design related to basic concepts of immunology, demonstrating the ability to identify appropriate controls and justify the use of specific methods.
  2. Interpret data provided for a given experimental protocol, draw conclusions, and discuss results in the context of current concepts of immunology.
  3. Predict experimental results given an experimental protocol and justify predicted results in the context of established immunology concepts.
  4. Design an experiment to a hypothesis and identify required reagents, cell lines, and animal strains, then propose appropriate assays and justify the proposed design.

Author Information

  • Wayne McCormack, EdD: University of Florida College of Medicine

None to report.

None to report.


McCormack W. Immunology team-based learning: basic concepts in immunology. MedEdPORTAL. 2010;6:7888. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.7888