Team-Based Learning: A Strategy for Student Engagement

Simon Tweddell & Rebecca McCarter
@simontweddell / @beckmccarter

Parallel session 4, CoLab 4.2

Short abstract
This workshop aims to introduce participants to team-based learning by experiencing it just as a student would. TBL is a learner-centred ‘flipped’ instructional strategy designed to engage students.
By the end of this session, participants will be able to:
• Explain the essential elements that make up a TBL unit

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Detailed outline
Participants will experience Team-Based Learning (TBL) in this workshop. TBL engages students through a process of preparation, assessment and application of knowledge. It shifts the focus of classroom time from conveying course concepts by the instructor to the application of course concepts by student learning teams. A TBL unit consists of 4 components:

Students are allocated to permanent teams of 5-7 students, creating effective learning teams with diverse resources, who will work together for the entire module.

Pre-class Preparation
Students prepare by individually studying content that might previously have been delivered as lectures. Students are directed to learner resources chosen by or written by the teacher via a Student Study Guide.

Readiness Assurance Process
Students are incentivised to prepare for class through assessment. Students take a short, individual test on the content followed by an identical team test. In the latter they discuss their responses, agree on a team answer and receive immediate feedback. The discussion facilitates peer teaching and learning. Tests are summative, incentivising students to prepare.

The longest phase is the application phase. During class, teams work on identical application exercises, applying concepts to solve significant, challenging and authentic problems. Applications are designed to create in-team discussion and teams are forced to make a specific choice to defend. Finally, an interactive, teacher-facilitated debate follows as teams justify their answers to the class. Learners are engaged in team and class discussions throughout, enabling a deeper understanding of course content, promoting higher level learning and developing skills to enhance employability

00:00 Introduction
00:05 Team-formation
00:10 Readiness Assurance Process
00:25 Application Exercise
00:35 Discussion
00:45 Q&A
00:50 Close

Delegates will be supplied with a Study Guide entitled: ‘An Introduction to TBL’ for self-study before and after the workshop. The presenters will direct interested delegates to further resources.