Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Week 7: Team-Based Learning

“When it’s not about teaching but about learning…”

This week we explored an active learning strategy -- Team-based Learning (TBL).  Although new to all of us, TBL was developed in the 1970’s.  For a recent meta-analysis of the literature on TBL:
Haidet, P., Kubitz, K., & McCormack, W.T.  (2014).  Analysis of the Team-Based Learning Literature:  TBL Comes of Age. Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 25(3&4), 303-333.

Team-based learning is a highly collaborative and structured learning system, perhaps a variation of the flipped classroom.  TBL operates as a 3 part cycle:  preparation, in-class assessments, and application focused exercises.  It seems to be rather prevalent in professional schools such as medical, law, or business schools.

As articulated by Michaelsen, Swee, and Parmalee in their book, there are four underlying principles to Team-based Learning:
  1. Groups must be properly formed and managed
  2. Students must be accountable for both individual and group work
  3. Students must receive frequent and immediate feedback
  4. Team assignments should promote both learning and team development
(Adapted from Chapter 1 of Michaelsen, L., Sweet, M. & Parmalee, D. (2009)
Team-Based Learning: Small Group Learning’s Next Big Step. New Directions in
Teaching and Learning, 7-27.)

In exploring the strategy, we watched a short video (www.teambasedlearning.org) where practitioners and students shared their perspectives.  We also discussed that the strategy is being implemented on our own campus.  As well, personnel from the Center for Educational Effectiveness is also able to provide support for any instructors who wish to embrace the instructional strategy.

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