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Team-Based Learning: An Introduction

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Seminar presented by Bill Goffe, Senior Lecturer in Economics.

Event Date:

07 April 2014 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM


117 Thomas

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Team-Based Learning is a set of active learning techniques that has been
refined by a community of instructors across many disciplines. It reflects the
wisdom of many experienced instructors on how best to engage students in their
own learning.  It is most common in the health sciences (i.e. medical and
pharmacy schools) where learning is critically important and is validated by
external authorities.

Through many interlocking incentives, particularly strong peer effects,
students are encouraged to do what we wish: be prepared for class and to
be engaged once in class. It can be thought of as "peer instruction as
steroids." Indeed, Eric Mazur has recently transitioned to using a variant
of TBL. This method also provides the motivation that Carl Wieman argues
is so important for deep learning by students. As a plus, TBL activities
give both instructors and students extensive feedback on their learning
without without additional grading.

TBL is "flipped class" method whose development preceded this term. Students
prepare for class by reading assigned materials and in class they take a
"two-stage" quiz over these readings. The first stage is done by students
taking the quiz individually and after it is turned in students retake the quiz
in permanent teams with a technology that gives them immediate feedback on
their answers. As one might imagine, this encourages teamwork. After discussion
of problem areas on the quiz by the instructor the next two to three weeks are
spent on "application exercises" where the teams apply what they have learned
to significant problems. These are structured to encourage teamwork in a
fashion that discourages free-riding.

There are extensive resources for TBL instructors: an active listserv, a
complete website, numerous books, many guides for instructors, and an annual
conference. This workshop will introduce TBL to participants so that they can
make better use of these resources.