Team-based Learning: A Team Reflection
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Introduction The “Fundamentals in Team Based Learning (TBL)” workshop series offered within TUS Midlands in 2019 and again in 2021 provided faculty with formal training in TBL as well as the opportunity to apply the TBL process to their subject area. [Link to TBL Intro] In TUS Midlands, TBL has been implemented by educators within subjects as diverse as pharmacology, research methods, communications, programming, software engineering, consumer psychology, management, health and safety and accounting. The present authors met regularly throughout the academic year as part of the TUS Midlands TBL Community of Practice to share insights from their practice. The following is an overview of how the authors consider that learning about and adopting TBL has impacted their practice. Less absenteeism and more engagement make for a better class dynamic. Overall, we have found that absenteeism from TBL classes is greatly reduced (e.g., Torralba and Doo, 2020). Low stakes inclass quizzes seem to encourage students to turn up to class. We have also found that there is high engagement during the TRAT and application exercise phase of TBL. One explanation for this might be that the TBL approach puts in place conditions where intrinsic motivation can flourish (Jeno et al., 2017). Students take the driving seat during class (autonomy) and work within a team (relatedness) to complete tasks and exercises (competence). The highly structured approach of TBL helps everyone in the classroom feel more confident. As students settle into their in-class teamwork, we observe increases in confidence (Huitt, Killins and Brooks, 2015) and can see students “coming out of their shells” as the weeks go by. This motivates and helps us to be ambitious in terms of what we plan to achieve with our students.
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