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Type: Conference item
Title: 'Team Based Learning': students do read in advance and transform lectures into zones of analytical discussion
Author: Willison, J.
Jerram, C.
Hazel, S.
Davidson, R.
Foley, B.
Citation: The Education Research Group of Adelaide (ERGA) conference 2010: The Changing Face of Education, 24-25 September, 2010
Publisher: The University of Adelaide
Issue Date: 2010
Conference Name: ERGA Conference (5th : 2010 : Adelaide, Australia)
Department: Centre for Learning and Professional Development
Abstract: Team Based Learning (TBL) in this presentation is about a set of principles and practices that, together, make realistic changes in a large lecture environment from static observation to dynamic discussion and learning. TBL utilises a set of specific approaches devised in the USA (Michaelsen & Sweet, 2008), further developed in Canada (Sibley & Parmelee, 2008), and the use of which at the University of Adelaide was reported at last year’s ERGA conference (Jerram, 2009). At its core, TBL enables students to discuss, critique, analyse and debate through a structured and effective approach to team function. Part of the standard approach is for students to complete a pre-reading, and then, in lecture-time, an individual test. Students then move into their teams, and complete the same test, where the use of scratch-the-answer cards means that the groups receive instant feedback on the status of each answer. The individual and team tests are part of a ‘Readiness Assurance Process’, so that teams are well prepared for subsequent and substantial in-class activities that focus on process not product. TBL proponents claim that: • Lecture attendance stays very high in the TBL sessions. • Groups become functioning teams during a semester, especially if groups are diverse. • Content acquisition happens primarily before the lecture time, and application. Synthesis and analysis occur during lecture time. • The poorest performing group outperforms the strongest individual student.(Sibley & Parmelee, 2008) Whilst there are advantages of running the individual test in class, one of us speculated on the advantages of students completing in advance the individual test on line through Blackboard’s test management system. Then frequency of answers for each option of a question could provide information about the class strengths, weaknesses and misconceptions, and preparation completed to address only those issues necessary, saving time in terms of reduced lecture and reduced test taking. This panel presents these two different implementations of TBL in the classroom. Three panelists utilised the standard approach, applied in a first year Animal and Veterinary Science course of 143 students, and in a first year Business course with up to 620 students. Two panelists present alternative approaches, one with 115 third year Engineering Management and Planning students, and the other in the Graduate Certificate in Higher Education with 11 Academics as participants. Both of these involved individual tests completed online in advance of the class. For all courses, the TBL method was modified to accommodate class size, course content and lecture room, illustrating the flexibility of this approach. The evaluation of the effectiveness of TBL in these different settings may provoke discussion about the possibilities of running TBL in a way that maximizes learning without increasing academic work load.
Description: Panel session
Rights: Copyright © 2010 The University of Adelaide
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Centre for Learning and Professional Development publications

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