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CEIT 25 March 2011. Using Team-Based Learning in a Gross Human Anatomy Course. What is Team-Based Learning (TBL)?. TBL involves a highly structured sequence of activities that requires active participation both by the individual members of a team and by the team itself.

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what is team based learning tbl
What is Team-Based Learning (TBL)?
  • TBL involves a highly structured sequence of activities that requires active participation both by the individual members of a team and by the team itself.
    • Students receive the TBL class materials in advance to allow study time in preparation for a quiz.
    • IRAT (Individual Readiness Assessment Test): Each student takes a multiple-choice quiz on the material.
    • GRAT (Group Readiness Assessment Test): Students retake the quiz as a group (6-8 students per group).
    • GAE (Group Application Exercise): A more complex set of questions that requires students to apply what they have learned.
why do tbl
Why do TBL?
  • Lectures are not the best way for people to learn
    • Focus time limited to about 12-15 minutes
    • Only about 20-40% of a lectures’ content captured in notes
  • Alternatives involve forms of active learning
    • Problem-based learning
    • Peer teaching
    • Immediate feedback
    • Team-based learning
lectures vs tbl
Lectures vs TBL
  • Lectures
    • economical and efficient
    • as effective as other methods of teaching for information transmission and explaining
  • TBL
    • better for interactions that assist the learner’s cognitive, problem-solving abilities
    • promotes self-motivation and a sense of responsibility for learning that carries over into adulthood
    • promote long-term effects such as improving communication and teamwork
tbl in gross human anatomy
TBL in Gross Human Anatomy
  • Why & when
  • Before TBL activity
    • Assign students to groups
    • Prepare students with tutorial and TBL handout
    • Students know the activity is graded
  • Class day
    • Hand out envelopes with exams, answer sheets, etc.
    • Students take IRAT individually; answers on bubble sheets & turn in
    • Students sign group sign-in sheet and take same test again as a group (GRAT); group answers on single bubble sheet
    • Group presentation of GRAT answers & discussion; turn in
    • Students take GAE; answers on IFAT form; turn in remaining materials
    • Discussion
  • Blackboard survey posted after exam; response due within 1 week.
packet contents
Packet contents:


1 large and 3 smaller envelopes (each labeled

with group number & contents)


ifat immediate feedback assessment technique
IFAT: Immediate Feedback Assessment Technique
  • Immediate feedback is superior to delayed feedback for learning
  • Students learn while taking the exam; they eventually get the right answer!
  • The last response given by students on a test item is what they learn


results the kind the professor loves to receive
Results: the kind the professor loves to receive…
  • The first thing that comes to mind is that working with my classmates was very useful; I feel like what I learned was adequately reinforced through conversation with my group. Thinking a little more on it, I kind of liked the responsibility of having to review and learn the material somewhat on my own at first...the presence of a test really made me feel responsible for the material and the importance of it being worth a grade enforced my enthusiasm in retaining what I gained from the readings.
  • The group application part of the TBL was very useful, and fun! It was nice to try and put everything together and work with other students to figure out the solutions to those 3 group application questions. I also really didn't mind teaching the information to myself, especially since you provided a tutorial.
what will i do differently next time
What will I do differently next time?
  • Make the IRAT/GRAT quiz longer and include a few more questions that are more challenging.
  • Have a few more GAE questions
  • Provide copies of GAE test to each student
  • Have a BlackBoard “debriefing”
  • Get a room with a round table for each group!
why not do tbl
Why NOT do TBL?
  • It is VERY labor intensive.
    • Writing study materials
    • Writing instructions for students
    • Compiling nested envelopes labeled for each group
  • Classrooms often not ideal
  • Team structure
    • Important to have diverse representation in team
    • Best if team members work together as a team all semester (even all year)
where do i go from here
Where do I go from here?
  • Outcomes:
    • It’s not clear that students learn or retain information better using TBL than traditional lectures.
    • How does one measure:
      • Personal responsibility
      • Improvements in communication
      • Improvements in teamwork
thank you
Thank you
  • To the CEIT for organizing the conference
  • To my administrative assistant, Danka Charland, for assistance with assembling the materials
  • To my teaching assistants for help with running the class:
      • Nick Bene
      • Sara Crandall
      • Larry Istrail
      • Tulsi Patel
      • Aaron Yengo-Khan
  • Bonwell, CC, and JA Eison (1991). ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. 1, Washington, DC, George Washington University.
  • Butler, Judy D (1992). retrieved Jan 19, 2011: http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_SearchValue_0=ED396991&ERICExtSearch_SearchType_0=no&accno=ED396991
  • Hattie, J, & Timperley, H (2007). Review of Educational Research, 77(1), 81-112.
  • Johnson, DW, Johnson, RT & Smith, KA (1991), Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.
  • Michaelsen, LK, Bauman Knight, A and Fink LD (2002) Praeger.
  • Team-Based Learning Cooperative, http://tblc.camp9.org/.
  • http://its.uiowa.edu/instruction/tile/resources/General/Intro%20to%20Team-Based%20Learning.pdf
  • Jones, RW (2006) Anaesthesia and Intensive Care 34.4 : p485(4)