April 3, 2009

Team-Based Learning

Teaching and LearningInstructors can have a less than easy time trying to implement teaching strategies that are outside of certain methods, like lecturing. There are other effective alternatives to lecturing, however. One of these alternatives is group learning, which has its merits. Team-Based Learning is also one of these alternatives that is growing in momentum and offers significant opportunities for student learning. Recenetly, the Center hosted a workshop facilitated by Dr. Karen Sirum (Biological Sciences) to introduce TBL to BGSU faculty.

Team-Based Learning is a systematic method for helping students work in groups and learn together. Its supporters believe that the benefits attached to TBL are well worth the time it takes to learn how to implement the method. Moreover, TBL’s proponents are saying that it is an excellent way of supplementing their other methods for teaching that have been helpful for their students’ learning.

According to its supporters, TBL has been structured to help student learning in group settings and, almost as importantly, has accountability built into it. Before trying this method with students plans need to be made, which include partitioning the course content into macro-units, identifying the instructional goals and objectives, and designing a grading system. Later, in class, there are more methodical instructions on correctly implementing TBL. Please see Introduction to Team-Based Learning and Getting Started with Team-Based Learning to read why and how you can try TBL for yourself.

There is an entire website dedicated to TBL that we invite you to visit. The site has video examples, professional testimonies from people who have tried it and a number of other resources. Please take a look at the site to learn about the “buzz” surrounding Team-Based Learning.

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