TBL for Teaching Technology Online- a great way to learn?

McDermott, Geraldine (2021) TBL for Teaching Technology Online- a great way to learn?


Team-Based Learning is an approach which “possibly relies on small group interaction more heavily than any other commonly used instructional strategy in postsecondary education” (Michaelsen & Sweet, 2008, p. 7). A significantly structured approach, it provides students with an opportunity to engage with course content prior to the class, similar to the flipped classroom. Class time is then taken up with Individual Readiness Assessments (iRATs), in which students complete an assessment based on the pre-reading task. Following this, predefined teams work on the same task together coming to consensus on the answers before completing the Team Readiness Assessment (tRATs). Elements that are unclear are clarified by the lecturer and this is followed by an Application Exercise, in which the teams apply their knowledge collaboratively to a prescribed task.

Online TBL has adapted the traditional TBL approach to suit an online teaching environment to “improve the quality of online education and student learning, increase problem-solving skills, enhance social presence, as well as provide immediate student feedback”(Clark et al., 2018, p. 2).

This year an Online Team-Based Learning approach was implemented for the first time with a group of first-year Graphic Design students in AIT in their Design Technology classes. This year’s first-year students faced challenges their predecessors did not, namely: learning to use the technology remotely; engaging with course material delivered in live synchronous Zoom sessions and finally (and perhaps most importantly), building relationships remotely with their peers.

Over the course of the semester, students learned how to use Adobe Photoshop and complete a design brief which applied this knowledge. The use of H5P interactive videos on Moodle served as pre-reading; iRATs and tRATs were created using Moodle Quizzes and team Application Exercises included activities on Photoshop completed in Zoom team breakout rooms.

This presentation will provide examples of how TBL was implemented for teaching technology online. It will reflect on lessons learned throughout the process, provide feedback from the learners and discuss plans for subsequent iterations of TBL for Teaching Technology Online.

Michaelsen, L. K., & Sweet, M. (2008). The essential elements of team‐based learning. New directions for teaching and learning, 2008(116), 7-27.

Clark, M., Merrick, L., Styron, J., Dorius, C., Bender, H., Johnson, J., Chapman, J., Gillette, M., Dorneich, M., Grogan, J., Brown, T., Leonard, B., Rongerude, J., & Winter, L. (2018). Off to On: Best Practices for Online Team-Based LearningTM. Team-Based LearningTM Collaborative (TBLC) Conference. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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