Getting Started With Team-Based Learning: Definition and Benefits

Right now, somewhere around the world, a student is enduring a boring lesson. On the other hand, parents and teachers are desperate to have an idea of how much their students know even while teaching is in progress. To solve these challenges and more, many schools have adopted team-based learning (TBL). 

Make no mistake, standard classroom teaching has come to stay. However, the traditional teaching method must give way to new and more interactive ideas like team-based learning. Ultimately, teachers want to hear more from their students while students want to hear less from their teachers. 

Team-based learning provides the opportunity for ideas to flow in both directions in a setting that encourages accountability. Now, let’s go into the nitty-gritty of team-based learning. 

What is Team-Based Learning? 

Team-based learning (TBL) is an instructional strategy and a form of active learning in which students are organized into teams to work collaboratively on a task. The tasks, typically related to course content, help the students develop their reasoning and problem-solving skills while learning from each other. 

Team-based learning also helps students to develop their interpersonal and communication skills as well as their leadership roles. During TBL, instructors might lead motivational activities, facilitate conversations, and assign roles, amongst other activities. 

What Are the Key Elements of Team-Based Learning? 

If you are set to implement team-based learning, you need accurate information to get it right. For starters, no team-based learning program is complete without these key components.

  • Strategically Formed and Managed Teams 

A central idea of team-based learning is teamwork. To derive maximum outcomes from any teamwork initiative, team formation must be strategic. Educationists strive to craft well-balanced teams by selecting team members based on individual strengths. 

Teams should be diverse and adequately represent both negative and positive team member characteristics. Teachers can as much as possible, ensure that friends don’t end up in the same teams. Also, teachers can consider background, gender, and race in a team setup. 

Such teamwork will strengthen weaknesses and sharpen strengths. In the end, all team members should gradually improve their performance levels. 

  • Readiness Assurance Activities 

Readiness assurance involves providing students with necessary materials that cover the subject’s content. Thereafter, students proceed to test their knowledge in various formats. 

First, students take the Independent Readiness Assurance Test (iRAT). The iRAT assesses the student’s level of understanding of the course content. The test usually involves a few multiple-choice questions (about 5 to 20). 

Afterward, students fall into their groups to jointly partake in another type of test – the Team Readiness Assurance Test (TRAT). The TRAT features the same questions as the iRAT, except that students have to submit their answers to the group. 

Each group looks at all the answers from team members and collectively comes up with one. Many institutions use scratch cards for TRAT. 

After the TRAT comes feedback times Here, groups appeal for a review of their answers which came out as incorrect. Students can upturn teacher verdicts with superior arguments. For extra-institution readiness assessment activities, there are online platforms for iRAT and TRAT assessments. 

  • Application or Problem-Solving Activities 

Here, students work as a team to apply knowledge from the readiness assessment stages in solving practical problems. Once the group submits a collective answer to these questions, facilitators arrange a debate session where groups discuss solutions. 

  • Student Peer Evaluations 

This is an opportunity for students to give their opinions in the form of praises or criticisms of team members’ performances. Peer evaluations instill accountability in students and show a way forward for improvement. Teachers or facilitators may relate peer evaluation results with concerned students. 

Benefits of Team-Based Learning 

The growing popularity of TBL points to its efficacy in helping students improve learning. Research is also on the side of TBLs. A 2016 study revealed that 77% of interviewed students believe that TBL provided more academic benefits than lectures. Here are some benefits. 

  • Higher Retention 

TBL enhances the retention of course content. All the activities centered on the course material create a more solid experience and impression on the mind. 

  • Improves Student Performance 

Research on TBL shows that teams gradually measure up and surpass the performances of their brightest members by 14%. What this means is that more often than not, even the lowest-performing teams do better than their brightest contributors. 

  • Prepares Students for Real World Challenges 

When students graduate and join the workforce, teamwork is a major requirement. Not only will TBL help boost their employment favorability, but it will also boost their ability to collaborate and achieve impressive results at work. 

  • Learning With TBL is Fun 

With TBL, even the most laid-back student finds the motivation to speak out. The reason is obvious. TBL is fun. TBL demystifies the learning process, making it similar to everyday discussions and problem-solving. 

Let Explico Boost Your Child’s Performance

Just like team-based learning, the Explico online platform is another way to help your kids learn in a fun and interactive way. Explico is an e-learning and assessment platform where kids can receive teaching lessons and measure their academic progress. 

With Explico, your child will gain access to over a thousand pre-recorded teaching sessions covering a wide range of topics and subtopics. Your kids will also meet fun and highly-experienced tutors for live, recommended teaching sessions. 

Register your child with Explico and benefit from free and customized assessments, monthly analytic progress reports, and every other thing traditional learning doesn’t provide. Afterward, get ready to watch their performance grow.

Getting Started With Team-Based Learning: Definition and Benefits
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