Professor David Lipps, School of Kinesiology, is an instructor in the new team-based learning (TBL) space in Weiser 110. He previously taught this course in large lecture halls, so he spent time over the summer adapting it to take advantage of this classroom's unique features. His process for adapting the course involved:

  • organizing the content into modules or logical chunks of information and activities, each one linked with a subset of the course learning objectives. Each module covers four or five class sessions.

  • developing a learning guide for each module that includes foundational material in the form of readings and video clips. Students complete the material before class sessions.

  • preparing a 10-question closed-note Canvas quiz for each module that checks each student's understanding of the foundational material for the module. Students complete these quizzes individually and then again as a team.

  • fine-tuning in-class individual and group application activities related to the content.

In a typical class, David presents a mini-lecture that reinforces key points from the pre-class material. Students then work in their table groups to complete an activity that focuses on practice and application of the material. Often, students solve a problem together on the whiteboard by their table and then, when they finalize their solution, complete a worksheet as a team. They capture the worksheet using a free app, SnapCam, and submit it with the correlating Canvas assignment. Depending on the assignment, student groups may connect one student's device to the monitor at their table to access online resources.

In acclimating to the classroom, David focused on making sure he didn't fall into "lecture mode"out of habit. For mini-lectures, he found moving up and down a center "aisle" of the room made him most accessible to all students, and he could choose students from a variety of tables to respond to questions. Another habit that he developed was using the Catchbox and handheld microphones so students responding to questions could be heard by everyone.

 

With over half of the term completed, David is eagerly waiting for the results of the first exam. "I fully expect we will see improved test scores due to the fact the students saw the material more than once and practiced questions similar to those on the exam with each other."

For a full description of David's experience this fall in Weiser 110, see this TBL Teaching Snapshot.

ISS Active Learning Framework web pages

Teaching in a TBL Learning Space Planning Guide

Teaching in a TBL Learning Space Web Pages