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Team-Based Learning Exceeds Expectations

12th Nov 2020

Anna Colgan, Programme Leader, Early Childhood Degrees, together with her colleague, Jane Alexander, Lecturer in Early Childhood Studies, have implemented this well researched approach, "Team-Based Learning", to her classes, with great success.

Team-Based Learning (TBL) is an evidence-based collaborative active learning teaching strategy designed around units of instruction, known as “modules,” that are taught in a three-step cycle: preparation, in-class readiness assurance testing, and application-focused exercises.

“The student feedback has been brilliant. They love the independence and responsibility this approach gives them, and it allows for more application in the classroom. The assignment results have been great too, which speaks volumes for the effectiveness of TBL” said Anna

Team-based learning has been in practice for over 20 years in business settings, with its benefits being widely documented in research. However, it’s only in recent years that this approach has adapted into the education setting. The TBL approach makes students responsible for their learning, as they must prepare in their own time, before attending the class to discuss, analyse, and apply the theory. As such, it is an approach that encourages constant learning and team development.

Abingdon & Witney College Early Years Foundation and Early Childhood Studies degree students have been benefiting from this approach for some time now. Students are put into teams at the beginning of the year. These teams are determined using personality tests to ensure a dynamic team, that can utilize each other’s different skills. Then, each week, all the students must pre-read the required study guide, and then come into class prepared to adapt their learning from the guide to real-life scenarios from practice within their teams. If there are any areas that students are struggling with, it will be discussed in class, to ensure all students are confident with the theory. This not only teaches students responsibility, teamwork, and communication skills, but also prepares students for the real-life world of work.

Read more about TBL here: http://www.teambasedlearning.org/definition/

Explore our Heath, Care and Early Years undergraduate courses here: https://www.abingdon-witney.ac.uk/undergraduate-professional/