If you’re a believer in having students work together to practice what they learn, you definitely need to explore team-based learning. As described by the Team-Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC), this instructional strategy divides classes into three steps: preparation, in-class readiness assurance testing, and application-focused exercises.
Here are a few tips from Huntington to help you get started incorporating team-based learning into your classroom:
Assign pre-reading. These might include textbook chapters, articles, audio or video lectures, or other materials that help students get up to speed on the work you will cover in class the following day (or a week ahead of time).
Follow a readiness assurance process. A critical part of team-based learning is making sure students are prepared to learn. The pre-class preparation is important, as is the individual and team readiness assurance testing, which holds them accountable for acquiring foundational knowledge that kicks off the learning process (more about this on TBLC’s website).
Form teams based on important criteria. Your goal should be to group students (four to six students is the ideal group size) so that there is a fairly even distribution of skill. These teams should stay together throughout each unit so they can grow together.
Develop activities that allow students to apply what they learn. Working in teams, students should solve problems that let them demonstrate what they did in the readiness assurance process. These activities should encourage students to defend, challenge, and discuss each other’s thinking and problem-solving processes.