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TBL Fundamentals Institute

Team-based learning institute held at the U of M a first of its kind in Canada

November 6, 2019 — 

Fifty post-secondary educators from Manitoba and British Columbia attended the inaugural Team-Based Learning Fundamentals Institute hosted by the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning in early November. The participants are now equipped to incorporate team-based learning into their courses.

The institute, the first of its kind in Canada, took place at the U of M and was facilitated by experts from the Team-Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC), an organization of international educators who are dedicated to encouraging and supporting the use of team-based learning at all levels of education.

Team-Based Learning (TBL) is an evidence-based form of collaborative group learning that enables instructors to provide enriched, memorable learning experiences in which students demonstrate increased in-class engagement and deeper learning (Briggs & Tang, 2011). 

The institute provided attendees with the fundamental knowledge, resources and skills to design and implement TBL in university/college settings. At the end of the two-day institute, attendees are eligible for the “Knowledge of the Fundamentals of TBL Certificate” from the TBLC.

Andriy Yamchuk, an instructor in the department of physics and astronomy in the Faculty of Science, had this to say about the institute, “It was a great experience that got me excited about improving the learning experience for my students. There were many ideas generated and shared by my peers that I plan to incorporate into my own practice. The structure of the institute allowed us to experience team-based learning first-hand, with many different ways of teaching shown to give us more than one way of implementing this method into our courses.”

“For me, the most valuable aspect of this team-based learning institute was the fact that the discussed learning strategies and principles were based on sound educational and theoretical underpinnings,” says Vladan Protudjer, an instructor in the College of Nursing in the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences. “I love the pragmatic ideas brought forward and the emphasis on quality student learning that deserve our full attention!”

Trisha Scribbans, an assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management who recently adopted the TBL model for one of her courses, enjoyed this aspect of the institute, “The entire institute was delivered using the TBL model, allowing myself and other participants the opportunity to experience TBL as our students would. This was an enlightening experience as it allowed me to critically reflect on my own use of the TBL model so that I can improve students’ learning and engagement by being a more effective facilitator.”

She adds, “TBL has significantly improved student engagement in my course by allowing students to go beyond simply covering course content, to providing students the opportunity to practice using course concepts to solve important problems relevant to their future careers while developing several generalizable skills (e.g. team-work, peer evaluation, self-reflection, time management, communication skills, etc.).”

Claudia Narvaez-Bravo, an associate professor in food and human nutritional sciences in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, adds, “I never thought that team-based learning could be so powerful when properly developed.” 

Amy De Jaeger, team lead of research, evaluation and innovation at The Centre, who is one of only two team-based learning trainer-consultants in Canada and was one of the institute’s facilitators, says, “We were thrilled to see so many people from across the disciplines engaged with the material and it was very rewarding to interact with this group throughout the institute. Well-earned congratulations to all participants on becoming the first Knowledge of the Fundamentals of TBL Certificate cohort in Canada.”

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