Team-based Learning (TBL) using Learning Catalytics at SIMGE


Team-based learning (TBL) is an active learning, group-based, peer teaching strategy that fosters positive team dynamics through intra-team communication. It involves a specific sequence of activities and feedback designed to quickly transform groups of students into high-performance learning teams in which members of each team know and need each other, and hold each other accountable for preparation and contribution (Sweet & Michaelsen, 2012). Learners are expected to prepare before coming for class and collaborate with their team members to solve authentic problems.


The four key principles of TBL (Walker, Zheng, Mendoza, & Lee, 2017) are:

  1. Team formation and looking after team members
  2. Students’ accountability for their contribution to the team
  3. Provision of real-time feedback
  4. Promotion of both student learning and team development

SIMGE adopted the use of Learning CatalyticsTM, an interactive student response tool, for team-based learning by engaging students in interactive tasks through their mobile devices or laptops for a lesson in the module ‘Study Skills for Effective Learning’ from our Management Foundation Studies program.

Lesson Sequence

The TBL lesson is sequenced as such:

  1. Pre-class: Student preparation
  • Individual study with pre-assigned video and readings
  1. In-class: Readiness Assurance
  • Students first complete the Individual Readiness Assurance Test (IRAT). The IRAT is a multiple-choice test assessing knowledge gained from the pre-class work.
  • This is followed by the Team Readiness Assurance Test (TRAT) which takes places when the time is up for the IRAT.
  • Once the teams complete the TRAT, they are given a chance to appeal any questions they believe to be unfairly marked or ambiguous.
  • Lecturer reviews the team results to check for common mistakes and addresses them.
  1. In-class: Application Exercises
  • Students then complete a higher-level application exercise in which they apply what they have learned during the readiness tests to a higher-order thinking question for open-ended discussion.

TBL should be strongly considered as a pedagogical practice to be adopted by you! Students in these TBL classes achieved more when working in teams and enjoyed the accountability required from one another. The timing of TBL lessons may need to be adapted due to punctuality of the students. However, students found the process to be enjoyable and worthwhile as they were actively learning. The lecturers also gave positive feedback that TBL was able to enhance the teaching standards expected by SIMGE.


Sweet, M., & Michaelsen, L. K. (2012). Team-based learning in the social sciences and humanities. [electronic resource] : group work that works to generate critical thinking and engagement. Sterling, Va. : Stylus, 2012.

Walker, Z. M., Zheng, T. G., Mendoza, R., & Lee, E. (2017). Adopting Team-Based Learning for In-Service Teachers: A Case Study. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(1).



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