The Keele Centre for team based learning


To promote team based learning within STEM subjects, nationally and internationally‌.
To support team based learning across all disciplines within Keele University.

Winners of a 2022 Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence from the Higher Education Academy

Winners of the 2021 Royal Society of Chemistry Team Prize for Excellence in Higher Education

We have recently developed a bit of a game-changer here at Keele so that you can do TBL online using your university's or school's standard learning platform. The major stumbling block was the lack of an electronic scratchcard that can be easily integrated into learning platforms. This problem has now been solved by the new Instant-Feedback Online Scratchcard.

The card was developed at Keele by Cosma Gottardi while covering maternity leave. We have trialled it at Keele for a year and it is robust, simple to use and loved by both staff and students. Best of all, it's free!

There are three distinct stages of Team Based Learning- pre-class preparation, the readiness assurance process, and application activities, as shown in the table below:

1st stage 2nd stage 3rd stage
Pre-class preparation Readiness assurance process Application activities
Lectures iRAT: individual MCQs Teams use concepts learnt in RAP to solve challenging problems
Screencasts tRAT: team discussion of MCQs answers revealed by scratchcards Team debate and discussion
Pre-class reading Tutor instruction Problems build towards exam-style questions
E-learning resources Appeals  

The least you need to know about Team-Based Learning 

This was produced by Jim Sibley and more of his excellent resources can be found on the Learn TBL website.

TBL is a great structure for whole cohort problem classes. It allows for low staff to student ratios, stimulates student participation and generates individual and team accountability for engagement with the learning - TBL really does create active learners. You can choose to either do away with all lectures and devote all student contact time to TBL, or you can maintain lectures and use TBL as part of regular problem sessions throughout the course.

Key features:
  • Stable mixed ability teams that last a whole module
  • Regular testing of basic knowledge
  • Team problem-solving in a structured format
  • Peer and instructor feedback loops
  • Effective monitoring of student progress by an instructor
  • Skills improved by TBL taken from the World Economic's Forum list of future skills

When 80% of a class say that they have learnt something from one of their peers through TBL, something must be right. In our experience students have a very positive reaction to TBL and give excellent feedback. Check out our publications to see some of our student feedback.

Instant-Feedback Online Scratchcard developed at Keele University

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T‌eam Based Learning Collaborative

team based learning physical scratchcard

Physical Scratch Cards

L. K. Michaelsen, Team Learning in Large Classes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 1983, 14, 13–22.

Other UK universities

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