Dr Natalie Capel - Lecturer in Chemistry and Forensic Science
Before joining Keele I had not previously encountered TBL as a teaching format, only having experience of the more traditional small group tutorials. After a discussion of its merits with colleagues, I used TBL for the problem classes in the first module that I taught at Keele and I haven’t looked back. I have used it in class sizes ranging from 40-120 with the same level of success at both ends of the spectrum, due to the student led discussions allowing for more efficient use of staff time within the sessions.Read more
Victoria Cartwright - Lecturer in Forensic Science
I was first introduced to TBL at a School Teaching and Learning Away Day: Sharing Good Practice (June 2015) in a session delivered by Dr Graeme Jones. I decided to adopt TBL as an alternative delivery for a problem class/revision session in 2016 on biological processes and biomolecules used in forensic science. After perceiving the benefit of student discussion during the session I have continuing to use and expand the use of TBL in my teaching. I have adopted TBL for problem classes for Forensic Identification and Investigation and Forensic Genetics modules; trialling remotely delivered TBL sessions on MS Teams in academic year 2020/21.Read more
Dr Laura Hancock
Lecturer in Chemistry
I became aware of TBL when attending a workshop at the ViCE/PHEC meeting in Durham in 2014. I started using TBL in my teaching, firstly as the classroom activity in a ‘flipped classroom’ model, then as a framework for all first year problem classes I am responsible for. Motivated by the increased engagement in large group classes, improved marks in certain topics and positive student feedback, more recently I have incorporated it into my 2nd and 3rd year teaching, the latter of which was the subject of my MA (Teaching and Learning in Higher Education) dissertation. During 2020-21 academic year, faced with the challenges of the transition to online teaching, I have also used it at 4th year level, and I have found TBL to be the most effective method of online teaching.Read more
Lecturer in Chemistry
As module leader of the General and Organic Chemistry Foundation Year module I was keen to introduce TBL to help with the poor attendance and lack of student engagement in problem classes. The year we introduced TBL also saw the additional challenge of student numbers almost doubling. From the first TBL session I ran I could see that TBL was a great way of addressing these problems and that students were enjoying the experience and becoming active learners. I can’t ever imagine running these problem sessions in another format, and I intend to embed TBL in all my teaching going forward.Read more
Dr Graeme Jones
Part time Senior Lecturer in Organic Chemistry
I begged my first eight scratch cards from a presenter at ViCE/PHEC in Durham in 2014 and trialled the first TBL session at Keele in October of that year. It was so successful I made my own second set of scratchcards using laminated paper and Tippex! Since then I have been a TBL convert and have used it in all my Chemistry teaching from Foundation Year to MChem and I run a TBL introductory session for the Keele Teaching in Higher Education course. I would say I am a pragmatic TBLer not a perfect one and I will use it like all other teaching tools and not the only one. It has been a life saver in lockdown, the only way I have found of getting students to turn their mics on and talk to each other about chemistry! I am currently Treasurer of ETBLC.Read more
Dr Tess Phillips
Lecturer in Organic Chemistry
I started using TBL in 2015 for my FHEQ level 3 teaching in organic chemistry, which includes introducing students to curly arrow mechanisms. The format of TBL works exceptionally well for running problem classes with the large (120+) cohorts on this module. Student engagement is noticeably higher and there is a productive buzz in the sessions as students discuss the chemistry involved, something rarely encountered in my previous experience of traditional problem classes! I have now embedded the use of TBL throughout my medicinal chemistry leaving (levels 5 and 6). I find TBL to be an incredibly versatile format, particularly the use of the iRAT/tRAT component as a preparation activity before teamwork exercises. It is effective in helping the teams to gel as well as giving them all a good grounding in the key theory they need to apply in the task ahead.Read more
Dr Daniela Plana
Lecturer in Chemical and Physical Sciences
Encouraged by observing colleagues already using it in Chemistry at Keele, I took up TBL in 2016. Initially, my main use of TBL was at Nanjing Xiaozhuang University in China, through a joint degree programme. In this setting, TBL had the added advantage of helping break through language barriers; by having team discussions in Chinese, whilst reports to the class were made in English, “TBL Lite” greatly improved student engagement and understanding. I have since embedded it in all my Level 4 and 5 teaching at Keele.Read more
Dr Cosma Gottardi
Teaching Fellow in Chemical Sciences (Maternity cover, April 2020 – June 2021)
I joined Keele at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and didn’t want to miss out on the exciting opportunity to learn about TBL as a flipped-classroom technique from the Keele TBL Group during my maternity cover contract. So, when other ways of pivoting the IF-AT Scratchcards online (an essential tool providing instant feedback used during the “team readiness assurance test”) failed, I created a server-side script in PHP that was subsequently used by the colleagues at Keele and hundreds of students in 2020–21. Graeme and I presented this new Instant-Feedback Online Scratchard to the annual TBLC Meeting, and since leaving Keele University at the end of my contract, I have been given the University’s permission to develop it further and can be freely accessed.Read more
Reader in Chemistry
I first heard about TBL from Graeme Jones following his early piloting of it at Keele in 2014. In 2015 I attended a TBL conference (Team-based Learning: Leading Educational Change) at the University of Bradford and thereafter I observed several TBL sessions run by my colleagues at Keele. However, it was not until this year (2020-21) that I actually got round to using TBL myself and so my experience of using TBL is entirely online (MS Teams). For me, the effectiveness of TBL stems from it being a student-centred active and social learning approach with a logical structure that is underpinned by formative assessment-feedback cycles. I am looking forward to in-person TBL from 2021-22.
Dr Mike Edwards
Lecturer in Chemistry
Following the success of the Keele pioneers, I first forayed into the TBL world in the 2017-18 academic year whilst teaching in China on the NXU joint degree programme, following up the work of my colleague Daniela Plana. I found this to be an excellent way to get students to communicate with each other, particularly to express ideas and concepts in ways that were easy for them to understand – this was particularly the case for students whose first language was not English. Since that point I have successfully deployed TBL in other aspects of my teaching across organic and medicinal chemistry. I have been genuinely surprised at the breadth of ideas and concepts that can be covered successfully during TBL sessions, but also learnt many lessons about the art of designing good questions. For me the success in TBL derives from questions that promote good discussion in groups and identify common mistakes or misconceptions. The COVID era has been a challenge that most in HE would not rush to return to(!), but running online TBL sessions has proven to be one of the most effective modes of engaging students remotely.Read more
Dr Sam Davenward
FY Teaching Fellow
I first heard about TBL during the first year of the Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (TLHE) Program and decided I wanted to learn more, so I signed up to a training session led by Dr. Graeme Jones. I have been embedding TBL into my teaching ever since!
TBL has been invaluable for promoting participation and engagement within the ever-increasing class sizes, and in providing instant feedback on students’ level of understanding. The students on my modules arrive with a range of experience in chemistry, and I find that TBL is particularly beneficial for creating safe and supportive environments within these diverse groups.
During the TLHE program I investigated the effect of TBL on students’ confidence levels within problem sessions, and I focused on how the quality of discussions could be promoted for my TLHE MA dissertation.