Upcoming Workshops

Vancouver Team-Based Learning Institute

May 16 and 18, 2017

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Two day workshop modelled on the very successful University at Albany (Billie Franchini) and Vancouver Island University (Bill Roberson and Tine Riemers) TBL Institutes (VIU details below) will be offered this May. It will be held at the University of British Columbia Vancouver campus on Tuesday and Thursday May 16 & 18 2017 (homework day in between). Registration will be capped at 24 participants and  up  to 8 spots will be available to non-UBC participants on a first come first serve basis. Cost for registration for non-UBC participants will be $400 Canadian dollars.

More Information and Registration Page

Vancouver Island Team-Based Learning Institute

Dec 7 and 9, 2016

We are pleased to announce the December 2016 edition (Dec 7 & 9) of the Vancouver Island Team-Based Learning Institute.  
This event is hosted by Vancouver Island University’s Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning. While the TBLscreen-shot-2016-10-28-at-12-47-18-pmInstitute is conceived primarily for VIU faculty members, we are once again making available a handful of seats for non-VIU faculty guests who are looking for this type of learning opportunity. If you know of colleagues seeking a structured cohort experience for learning TBL course design and delivery, we hope you’ll share this information with them.

The price of the program is modestly set for “cost-recovery” only.  It includes two full days of workshops, facilitation by three seasoned TBL coaches, TBL resources, time for individual work on your own course, along with individualized feedback. For those of you visiting British Columbia from other countries, please note the attractive discount that is built-in with the current exchange rates between the Canadian dollar and many other currencies.

Finally, there is the added bonus of guest participants having a legitimate, professional pretext to travel to “The Island” one of the most picturesque regions of North America. December is mild in this part of the world. We recommend bringing your hiking boots, binoculars (and maybe a rain jacket), and spend a few extra days here before or after the Institute, in order to experience the geographical and cultural richness of this region.

A thematic overview of the TBL Institute can be seen in the promotional blurb below, used to recruit local faculty members. Additional guest-specific details of the agenda can be found on the application/registration page.

Let me know if you have questions. We look forward to hosting you!

Bill Roberson, PhD

Vancouver Island University

Vancouver Island TBL Institute

Inclusive Classrooms by Design: Ensuring that Group Work Really Works

Wednesday, December 7 and Friday, December 9, 2016Students in TBL groups

The broad diversity of students within institutions of higher learning makes it critical that our classrooms become not only inclusive, but proactively so. Having community is, for many students, the catalyst for academic engagement. But the existence of generally inclusive environments may not always be enough to ensure success.

How do we leverage a positive social dynamic for deeper student learning? A growing number of our colleagues at VIU have found an answer to this question through the use of a teaching and learning strategy called Team-Based Learning.

Team-based learning, in this case, is not simply the use of groups or even permanent student teams. It’s a comprehensive design strategy (developed by organizational behaviour specialist Larry Michaelsen) for turning our classrooms into close-knit communities of highly motivated learners.

Here is what faculty members using this method are saying:

  • “My students said they didn’t want to miss class so as not to let down their team mates.  In that same course, I noticed students who the semester before were under-performing were now leading in their groups.”
  • “I appreciated seeing the emergence of a healthy classroom community. And those moments when students begin to shine, particularly the marginal, shy, or reluctant – well that was awesome.”
  • “What I love about team-based learning is the power shift from the lecturer to the students – the students become responsible for learning the basics; and in learning the new material they are empowered to apply it to real-world, meaningful problems.  And in solving the problems in-class students struggle, fail, work collectively to try again, and sometimes with (or without) a little insight from me or other teams students eventually ‘get it’.”
  • “I watched students break free of their former cliques and learn to work with new people. I also witnessed students suddenly take a genuine interest in each other and explore their different cultures.”
  • “Almost all of [my students] were engaged in the discussions and activities. They were talking about the subject matter before and after class and they asked me deeper more insightful questions than in previous years.”

The team learning strategy is increasingly popular internationally, and has worked effectively in both large and small classes, both theoretical and applied courses, in science, math, philosophy, literature, history, health and nursing, business, technology and trades. It can be adapted to nearly any teaching situation. It is particularly effective in bringing energy to courses that are extremely heavy in dry content.

VIU’s Team-Based Learning Institute will be facilitated by Bill Roberson and Tine Reimers of VIU and UBC’s Jim Sibley. The program takes you through the complete design process for transforming a course using the Michaelsen Team-Based Learning Model. This offering is primarily for faculty members who will implement a Team-Based course beginning in January 2017. For a brief introduction to what this entails, please read this overview.

For more information on registration, please proceed to our Application-Registration page and provide us with a bit of information about your plans.  

Please address questions to Bill Roberson (bill.roberson@viu.ca)