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FeedbackFruits Team Based Learning: The new solution for digitizing collaborative learning

Nhi Nguyen
Rebecca LeBoeuf
Rebecca LeBoeuf
March 14, 2023
Table of Contents

We’re excited to launch the enhanced version of our Team Based Learning tool, with brand new updates to support faculty facilitating the entire TBL process, from crafting interactive Preparation stage, monitoring the Readiness Assurance Test (RAT), to designing quality Peer Evaluation step. 

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Optimize collaborative learning in online/ hybrid environment

In the last 2 years in collaboration with IE Business School and Deakin University, we launched our BETA version of the Team Based Learning tool to help faculties optimize the team-based learning (TBL) process. Team-based learning refers to a collaborative learning approach that focuses on giving students the possibility to apply their knowledge to solve single or multiple problems. In essence, our tool helps streamline the TBL activity in online and hybrid settings, increase student engagement, as well as saving faculties a significant amount of time in activity setup. 

Read more: What is team-based learning? 4 ways it can help your group activities  

The BETA version of Team Based Learning tool, created with IE Business School, was initially designed to automate the Readiness Assurance Test (RAT), namely the individual Readiness Assurance Test (iRAT) and team Readiness Assurance Test (tRAT). This year, in co-creation with Deakin University, we have further developed the tool to cover all the major steps of the Team Based Learning journey, now including interactive pre-work steps, group leadership throughout the journey, and team evaluation at the end. 

Team Based Learning tool in use 

Since its introduction, the tool has been adopted at over 30 institutions worldwide and yielded great results. 

At the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Built Environment of Deakin University, Dr. Tiffany Gunning and her team have been implementing a 2-year long, multi-faceted project to prepare students for the world of work and encourage lifelong learning. This project, running from 2021 to 2023, involves scaffolding authentic assessment tasks across 3 touch points (steps) in every undergraduate course offered by the faculty. Team Based Learning was adopted to support a smooth transition from a paper-based model to the online model for the TBL activity. 

Authentic assessment across STEM faculty at Deakin University
Read more about Deakin’s adoption story here

At Central Michigan University, HyFlex design was adopted during COVID-19 to ensure learning flexibility. Students could choose to attend on-campus or online interactive sessions. However, it was challenging to maintain continuous student engagement. Dr. Michelle Steinhilb then took an innovative approach in her HyFlex Biology course: implementing technology-enhanced team-based learning. FeedbackFruits Team Based Learning and Group Member Evaluation tools were used to activate students’ collaboration and autonomy during the TBL activity. The tools were well received by both instructors and students. Dr. Steinhilb remarked: 

“What I love about the tool is it is very easy. When you log in, you already see the iRAT and tRAT layout. All you have to do is to click start and create the questions.”

Implementing technology-enhanced team-based learning at Central Michigan University
Read more about Dr. Steinhilb's use case here.  


What’s new in this enhanced version? 

During our collaboration with institutions to enhance online/hybrid team-based learning, we came across challenges regarding the facilitation of different aspects in the TBL activity, such as asynchronous timing, group leadership arrangement, team evaluation design, and more. That’s why we have updated our Team Based Learning tool with new features to support a more reflective, engaging, and connected learning experience. Below are the latest functionalities in our Team Based Learning 2.0: 

Adding a preparation activity

This functionality allows instructors to design engaging materials comprehension activities

The purpose of Pre-work sessions in TBL is to stimulate deep understanding of important concepts, and prepare students to apply these during the RAT stages. Students feeling unmotivated to engage with the assigned materials is a major challenge when facilitating this preparatory activity. That’s why we’ve built our Team Based Learning tool to cover this aspect of the TBL process. Instructors can now choose to and configure engaging pre-work assignments within Team Based Learning, without having to create the activities separately. Furthermore, it is possible to upload multimedia content (documents, videos, audio recordings) and enrich them with questions or discussions to address varied learning needs and stimulate active engagement. 

Details of this feature can be found in our release notes.

 A preparation step can be added within the TBL tool 
 A preparation step can be added within the TBL tool 

Student engage in the preparation stage, by reading the documents and respond to questions 
Student engage in the preparation stage, by reading the documents and respond to questions 

Adjustable timers

This functionality enables instructors to adjust the timing of each step (iRAT, tRAT) without having to change the entire activity. This allows greater flexibility and ease when facilitating asynchronous TBL for instructors, while making it more transparent to students how much time should be spent on each TBL step. 

Details of this feature can be found in our release note.

Adjust time for tRAT and iRAT step in Team Based Learning tool
Instructors can easily adjusting time for either iRAT or tRAT step

Deciding on group representative

This feature allows both instructors and students to claim and omit group leadership, and clarify what being a group leader entails.

The leader role was previously designated to be the first team member to enter the iRAT in Team Based Learning, which saves instructors and students time deciding on the role. On the other hand, automatic leader allocation can affect general group performance if the leader fails to fulfill their duties or team members don’t share consent with the assigned role. 

In our new Team Based Learning, instructors and students can now decide on the leadership role, while creating and receiving clear guidelines on what this position entails within the tool.

Details of this feature can be found in this release note

Students can decide on group representative in FeedbackFruits Team Based Learning
Students can decide on group representative

Instructors assign group representatives
Instructors assign group representatives

Peer Evaluation configuration

This feature lets instructors design a team evaluation activity after the RAT phase, using Group Member Evaluation tool. 

Peer/ group assessment is a critical component of TBL, as it encourages students to take responsibility for individual and group performance, critically reflecting on their own work to make improvements. For instructors, this step allows for identifying prominent issues encountered by learners, and providing timely support and curriculum adjustments. 

FeedbackFruits Team Based Learning makes it possible to add and configure a group evaluation step after the iRAT and tRAT activity. This means instructors don’t have to create a separate activity with Group Member Evaluation tools. 

Details of this feature can be found in this release note

Adding the peer evaluation step in Team Based Learning by choosing “Group member Evaluation”
Adding the peer evaluation step in Team Based Learning by choosing “Group member Evaluation”

Students provide feedback on team members’ performance in the peer evaluation step 
Students provide feedback on team members’ performance in the peer evaluation step 

Try out FeedbackFruits Team Based Learning

If you are interested in trying out this tool for your TBL activities, the FeedbackFruits team is here to help! Schedule a meeting with us and let us help you create quality learning experiences that nurture collaborative skills and growth mindset. 

In case you need more details on the team-based learning process and our Team-Based Learning tool, here are some readings prepared by our team to help you get started:

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