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I NTRODUCTION A Team-Based Learning Approach to Teaching Developmental Psychology Christy D. Wolfe Bellarmine University Southeastern Conference on the.

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Presentation on theme: "I NTRODUCTION A Team-Based Learning Approach to Teaching Developmental Psychology Christy D. Wolfe Bellarmine University Southeastern Conference on the."— Presentation transcript:

1 I NTRODUCTION A Team-Based Learning Approach to Teaching Developmental Psychology Christy D. Wolfe Bellarmine University Southeastern Conference on the Teaching of Psychology, Atlanta, GA, Spring 2012 C ONCLUSION The TBL format increases student engagement and responsibility for learning. Thoughtfully designed activities increase active participation, application of course material (as opposed to rote knowledge), and articulation of ideas. Strategic team formation and instructor guidance throughout fosters team cohesion and provides opportunity and experience for working with others toward a common goal. I also would like to mention that the TBL format is readily applicable to any course regardless of topic, class size, or class length. I personally have used this format successfully in Developmental and introductory and advanced courses in research methods. I have used it in small (n = 24) and large (n = 120) classes, as well as 50-minute and 4-hour classes. Essential Resources Michaelsen, L. K., Knight, A. B., & Fink, L. D. (2004). Team-Based Learning: A transformative use of small groups in college teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, LLC. TBL Website: IF-AT Answer Forms: One of the greatest challenges of teaching a course in Developmental Psychology is finding a way to cover an extraordinary amount of material in a finite amount of time, to ensure that students are being exposed to (and mastering) the many content areas and research findings for each developmental period, and to encourage students to retain the knowledge and know how to apply it when needed. Using the team-based learning format described by Michaelsen, Knight, and Fink (2004), this presentation describes how this format can be applied to a Developmental course in which the chronological approach is used. Given what you know about the intricacies of prenatal development and the potential harmful effects of alcohol on the developing embryo or fetus, use your critical thinking and team collaboration to answer the following questions: 1.Pick a side: Do you think that mothers who consume alcohol during pregnancy should be “held accountable” by the legal system? YES or NO (circle one) 2.Support your choice: In the space below, please provide support for your decision (use bullet-point format). 3.Suggest a social policy or strategy to address this issue: If you answer “yes” to the first question, briefly describe how the process of “accountability” could be implemented. If you answered “no” to the first question, briefly describe how the issues surrounding alcohol consumption during pregnancy can be eliminated or significantly alleviated. Example Team Activity for Early Childhood Development Assign individual preparatory homework in which students identify the physical, cognitive, and social capabilities of an average 3-to-5-year-old child. During class, allow students to work with their teams to design an age appropriate toy for this group. Ask them to name the toy, sketch the design, describe how it is used, identify features that enhance its attractiveness, address how it engages the child (physically, socially, and/or cognitively), and provide any injury or safety precautions that must be considered during use. When students are finished, allow them to share and compare their designs with other teams – and allow them to cast a vote for the best one! C OURSE A PPLICATION T EAM A CTIVITY E XAMPLES, C ONT ’ D T EAM -B ASED L EARNING The team-based learning (TBL) format is a unique application of team formation, meaningful collaborative work, and activity sequencing. This format is well-researched and described by Michaelsen et al. (2004) and by the TBL website. A brief overview is provided below. For Developmental Psychology, I divided the course into seven major instructional units (i.e., Core Concepts I and II, Infancy, Early Childhood, Middle and Late Childhood, Adolescence, and Early Adulthood). For each unit, students were given a reading assignment, an individual and team test over the reading, a clarification/elaboration lecture if necessary, and one or two team application activities as appropriate. An example course calendar is provided below. Key Components  Students must be made accountable for Individual pre-class preparation Contributing to the team High quality team performance  Groups must be properly formed and managed Mix students Distribute member resources Adequate size Teams are permanent  Team assignments and activities must thoughtful and promote both learning and team development  Students must receive frequent and immediate feedback TBL Instructional Activity Sequence The following sequence includes six major components: Individual (pre-class) preparation, individual test, team test, written appeals, instructor feedback, and application oriented activities. The sequence is flexible in that you can adjust the length and number of team activities to suit the course material. See the figure below. T EAM A CTIVITY E XAMPLES I have found that the most challenging aspect of using the TBL format in my courses is the creation of successful team activities. Michaelsen et al. (2004) acknowledge this difficulty and devote an entire chapter to the process of creating effective team assignments. Important considerations include creating assignments that are well-defined, that promote active discussion, and that require a concrete decision. The following are examples of two team activities that have been very successful engaging students, allowing them to apply the material learned, and evaluate and synthesize information from many resources. Example Team Activity for Prenatal Development Assign pre-class readings (e.g., an article related to the effects of teratogens, independent library and/or internet research). During the following class, allow students to work with their teams to complete the following assignment. After each team has a chance to complete the assignment, a lively discussion between teams is sure to follow. Epstein Educational Systems Michaelsen, Knight, & Fink (2004)


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