A study done in 2010 recorded that students who use TBL had an average 5.9% improvement in their results and students in the lower quartile showing a slightly larger increase in results (7.9%). Another survey done in 2016 revealed that 77% of the respondents felt that they learn better from TBL compared to lectures.
In other words, TBL is proven to work. The benefits of TBL include:
Engaging and interactive classes
Adopting the TBL approach is able to shift the focus from instructor-led teaching to active learning on your part. Individual and team accountability is ensured through the Readiness Assurance Process that include individual and team tests (i.e. IRAT and TRAT). With IRAT, you are held accountable for your pre-class work to ensure that you come to class prepared. The TRAT and application cases are used to further reinforce your accountability to your peers to foster enriching class discussions and healthy competition in class.
Prepares you for the workforce
TBL is a form of group learning where you are able to develop skills such as complex problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration, and time management. It also allows you to learn about the importance of teamwork and accountability which is highly regarded in the workforce. Your team will be required to work together on application cases which will allow you to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios. This will equip you for using the acquired knowledge outside of the classroom context.
Promotes the development of high performing teams A study has shown that most teams usually score better than their team’s top performer by approximately 14%, and the worst team typically outperforms the best student in the class. TBL teams are permanent, this will allow you to build the confidence to present ideas and discuss with your teammates all while building a personal relationship with them. There are countless benefits that come with group discussions and problem-solving, and you’ll see this for yourself during your TBL class.
Improves your learning retention
Mcinerney and Dee Fink suggest that activities like the TRAT and case study activities result in higher retention of key concepts and overall performance. With most teaching methodologies, students are only provided with feedback when exams are graded. However, with TBL, you will receive immediate feedback during TRAT. This will allow your team to discuss and clarify among yourselves to arrive at a consensual answer choice, which fosters critical thinking and ensures deepened learning at the same time.
Does TBL work? Definitely.
As we can see, this learning method adopts the ‘flipped classroom’ approach that enhances the quality of learning through group activities and discussions. It is a fun and interactive approach that can improve your learning retention and overall performance.