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Nov 27, 2020 3 min read

Implementing Asynchronous Online Team-Based Learning

TBL has traditionally been used in face-to-face courses where students and teachers are all in the same room. But with an increasing trend towards distance learning and wider availability of technology, it has become possible to conduct TBL in an online environment.

Online courses taught with a TBL format tend to be highly engaging compared to lecture based online courses, which turns out to be a huge value-add for students learning from a distance. If you are considering implementing TBL in an online course, here are some examples and case studies on implementation of TBL online:

Synchronous Online Courses: Teachers and students are in different places, but are all taking their RATs and application cases at the same time while being connected online through video based web conferencing tools.

Asynchronous Online Courses: These types of courses are more in line with self-paced online courses where students can do their pre-work and answer RATs / application cases in their own time.

Implementing Asynchronous Online TBL

Every situation will be different and depend on faculty, students, technology and other factors but an illustration of how TBL could be implemented in an asynchronous online modality follows below.

Online Aynchronous Team-Based Learning
 Online Asynchronous TBL Timeline

As you can see, asynchronous online TBL can be conducted in a three-weeks-per-topic format or in a one-week-per-topic format. We will elaborate further for the latter.

Pre-work and IRAT on Day 1-2

Students complete pre-work on their own along with an online Individual Readiness Assurance Test (“IRAT”). Students may start the test anytime during Day 1 or Day 2. However, once they start the IRAT that only have 10 minutes to answer 10 readiness assurance questions.

TRAT and Clarification Request on Day 3-4

Teams complete the online Team Readiness Assurance Test (“TRAT”) over a few days time. Like in a face-to-face course, one member of the team is the official reporter and submits answers on behalf of the team. If you are using InteDashboard, teams receives immediate feedback after each submission

Team-Based Learning - Immediate Feedback
 Immediate Feedback On The TRAT Screen

Other team members can view the immediate feedback as well. Teams have the option to meet at their convenience to do the TRAT all at one time together or use online communication tools of their choice to complete the TRAT at their own pace. Immediately following the TRAT, teams can request clarification on specific questions that they have not completely understood despite team discussion.

Team-Based Learning - Clarification
 Teams Can Request Clarification Without Having To Speak Up!

Faculty Can Analyze The Data

Before proceeding to the clarification session, faculty can visualize the following with InteDashboard:

  • IRAT data

  • TRAT data

  • Clarification Requests



Faculty can use the "Item Analysis" feature on InteDashboard to see trends on students' results. For instance, a big portion of the class might have gotten one or two questions wrong. Thus, faculty might want to consider focusing on clarifying those specific questions.

Team-Based Learning - Item Analysis
 Item Analysis


Similarly, by using InteDashboard, faculty can analyze the data to uncover the questions that presented more difficulty for teams during the TRAT and then decide to focus on explaining those during the clarification session.

Team-Based Learning - TRAT
Performance Data From The TRAT

Clarification Requests

Finally, instructors can also consider the questions for which students are explicitly asking for further clarification as seen below.

 Equipped with knowledge from IRAT/TRAT performance and from clarification requests, faculty are now well informed to make an effective and highly targeted clarification session.

Clarification and Applications on Day 5-6


To address clarification requests, faculty could choose to provide an explanation directly to teams themselves or assign other teams in the course to provide explanations.

Teams Work on Applications

Also, by using InteDashboard, applications could be released for teams to work on and respond. Teams can submit responses to multiple choice or free response application cases on it. Faculty can also require teams to submit a rationale along with their response to applications.

Application Reporting and Discussion Day 7

After the applications are submitted, faculty can reveal the answers to all the teams and facilitate a discussion with messages and feedback on application responses by using InteDashboard.

One technique is to require students or teams to comment on the responses of two other teams other than their own.

Another technique, only available with InteDashboard, is the “e-gallery walk” which is used with free response applications. This feature allows teams to vote on the best application response other than their own team. This is a way to have teams learn by reviewing other team responses and critically evaluating what makes a good response.

Team-Based Learning - gallery
E-gallery Walk

For more information on how to use InteDashboard to conduct an E-gallery walk, refer to this article.


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