Accountability is an essential skill in both classroom and workforce settings. It is important for students to be accountable for their own learning, while also being accountable to their team. When students take responsibility for their individual progress and are a reliable member of their team, the team would be able to achieve success.
To promote accountability, educators may consider Team-based Learning (TBL) - a structured form of small-group learning that emphasizes student preparation out of class and application of knowledge in class.
TBL is able to promote accountability and student engagement due to its coherent structure:
1. Readiness Assurance Process
The Readiness Assurance Process (RAP) consists of prework, an Individual Readiness Assurance Test (IRAT), and a Team Readiness Assurance Test (TRAT). The RAP was designed to hold students accountable for completing the readings and to ensure that they can explain the core concepts to their peers (Michaelsen, 2004; Michaelsen and Sweet, 2008). Accountability for the prework is evident through the RAP, where IRAT provides each student with grade-based incentives and TRAT provides students with social incentives to complete the prework. Some instructors take into account students' score for IRAT for their final grade, which motivates them to do well. For TRAT, students who have completed the prework can actively contribute to team discussions, and those who have not can be easily identified by their peers. Students are held accountable to their team members for completing the prework, which motivates them to come prepared and produce high quality work.
2. Application Case Activities
After the RAP, students attempt Application Case Activities. Similar to TRAT, these activities are designed to have all students in a team work together towards a common goal. Students who are familiar with the course material can assert their value to the team and help complete the activity. After completing the activity, instructors may ask teams to report the results of their work to the class. Thus, students are held accountable not only to their teammates but also to other students in the class.
3. Peer Evaluation
The final component in TBL is Peer Evaluation. When students know that their team members will evaluate them, they become more conscious of their own performance within the team, and are more likely to come to class prepared and produce high-quality work (Lane, 2012). Furthermore, team member evaluations can also make students aware of any unacceptable behaviors, and this measure of accountability can serve as a catalyst for students to improve themselves.
Overall, accountability plays a significant role in determining the success of teams, and TBL motivates students by holding them accountable to both themselves and their team members.
Interested to learn more about TBL? Sign up for our upcoming TBL Fundamental Series!