Discover how Professor Mark Killian, Associate Professor of Sociology in the Sociology Department at Whitworth University, leverages InteDashboard to enhance student engagement and optimize his team-based learning (TBL) classes. InteDashboard provides immediate feedback, fostering a collaborative environment that empowers students and improves their learning outcomes.
About Whitworth University
Whitworth University, established in 1890, is a private Christian institution in Spokane, Washington. Renowned for academic excellence and student-centered education, it ranks among the top regional universities in the West USA, excelling in undergraduate teaching.
TBL in Sociology Department at Whitworth University
Professor Killian, with over 13 years of experience in team-based learning (TBL), has successfully implemented the TBL methodology using InteDashboard in his introductory Sociology classes at Whitworth University, with the assistance of two teaching assistants.
Previously, Professor Killian utilized physical IF-AT cards for implementing team-based learning (TBL), which proved to be a cumbersome and time-consuming process. However, upon joining Whitworth University, he recognized the need for a more efficient approach and decided to incorporate InteDashboard.
By utilizing InteDashboard's real-time monitoring capabilities, Professor Killian effectively streamlined his classes. Through the teacher dashboard, he could swiftly identify students who were excelling or facing difficulties during class activities. This enabled him to keep his classes on track and aligned with the learning objectives. Professor Killian assessed the overall progress of the class, pinpointed areas where students might be falling behind, and made necessary adjustments to optimize the learning experience accordingly. Overall, the use of InteDashboard has improved the efficiency of the TBL process and made learning outcomes more accessible to students. Students' increased engagement, enhanced comprehension, and the opportunity for timely feedback and clarification have contributed to their overall academic success and performance in the course.
Professor Killian conducts three 55-minute TBL classes each week. At the beginning of the semester, he provides the students with the necessary prework. During the first class, students take the Individual Readiness Assurance Test (IRAT) and the Team Readiness Assurance Test (TRAT). In the second class, they engage in discussions and tackle Application questions. During the last class, students have the opportunity to seek clarification from Professor Killian and participate in an e-gallery walk and peer evaluations. Typically, each class comprises around 40 to 50 students, and they are divided into teams of 4 to 5 students.
TBL with InteDashboard
Professor Killian enthusiastically highlighted the transformative impact of InteDashboard on his curriculum, praising the platform for its remarkable features:
- Immediate Feedback
InteDashboard's immediate feedback feature for the TRAT enables students to receive prompt and valuable feedback, fostering a dynamic learning environment.
- Automated Grading
Instructors can view student and team performance data holistically for all team-based learning activities in one place. All team-based activities are auto-graded upon submission.
- e-Gallery Walk
InteDashboard can be used to conduct an online digital gallery walk. Instructors have the option to display the team's answers and participating learners can then read through, scrutinize, and evaluate them, similar to the traditional gallery walks. Feedback from students comes in the form of votes and digital comments.
"The e-Gallery walk is fantastic! We use it every time. It truly opens up students. They may not admit it, but I can observe their engagement and enthusiasm. It's incredibly valuable to witness what other groups are expressing and how they are applying the content of this unit in their activities," exclaimed Professor Killian.
Furthermore, Professor Killian commended InteDashboard for its customer-centric approach, emphasizing that the platform actively listens to its users' needs.
"I provided feedback to the InteDashboard customer support team some time ago regarding this matter. Previously, when I assigned a free-response application question, the teaching assistants had to switch back to the LMS platform solely to provide feedback. This meant that students had to navigate between InteDashboard and the LMS to access their feedback. However, now the teaching assistants can directly provide narrative feedback on InteDashboard, which has proven to be immensely helpful," explained Professor Killian.
As a testament to InteDashboard's unwavering commitment to meeting users' needs, the platform has proactively responded to requests from Professor Killian and other instructors by incorporating valuable additional features, including:
- Narrative Feedback
Instructors are able to provide detailed and personalized feedback to students within the platform. By seamlessly integrating narrative feedback, InteDashboard enhances the feedback loop between instructors and students, fostering a constructive learning environment that promotes growth and deepens understanding.
- Keyword Highlighter
The innovative Keyword Highlighter feature within InteDashboard simplifies the assessment process for instructors. When students mention specific keywords in their answers, they are then automatically highlighted on the teacher dashboard. This functionality greatly enhances instructors' ability to facilitate and evaluate student responses, making it easier to identify who has correctly addressed the key concepts or topics being discussed. By streamlining the assessment process, the Keyword Highlighter empowers instructors to efficiently track student progress and provide targeted guidance and support where needed.
Effects of Team-based Learning on Students in Sociology Classes
In 2015, Professor Killian and Professor Bastas conducted a research study titled "The Effects of an Active Learning Strategy on Students’ Attitudes and Performance in Introductory Sociology Classes" to investigate the impact of Team-based Learning (TBL) on students' attitudes and performance in introductory sociology classes. The findings of the study revealed the following:
- Positive Attitudes: Students enrolled in TBL classes exhibited more positive attitudes compared to students in lecture-based classes.
- Promoting Optimal Performance: The study uncovered that students excelled equally in both lecture-based and TBL classes, showcasing the effectiveness of TBL in fostering academic achievement. This positive outcome emphasizes the beneficial impact of TBL on students' ability to thrive academically.
- Enhanced Attitudes toward the Discipline: TBL students, who favored this instructional method, also demonstrated more favorable attitudes toward the discipline itself. This indicates that the engaging and collaborative nature of TBL positively influences students' perception of the subject matter.
- Effectiveness of TRAT: Among the various instructional elements of the TBL process, students ranked the Team Readiness Assurance Tests (TRAT) as the most effective.
In summary, the research study conducted by Professor Killian and Professor Bastas revealed that students in TBL classes exhibited more positive attitudes without sacrificing their academic performance. Additionally, TBL students were more likely to have favorable attitudes toward the discipline itself, and the Team Readiness Assurance Tests (TRAT) were perceived as the most effective instructional element within the TBL process.
Professor Killian's positive experience of InteDashboard exemplifies the platform's outstanding ability to consistently enhance the teaching and learning experience, earning it an ardent following among educators who appreciate its commitment to continuous improvement and meeting evolving needs.
“The TBL format of the course was beneficial. We were only learning what it was clear that everyone did not know based on our IRATs, that way we could save valuable class time on what everyone already knows. Always knew exactly what to expect on quizzes and assignments,” - Anonymous student
“The TBL learning is good. It is unique and a nice change from traditional ways!” - Anonymous student
“I really enjoyed the group work in this course, which I wasn’t expecting, but I think it helped me grasp concepts better.” - Anonymous student