A modified Readiness Assurance Process*TM

Description: The Learning Through Practice structure is a modified Team-Based Learning*TM (TBL) framework. For seasoned TBL practitioners, these materials fit a daily or weekly cycle. They are designed for active learning, but can be used with any pedagogy. The four parts are outlined below.

  • Getting Started readings and videos

    • Purpose: Prepare students for application activities and make time for applications in a face to face class or during synchronous remote sessions.

    • Implementation: Assign for students to complete before pre-activity questions and team quiz; remind them often this is an important part of their learning.

  • Individual pre-activity questions

    • Purpose: Hold students accountable for content in the pre-reading and videos and bring out common misconceptions. Mistakes made here are a desirable outcome so that work can begin to dispel them.

    • Implementation: Assign for students to complete after readings/videos but before the team quiz. If possible, put these online (an LMS or other online homework platform) with multiple attempts (enough to get a correct answer) and mild penalties for incorrect attempts so that students receive immediate feedback.

  • Multiple choice team quizzes

    • Purpose: Correct student misconceptions through peer discussion and decide content of clarifying lecture. The value of this activity cannot be overstated. By talking through questions (social learning), students correct one another and discover what they don't yet know. This trains students that mistakes are part of learning.

    • Implementation: Questions are multiple choice, and only one team member answers for the entire team. This forces discussion of options before making a specific choice and receiving immediate feedback. If an answer is incorrect they must re-discuss and choose again until the correct answer is found.

      • Do at the beginning of class or a remote synchronous session.

      • Allow multiple attempts per question with mild penalties (to prevent discouragement) until the correct answer is found. We use WebAssign. Other options online are qualtrics (free; video instruction to make an iRAT and tRAT) and Intedashboard, or IF-AT forms scratch cards in person . Implementation in some LMS's is possible.

      • Listen to student discussion or monitor online analytics to see which questions students struggle with and decide content for the clarifying lecture. Don't intervene unless necessary; if students are way off track in their discussions, give gentle verbal correction and direction.

  • Mini lectures

    • Purpose: Correct misconceptions observed during team quizzes and extend content knowledge in preparation for application activity.

    • Implementation: Solicit student questions about pre-activities and introduce more difficult content if needed.

      • Keep lecture as short as possible. Address difficulties, not topics students already know. Research suggests that peer discussion followed by instructor explanation (direct verbal feedback) improves student learning.

      • Offer wise feedback by validating and answering student questions; there are no dumb questions!