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Team-Based Learning

Scott Kubista-Hovis, a seventh grade science teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia, read about TBL three years ago and “fell in love right away.”

He contacted TBL developer Larry Michaelsen, who sent him scratch-off answer sheets to try out. “My students adore them!” he says.

Hovis uses groups of four, changing them twice a year. Students must explain all peer evaluations, not just their top and bottom scores, and the evaluation can be appealed. A few times, Hovis has changed low evaluations because he felt they were due to personality conflicts. Peer evaluations count for five percent of a student’s grade.

Hovis uses questions from the Virginia state test for his pre-test. For each unit, he goes over the concepts one day and gives the iRAT the next. After the gRAT, if students are still not getting it, he re-teaches. Then the teams apply the concepts to a real-world problem.

TBL, says Hovis, “allows me to front-load a lot of information and we can move on from there.”

Hovis gets his “Immediate Feedback-Assessment Technique” scratch-off answer sheets here.

Ask him your own questions by email:

TBL, Small Groups, and YOU

Visit the TBL website, and join the TBL listserve.

Share your strategies for small-group learning and find out how colleagues work with small groups on our discussion board.

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