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Tales from Real Life: The Readiness Assurance Process

During the fall semester of 1979, I faced a crisis that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Management course enrollments at the University of Oklahoma were booming, but budgets had been slashed. My senior colleagues solved the problem by “throwing me, the junior member, to the wolves” —increasing the size of my classes from 40 to 120 students.

The thing I loved most about my teaching was that in 40-student classes, I could use most of my class for group work on content applications. Unfortunately, I knew my approach simply would not work in a much larger class.

Unless I could find a better way to motivate students to prepare for class, I would have to spend most of class time lecturing (which meant there would be little time for group work on applications), or I would have to spend class time working on applications on the assumption (a very unlikely one) that enough students would prepare so that I wouldn’t face the disaster of “the blind leading the blind.”

The solution came in the form of the Readiness Assurance Process. I assigned the readings for Unit #1, gave the individual test, collected the answer sheets and held my breath as I listened in during the group test.

Much to my relief and delight, what I heard was students giving each other the very lectures that I had hoped to avoid giving myself. They were learning from each other and, even more importantly, were developing into real teams in the process.

—Larry Michaelsen

Published in:

Published In

14-Jun-08


Thriving in Academe

  • anc_dyn_linksTeam-Based Learning
  • anc_dyn_linksTales from Real Life: The Readiness Assurance Process
  • anc_dyn_linksThe Least You Should Know about TBL
  • anc_dyn_linksBest Practices: Using Assignments that Promote Discussion
  • anc_dyn_linksIssues to Consider: What Do You Want Students to Do?
  • anc_dyn_linksReferences & Resources

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