Roundtable Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia 2015

Using team-based learning to help first year students to develop important graduate capabilities (#137)

Douglas Carrie 1 , Michelle Kilkolly-Proffit 1 , Richard Brookes 1 , Parizad Mulla 1 , Margot Bowker 1 , Herbert Sima 1 , Andrew Patterson 1 , Tom Agee 1
  1. The University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, AUCKLAND CENTRAL, New Zealand

Abstract Content (up to 300 words recommended)

 This proposed mini-workshop is designed to illustrate how Team-based Learning (TBL), one very specific form of a flipped classroom, can be used within the first year curricula experience to support students’ development of important graduate capabilities. At the University of Auckland Business School, TBL was adopted four years ago as a teaching and learning methodology for a two-course sequence of first year courses that is taken by all incoming students in their first year of study. BUSINESS 101 and BUSINESS 102 are delivered on a very large scale, with over 2,000 students being enrolled across the two courses in each and every semester. The target audience for this workshop would be anyone with particular interests in the first year experience, and in how an institution might use TBL to begin working very broadly towards developing important graduate capabilities right from the very first semester of study. For its 1.5 hour duration, this workshop would be completely delivered on an active and interactive TBL basis, with participants being formed into teams where they would work through three carefully designed application exercises. The purpose of the first exercise would be to build the participants’ knowledge and understanding of what TBL is, and of how this teaching and learning methodology is designed to work. The purpose of the second exercise would be to help participants’ understand how this very active form of learning can implicitly help students to begin building important graduate capabilities related to thinking and inquiry, managing information, written and verbal communication, teamwork, and dealing with diversity. The purpose of the final exercise would then be to demonstrate how TBL could be used very explicitly to embed content related to employability within the first year curriculum

Addressing the theme/s of the Conference (up to 200 words recommended)

 Through adopting Team-based Learning on this significant scale, the University of Auckland Business School has moved to a more active form of learning in comparison to a traditional model where first year courses would more typically be delivered in large lecture theatres where students would sit more passively listening to the so-called “sage on the stage”. BUSINESS 101 and 102 were also purposely designed to bridge both content and process, delivering an integrated and multidisciplinary set of content related to the study of business, while also supporting students’ transition to university life where they must begin developing the skills they will need to succeed both in their future studies and in their future business careers. The key strategy here has been to try to ensure that the first year experience begins to address the demand by employers not just for graduates with business knowledge but also for graduates with strong adaptive and transferable professional skills. This workshop therefore fits both with the overall theme for the conference of “learning for life and work in a complex world” and the specific sub-theme of “educating graduates to be responsive and adaptable professionals”.