Team Based Learning

Many M1/M2 courses utilize an active learning method of instruction called Team-Based Learning (TBL) in addition to didactic lectures, small group, and laboratory sessions.

TBL is a well-defined instructional method which brings theoretically-based and empirically-grounded strategies for ensuring the effectiveness of small-groups working independently in classes with high student-faculty ratios without losing the benefits of faculty-led small groups with lower ratios.

TBL has three major phases: preparation, readiness assurance, and application. During the preparation phase, students complete a pre-class homework assignment to acquire foundational knowledge for the in-class teamwork. The readiness assurance process takes place in class, where the students take a closed book multiple-choice test, first individually (individual readiness assurance test, or IRAT), then as a team (team readiness assurance test, or TRAT).  Following the TRAT, the instructor can give a mini-lecture (2-5 minutes) to clarify important concepts or summarize key points. Teams can appeal answers they feel are incorrect by submitting an Appeals Form in writing to the Course Director to earn extra points.  The appeals form is due by 5:00pm the day after the TBL session and should be submitted via email using the fillable form found on the course Blackboard site. The class then moves into the application phase where students work in their teams to apply course concepts and solve problems.

The number of TBL sessions varies within a course during the academic year.  Attendance and participation at all of the TBL sessions is mandatory, and each session will comprise a percentage of your final grade (see course Blackboard sites for final grading breakdown that shows the percent of the final grade) Click here for the Phase 1 Attendance Policy.

Groups are responsible for returning ALL printed materials and scantron sheets prior to leaving the session.  Failure to do so will result in a 0% score for all members for the IRAT and TRAT.

The TBL process is subject to the conditions outlined in the UIC’s Student Disciplinary Policy and the College of Medicine Standards of Professionalism. Instances of academic dishonesty by students may subject those involved to disciplinary action up to and including formal dismissal from the College of Medicine and the University of Illinois. 

Peer Evaluation is an essential component of TBL.  Completion of all Peer Evaluations is a professional expectation and requirement of medical students, and must be satisfactorily completed within the stated time frame.  Failure to complete all Peer Evaluations as required will result in the following:

1) a grade of “Incomplete” in all TBL courses being evaluated until the peer evaluations have been satisfactorily completed.
2) a meeting with the Associate Dean for Curriculum and the student’s OSA Advisor.