Applying Team Based Learning Pedagogy to a Computer-Laboratory-Intensive Course

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Robert Krider, Beedie School of Business

Project team: Cora Lam, research assistant

Timeframe: August 2013 to January 2014

Funding: $5,000

Course addressed: BUS 445 – Customer Analytics

Final report: View Robert Krider's final project report (PDF).

From the final report: "A survey of student perceptions at the end of the course showed, first, that the classes that integrated Team-Based Learning (TBL) into the pedagogy were very successful. Comparing conventional classes and the TBL classes indicated that most students strongly preferred the TBL method."  Read more >>

Description: Two Team-Based Learning (TBL) modules were introduced in BUS 445: Customer Analytics course. The course is structured around approximately 30-60 minutes of lecture followed by in-class lab exercises that typically take about two hours to complete. The exercises take the form of tutorials where students work through detailed cases to learn how to apply statistical and machine-learning techniques to large data sets to support evidence-based decision making in marketing. This is a strong structure and a necessary part of the pedagogy of the course. TBL is also a highly structured pedagogy.

In this project, we attempt to integrate these two structures efficiently and effectively without loss of content. We will experiment with two different approaches to integration, which will be implemented in separate classes.  As well, the previous non-TBL method will be used in several classes as a control.  In the first TBL class, students prepare for in-class TBL by completing the tutorials outside of class, either on their own computers or in the lab. Canvas will provide a forum for students to ask questions of each other and the instructor should they have difficulties with the tutorials.  In class the full three hours would then be used for TBL, which would include an application of the tools acquired in the pre-class preparation stage. In the second TBL class, the TBL component only replaces the lecture component, and the tutorials remain essentially the same. 

Data will be collected through multiple methods:

  • Questionnaires will be administered to students after exposure to the different methods.
  • Instructor reports will involve the summaries of development effort, perceptions of the pedagogical process, any difficulties encountered, and proposals for improvement.
  • Exam questions from previous classes will be used again and scores will be compared with previous classes, across the different methods used.

Questions addressed: Which of the three approache,

  • is preferred by students, and why?
  • is perceived by students to lead to better student ability to apply learning to new cases?
  • is preferred by the instructor, and why?
  • is perceived by instructor to lead to better student ability to apply learning to new cases?
  • leads to better retention at the end of the course?

Knowledge sharing: Results will be presented to a regular meeting of the Beedie School of Business Teaching and Learning Strategies Group