• The main features of the team-based learning approach are the following:

    (1) Permanent (term-long) and instructor-assigned groups of 5-7 students with diverse skill sets and backgrounds

    (2) Individual accountability for out-of-class work such as reading and preliminary homework being done prior to the first class meeting of each course segment - a division of the course generally based on a theme and lasting from one to three weeks. This accountability is ensured by what is called the Readiness Assurance Process (RAP) in which students (a) take a short (5-15 multiple choice question) individual readiness assurance test (iRAT), (b) immediately afterward take the same test again with members of their team working on a single answer sheet (tRAT), (c) students, who have already received their individual and team RAT scores make written appeals on any questions that the team missed on the tRAT, should they find statements in their assigned reading that supports their view, and, (d) the instructor takes questions from the class on any of the questions or themes brought up by them.

    (3) Incentive for working effectively together as a team by giving [ ]credit (course points) for team activities (such as the tRAT), the subsequent in-class activities (application exercises) that are the hallmark of team-based learning, longer term team projects, and team-member given points for "team maintenance", essentially points given to recognize contributions made to team efforts and withheld when a team member is acting as a freeloader or in some other way not pulling his or her weight.

    (4) In class application exercises that are (a) significant (correlated to important course objectives, meaningful to the future work that the course might prepare a student for), (b) the same for all teams in the course, (c) about making a decision – providing a simple answer – based on complex analysis of data or application of course principles, (d) simultaneously reported to the whole class and evaluated then and there by the instructor.

    Motivations and Benefits for using Team Based Learning in Education[edit]

    Team Based Learning has been suggested to help students who seem uninterested in subject material, do not do their homework, and have difficulty understanding material. Team based learning can transform traditional content with application and problem solving skills, while developing interpersonal skills.[3] Team based learning in education can also be important for developing skills and abilities that are useful for businesses, organizations, careers, and industries where many projects and tasks are performed by teams. Learning how to learn, work, interact, and collaborate in a team is essential for success in this kind of an environment.[4] Many of the medical schools have adopted some version of Team Based Learning for several of the benefits listed above, and also for greater long-term knowledge retention. According to a study done by the Washington University School of Medicine, individuals who learned through an active team based learning curriculum had greater long-term knowledge retention compared to a traditional passive lecture curriculum.[5]

    From Wikipedia