Team-Based Learning Course Redesign Program

This page outlines details about VIU’s Team-Based Learning Course Redesign Program running from August – December 2017. 

Facilitators: Tine Reimers, Bill Roberson, and Marilyn Funk, Curriculum, Teaching and Learning Specialists, Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning

Registration by June 1 (or until full) at

Course Redesign Program Overview

The TBL Course Redesign Program is an opportunity for VIU faculty members to (re)develop one of their courses using the Team-Based Learning (TBL) model as conceived by organizational psychologist Larry K. Michaelsen. The TBL design strategy proposes a set of specific instructional protocols and practices that actively promote student ownership of their learning, as well as a sense of responsibility to the community that is created in the classroom. To learn more please visit our web page on the TBL Method.

Learning Outcomes – By the end of this Program, faculty members will be fully ready to:

  • Design a course within the framework of TBL principles and practices
  • Create learning activities and sequences of activities informed by TBL protocols
  • Apply TBL assessment and evaluation strategies that promote student learning and engagement
  • Plan, organize and facilitate a team-based classroom
  • Apply TBL design strategies to any course they teach

Schedule and Time Commitment

  • Before August 15: Advance Preparation Time (complete a selection of readings, 3-5 hours)
  • Tuesday, August 15: Day One of Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (cohort-based, 7 hours)
  • Wednesday, August 16: Independent course development work (3-4 hours in a location of your choice)
  • Thursday, August 17: Day Three of Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (cohort-based, 7 hours)
  • Fall 2017: Undertake all Benchmarks as outlined below for Phases 1, 2 and 3 (some group, mostly own teaching activity and some engagement with Centre staff – see time breakdown below)

Three Phases of TBL Course Redesign Program

1. Advance Preparation: It will be essential for faculty to complete a set of readings in order to be able to experience and gain key insights from the TBL classroom simulation on Day One.

2. Workshop: A two-day intensive, face-to-face learning session, with one additional day of independent work for individual course design and development. During these days, faculty members will engage in a variety of activities that inform the TBL course development process.

  • Day 1 (in the classroom): Experience a simulation of a live TBL classroom, experiment with invention of TBL-style assignments and activities, analyze cases and situations designed to highlight best practices; begin drafting a TBL learning sequence
  • Day 2 (on your own): Develop a complete teaching and learning sequence for a two-week module within a course
  • Day 3 (in the classroom): Give and receive feedback on your design work; analyze and begin drafting policies and grading schemes consistent with TBL; develop a process to introduce your students to TBL.

3. Implementation: Benchmark activities as listed below for Fall 2017 follow-up.

Implementation Benchmarks

  1. Collect Feedback on your new design. One of the Program facilitators will meet with you in the days before implementation in the semester, to provide final feedback on the elements of the course being designed. Approx. 1 hour in a meeting you schedule at your convenience before your class starts.
  2. Administer a Midterm Survey of Students. By midterm of the Fall semester, you will administer a survey of your students targeting their response to key elements/practices of the TBL method within your course. Approx. 10 minutes of class time, about 30 minutes of meeting time with one of the facilitators to go over results.
  3. Arrange a Classroom Observation by Centre Staff. Sometime early to mid-semester of Fall 2017, you will invite one of the facilitators to observe a class where key TBL components are put into practice. The observation process for you and Centre staff follows the procedures in the “VIU Guide to Peer Observation and Feedback for Reflective Practice.”Approximately 30 minutes pre-observation meeting, 1 hour of class time, 30 mins – 1 hour meeting afterwards to debrief.
  4. Exchange Ideas with colleagues. You and the group of faculty members in this Course Redesign Program will convene during Fall 2017 semester to share experiences and lessons learned from the changes you are making to your classes. We hope to meet 2 times (once mid-semester and once at the end of the semester). Approximately 4 hours total @ 1 – 1.5 hours each of 3 times. 
  5. Write a Brief Reflection Essay. At the completion of the Fall 2017 semester, you will capture your learning in a 1-2 page summary of the experience and reflect upon the impact of the experience on your professional practice. This written reflection is primarily a way for you to document your journey, but might also be a resource for communicating and promoting TBL to other faculty members (no names or identifying components will be included). Approximately 1 hour total on your own via email to the facilitators before December holidays.

Registration by June 1 (or until full) at

If you have questions about the program, please contact

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