Deeper Engagement and More Fun with Team-Based Learning

**August 2019 Course Re(Design) Program for Vancouver Island University Faculty Members**

Workshop (Team-Based Learning Institute) August 14-16, 2019; followed by Implementation of newly designed course in Fall 2019 or Spring 2020.

To participate in this program, please submit your request Non-VIU faculty are welcome to participate, as seats are available. Please contact for information related to non-Viu faculty.

What are VIU Teaching Faculty saying about Team-Based Learning?
  • “I used to hate teaching this course because the content was so dry. Now I’m enjoying it, and my students are really getting into it.”
  • “It’s fun to set students loose on a problem, then stand back and watch them go at it.”
  • “For the first time my students are consistently coming to class prepared.”
  • “The other day I went 20 minutes over the scheduled class time, and NO ONE said anything, they were THAT engaged!”
  • “The most interesting change in student behavior was the fact that every day that I arrived they had already organized the tables into teams and were studying together.”
  • “My students tell me I’m like a new teacher. My whole outlook on teaching has changed!”

Team-Based Learning (TBL), a teaching model developed by organizational behaviour specialist Larry K. Michaelsen, is designed to foster greater student independence and personal responsibility for learning. In any discipline and with any content. The key is a simple, coherent set of instructional protocols that, when adopted consistently, ensure that all the forces for engagement are aligned for high-level learning and critical thinking. For a brief summary of TBL, please visit our web page on the TBL Method.

Hosted at Vancouver Island University by the Centre for Innovation and Excellence in Learning, the Vancouver Island TBL Institute is an opportunity for faculty in post-secondary institutions to conceive and (re)design one of their courses using the Team-Based Learning (TBL). (Non-VIU faculty are welcome to participate, as seats are available. Registration for non-VIU guests can be found at Guest Registration)

The TBL Institute will be facilitated by veteran users of TBL, who are also experienced trainers of faculty using the TBL method. Tine Reimers and Bill Roberson of Vancouver Island University, and Jim Sibley of University of British Columbia, have coached hundreds of post-secondary instructors in the use of TBL, throughout North and South America and in Asia.

Participants in the Team-Based Learning (TBL) Course Redesign program will learn reliable ways to ensure student buy-in and productive interactions. TBL practices are specifically designed to eliminate the most common types of less-than-productive student behaviour, such as failing to prepare, social loafing, reluctance to participate or dominance by strong personalities during discussions.

By the end of the August 14 – 16, 2019 TBL Institute, you will have in your possession major components of your redesigned course, for the purposing of implementation in the Fall 2019 semester. You will also have a toolbox of key practices, and a reliable template for course outlines and assignments where students consistently take ownership of their learning.


To make your request to register for this project, please Submit your request

What will happen in the TBL Institute? 

Participants will…

  1. Experience a live TBL classroom. Day One of the Institute simulates the student experience in a TBL course
  2. Design and begin planning a course based on the use of TBL protocols and practices
  3. Experience and analyze examples of TBL-type classroom activities
  4. Practice designing TBL-type classroom activities
  5. Learn tools for and techniques for managing a TBL course
  6. Re-design a course outline (syllabus) for a TBL course, including appropriate policies and grading schemes.
  7. Receive feedback on draft TBL teaching plans

Schedule of Activities

  • Before August 14: Advance Preparation Time (complete a selection of readings, 3-4 hours)
  • Wednesday, August 14: Day One of TBL Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (breakfast and lunch included)
  • Thursday, August 15: Independent course development work (3-4 hours in a location of your choice)
  • Friday, August 16: Day Three of TBL Institute, 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM (breakfast and lunch included)
  • Fall semester, 2019: Implement the new design, and meet the benchmarks as outlined below.

Implementation Benchmarks

  1. Before the first week of classes: Meeting with facilitators to get feedback on your new design. Either electronically or face-to-face, one of the program facilitators will meet with you in the days before implementation in the Spring 2018 semester, to provide final feedback on the your syllabus/outline and on your plans for the first few class meetings. 
  2. Week 4 of fall semester: Midterm Survey of Students, targeting their response to key elements/practices of the TBL method within your course.
  3. Week 5-6: Classroom visits by one of the facilitators. 
  4. Week 6-7: Informal exchange of ideas with colleagues: We plan to meet around midterm. Food/refreshments will be served.
  5. Write a Brief Reflection Essay to document your journey and what you learned from your work in the program.


If you have questions, please contact either Tine Reimers ( or Bill Roberson (