TBLC Newsletter Vol 8 Issue 3

President’s Message

TBLC Colleagues,

As the new academic year begins here at Drake University in Iowa, I am reminded of the privilege many of us have to serve as educators. The opportunity to have a positive impact on an individual’s education and development is a privilege. Reflecting on our new academic year also reminds me of the privilege I have to be part of the TBLC, a collaborative of individuals who care deeply about improving education at all levels. Thank you for your passion for TBL, your membership in the TBLC, and for this opportunity to update you on several exciting initiatives coming from our collaborative.

Additional Training-Certificate/Certification Options
Over the past few years many TBL practitioners have suggested it would be helpful to have certificate/certification options in addition to the rigorous Trainer-Consultant program. I am happy to report that the TBLC has responded to this suggestion, and there are now three certificate/certification pathways available: the Knowledge of the Fundamentals of TBL Certificate, the Practitioner of TBL Certification, and Trainer-Consultant in TBL Certification. The first two options are new and provide a great pathway for collaborative members to obtain an official recognition of their TBL expertise at a rigor level less than that of the longstanding Trainer-Consultant pathway. You may learn more about these training options at http://www.teambasedlearning.org/tblc-certifications/. I would like to thank Paul Koles and his colleagues on the Training and Certification Committee for their outstanding work developing these certificate/certification pathways from a member-generated idea to a reality for our members.

Communities of Practice
Participating in a TBLC Community of Practice (CoP) is a great way to get more value from your TBLC membership. These communities bring together TBLers from a variety of disciplines who have a common interest in a certain aspect of TBL. The result has been the development of several outstanding resources for our members. For example, the TBL Online Community of Practice has developed a consensus paper for online TBL. You may access this paper by going to more resources on the home page under the Resources drop down menu. Just pull down and clicl on “Online Best Practices.” The question of “How do I do TBL online?” has been a common query over the years, and our TBL Online Community of Practice has provided a great resource in the spirit of answering this question. Special thanks to Michele Clark and Laura Merrick for their leadership in this project.  In addition, our Research and Scholarship Community of Practice is busy working on several webinar ideas that will provide insight and ideas for conducting research related to TBL. Look for news in the near future on upcoming webinar opportunities for TBLC members. Finally, Liz Winter, Tom Jansen and Brian O’Dwyer have started the TBLC for Training CoP addressing TBL in continuing education, faculty and workforce development, and other training settings. Please take a look at Tom Jansen’s article in Training.  It is linked to his description of this new CoP later in the newsletter.

2019 Annual Meeting
Our next annual meeting will be March 14-16, 2019, in Tampa, Florida. In addition to our usual great programming, you will enjoy this meeting for its outstanding location on the gulf side of sunny Florida. Please look for an upcoming call for poster abstract submissions as well as information on registering for the meeting. For those who have not attended, please consider joining us in 2019: I have left every TBLC Annual Meeting as a more energized educator than before I arrived, and I am confident your experience will be the same.

Thanks again for your support of TBL and our collaborative,


Building the TBL Community: The New Member Mentor Program

The TBLC is starting a new program designed to bring added value to new members, the New Member Mentor Program (NMMP).  The program matches new members with an experienced TBL user for a period of up to one year.  The two people can set up video chats (Zoom, Skype, etc.) during the year, developing the skills and knowledge of the new member.  Conversation topics might include best practices, challenges, etc.  If the two people are close geographically, the new member could visit the other person’s institution, possibly to sit in on a TBL class.  The two people could meet at the annual TBLC conference, do TBL-related research together, or just continue their professional friendship.  Possible benefits for the experienced TBL user include training opportunities at your new member’s institution, collaboration in common interests in teaching or research, new professional friendships, and helping the TBLC with member retention and increased attendance at annual conferences.  This is an excellent way to build the TBL community.  We are currently recruiting experienced TBL users.  If you are interested, please provide information at this link. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Rick Goedde at goedde@stolaf.edu.

Take a look at the Training Community of Practice (COP)

Do you use team-based learning (TBL) for continuing education, faculty development, executive training, or workforce development?

Would you like help or do you have ideas on how to transform your current training methods into a TBL format?

Be sure to look at the Training Community of Practice (COP)—facilitated by the Team-Based Learning Collaborative (TBLC).

The purpose of the Training COP is to:

  • Discover how people are using TBL in training now
  • Develop best practices for high fidelity in training settings
  • Disseminate this best practice information for implementing TBL in training settings

To learn more, visit the Training Community of Practice:

  • Go to the TBLC website http://www.teambasedlearning.org/ and login to the Member Login
  • On the Communities of Practice tab, click on “TBL for Training”
  • Click on the “Directory and Features” and “Options” for more info

For an example of TBL used in the corporate environment, explore this Training magazine article, A Team-Based Learning Adventure: Switch the way executives learn and apply new skills at https://trainingmag.com/trgmag-article/team-based-learning-adventure/ 

TBL Tips:  Targeting the Affective Domain through TBL

By Luma Munjy and William Ofstad


Will Ofstadt

Higher education has historically focused on enhancing learners in Bloom’s cognitive (knowledge) and psychomotor (skills) domains; however, the affective domain, which emphasizes feelings, emotions, mindsets, and degrees of acceptance and rejection, has largely been absent in current educational models.  The compelling need for learners to demonstrate competency in the affective domain is well-documented by The Association of American Colleges and Universities within the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes, which call for ethical reasoning and cultural competency across all higher education.  These outcomes require higher levels of emotional intelligence and moral behaviors, which are critical competencies necessary for developing compassionate, reflective graduates and practice ready professionals.  It is not surprising that immature or unproductive mindsets and behaviors frequently frustrate faculty, administrators, and employers and may impede other areas of learning, especially when affective deficiencies are left unaddressed.

Team-based learning (TBL) provides a rich platform to support learning in virtually any subject, leveraging readiness, team applications, and facilitated class discussions to drive critical thinking and engage students in active learning.   The authors have developed a 6-step TBL Affective Development Methodology adapted from TBL 4S application design and facilitation techniques blended with Lind’s Konstanz Method of Dilemma Discussion (KMDD), to deepen learner engagement in emotionally challenging discussions with activities designed to reframe learner mindset and increase emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

TBL Affective Development Methodology Foundational Technique
Step 1:   Present a semi-realistic two-sided dilemma to the class.


KMDD and TBL 4S (same problem, specific choice, significant problem)
Step 2:   Learner reflects individually, chooses for themselves to take one side of dilemma. KMDD
Step 3:  Learner moves to be with others who chose the same side of the dilemma.  The class divides into two large groups. KMDD (self-select into one of two camps by personal stance)
Step 4:  Alternating discussion points presented by individuals on each side.  Ping-pong style presentation of views by individuals to discover key ideas and put them on the table for later discussion. KMDD (alternating presentation of viewpoints by individuals)
Step 5:  Go back to your teams.  Share and reflect on feelings elicited by the case, as a starting point.  Then as a team analyze both sides again, work to come to consensus on a single team choice and defend why, and then agree on the single best argument for the opposing choice. KMDD (best opposing argument)

TBL 4S (same problem, specific choice, significant problem)

TBL intra-team discussion

TBL facilitation of teams

Step 6:  Simultaneous reporting out of team choices.  Faculty facilitates the discussion between teams.  Facilitate to honor ideas and feelings, defend/challenge thinking, explore assumptions and complications, compare/contrast best arguments, build to an emergent consensus. TBL inter-team discussion

TBL 4S (simultaneous reporting)

TBL facilitation of class

This method was used to deliver an end-of-life care seminar to third year pharmacy students at California Health Sciences University. Learning outcomes were designed to explore learners’ emotions, attitudes, values and behaviors surrounding moral and ethical decisions that healthcare providers often face when dealing with patients at the end of life. A two-sided ethical dilemma regarding patient care delivery during the end of life was created. Learners were given time to reflect on the dilemma individually.  They were then asked to choose a side without discussion and separate from their assigned teams, based on the initial decision they each made. Learners from each side were given the opportunity to share their reasoning for their decision (allowing a new speaker from each camp to share, alternating back and forth to include all those who wanted to be heard) while the facilitator provided a safe and neutral environment for all opinions to be shared. Learners were then asked to re-group with their assigned teams, where intra-team discussions were utilized to reflect on the arguments presented and feelings elicited by the case. The Gloria Willcox feeling wheel was shared as readiness and provided at each table to assist in articulating learners’ personal feelings as well as to assist in understanding the feelings of others. Then teams analyzed both sides again, working to come to consensus on a single team choice and defend why.  They also were asked to agree on the single best argument for the opposing choice.  The faculty facilitator then asked teams to simultaneously report their findings and present their rationale for their choice. The discussion was then elevated by the facilitator by requesting that teams provide the best argument presented from the opposing side and to reflect on the reasoning behind the opposing side’s decision. This 6-step methodology allowed learners to explore their personal emotions, reflect on the emotions and motives of others as well as promote understanding of opposing viewpoints when dealing with moral and ethical dilemmas. The KMDD, which our method builds upon, has been shown by Lind to foster an environment of growth and reflection using alternative perspectives, which elevates moral agency and emotional intelligence.  The KMDD has been applied successfully across a wide range of ages and settings, from grade school to adult learners.

Following the end-of-life care seminar, learners were asked to complete a retrospective post-then-pre survey to assess learning outcomes and success of the session.  Survey questions related to the learners comfort in discussing their own emotions when dealing with moral and ethical dilemmas as well as their willingness to work with patients at the end of life.  Learners reflected on their level of comfort prior to the session and after the session using a 5-point Likert scale. Results from the survey showed that 80% of participants found the end-of-life care seminar and methods to be a valuable learning experience.  Furthermore, learners felt more confident on how to approach moral and ethical dilemmas; prior to the end-of-life care seminar 42% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that they were unsure how to approach moral and ethical dilemmas regarding end-of-life care decisions, which reduced to 22% after the seminar.  Preliminary results suggest that learners found the method to be valuable and felt more comfortable understanding emotions and dealing with difficult decisions in a healthcare setting. These findings were shared as an abstract and poster presentation at the 2018 TBLC in San Diego, CA.

The authors invite the TBLC community to collaborate on methods and research to deeply understand how to create significant learning experiences and performances in the affective domain as well as how to appropriately assess competency in what is often described as softer skills using validated assessment tools in a TBL classroom context.  We are excited to see the TBL classroom serving as an excellent platform to allows students and teams to explore their own feelings as well understand the feelings of others when faced with challenging discussions. We hope to further collaborate on methodology and techniques that provide a safe and effective environment for shaping mindset in an area of learning that is essential to becoming a successful, professional, and more human being.

New Member Mentor Program

Rick GoeddeThe TBLC is starting a new program designed to bring added value to new members, the New Member Mentor Program (NMMP). We are seeking the help of experienced TBLers like you. Possible benefits for you include training opportunities at your new members’ institutions, collaboration in common
interests in teaching or research, new professional friendships, and helping the TBLC with member retention and increased attendance at annual conferences.

For more information about the program and how to volunteer,
please visit the New Member Mentor Program page on the membership website.



Have you updated your membership profile?

Is your membership profile up to date? Please consider updating your member bio if you have not done so recently. It is one of several options you can manage under the “Manage Profile” link located in the upper right-hand corner of the web page.  By updating your membership profile, you enhance the capabilities of the search feature of the website, which in turn enhances your ability to find colleagues within the TBLC, establish connections with others in your discipline or across disciplines, and connect with potential collaborators.

Welcome to Our New Members!

We are excited to welcome the 82 new members who have joined the TBLC since February.
We have a diverse group of students, teachers and administrators from a wide variety of fields and specialties. During this past quarter we have seen an increase in members with degrees in education, reading, exercise science and naturopathic medicine. We have members from around the globe: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan and United States.
Our new members are a terrific resource for learning about TBL, sharing new ideas, and collaborating on research.

TBLC Website Updates

Do you have any ideas or suggestions for the TBLC website? Are there specific components that you would like to see included? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Please use this site for your suggestions https://teambasedlearning.site-ym.com/ideabox/ – there is a link in the upper left hand corner of the page where you can submit your ideas!

Want to Contribute to the Collaborative?

We welcome contributions from the TBL Collaborative (TBLC) membership that address one of two broad areas:
1) Innovative ideas that have been applied to TBL, and
2) Reviews of TBLC resources to members on the website. 

Visit the member site to learn more about how you can contribute to the store of knowledge within the Collaborative.