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Team Based Learning tutorials in S248

  • Project leader(s): Kate NixonNick Chatterton
  • Theme: Supporting students
  • Faculty: STEM
  • Status: Current
  • Dates: November 2022 to November 2023

This project seeks to improve student engagement in tutorials in S248 Chemistry in life: food, water and medicines. The project will implement some elements of the team-based learning (TBL) approach1 to deliver tutorials with a greater student focus and an emphasis on building working relationships with members of a team. The tutorial style also motivates students to prepare for the tutorial so they can apply this knowledge in a series of questions within the session. Only one component of the TBL approach will be implemented here: the readiness assurance procedure2. The readiness assurance procedure will be adopted in four components:

  1. Individual readiness assurance test (iRAT): Individually, students work their way through a set of multiple-choice questions (MCQs) which they have not seen before. They are encouraged to do so without the use of the module content (except for the datasheet), encouraging learning of the material, i.e., preparation, before the tutorial session. The answers are not provided.
  2. Team readiness assurance test (tRAT): In groups of 6-10, students attempt the same MCQs. This allows students to discuss their approach and outcome as a team. The team decides on the correct answer for each question and is provided with instant feedback using a Moodle quiz. Questions can be attempted multiple times with decreasing marks available for each subsequent attempt.
    (Note: the marks will not contribute to the student’s module grade but is a valuable indicator for students regarding their understanding of the material).
  3. Clarification and consolidation. Tutors provide fully worked responses to the quiz questions students found challenging and clarify any areas of misunderstanding.
  4. Reflection: Students will be encouraged to reflect on their participation in the group quiz. Were they prepared to contribute? Were they respectful of others contributions? Did their group obtain more correct answers than they would have individually?

Through this tutorial style it is hoped that the students will engage more fully in the module content as it is being delivered, leading to better module outcomes. A secondary, but equally important, outcome of this tutorial style is students can build relationships with their peers, building a community within the module.

1 Team Based Learning Collaborative (2022) Overview available at: (Accessed: 1st Sept 2022)

2 Dorius et al (2021) ‘The readiness assurance process in online team-based learning classrooms’ New Dir Teach Learn. 25–39