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Training Engineering Teachers Online for Practice and Application of Team-based Learning (TBL)

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Engineering Education for Modern Needs Part II: Novel Curriculum Development and Project-based Courses

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1371.1 - 25.1371.5



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Paper Authors


Pil-Won On University of Missouri, Columbia

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Pil-Won On, Instructional Designer/E-learning Specialist, College of Engineering, University of Missouri, Columbia, has a M.S. in instructional systems technology, Indiana University, Bloomington.

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Robert O'Connell University of Missouri, Columbia

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Robert O’Connell received the B.E. degree in electrical engineering from Manhattan College, N.Y., and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana. He is currently professor and Associate Department Head of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Missouri, Columbia. He recently completed a Fulbright Fellowship, which he used to study modern teaching and learning methods in higher education. He won the College of Engineering Faculty Teaching Excellence Award in 2006 and 2010. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE, a Professional Member of the ASEE, and a registered Professional Engineer in the state of Missouri.

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Training Engineering Teachers Online for Practice and Application of Team- Based Learning (TBL) Copious research has shown that traditional lecturing is a very inefficient way to facilitateconceptual learning (Biggs and Tang, 2007), and that student-centered active learning can resultin a deeper understanding of the concepts in question (Prince, 2004). Furthermore, when activelearning is conducted in an extensively group-based learning environment, students developvarious generic, professional functioning knowledge skills, such as problem-solving, written andoral communication, independent learning, team work, etc. Team-Based Learning (TBL) is a form of group-based learning that is being usedsuccessfully in sophomore-level electric circuit theory courses at our institution. Because of thissuccess, a department-wide initiative is underway to encourage other faculty to use TBL in theircourses as well. It is hoped that TBL will eventually become the signature pedagogy of ourdepartment. Our experience has shown, however, that TBL as described in the literature(Michaelsen et al., 2004) should be modified somewhat in order to be used most effectively inour courses. In order to share this knowledge with other instructors who wish to adapt the Team-Based Learning approach in their courses, the authors have teamed up to create an online trainingcourse. Adapting Knowles’s adult learning theory (Knowles, 1996), the following principles havebeen employed in the online training course as instructional design strategies: • Adults have a need to know why they should learn something. • Adults have a deep need to be self-directing. • Adults have a greater volume and different quality of experience than youth. • Adults become ready to learn when they experience in their life situations a need to know or be able to do in order to perform more effectively and satisfyingly. • Adults enter into a learning experience with a task-centered (i.e. problem- centered, life-centered) orientation to learning. • Adults are motivated to learn by both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. In this paper, the authors will discuss of how they have applied the aforementionedinstructional design strategies into the practice by demonstrating the development of the onlinetraining course. An online delivery format has been chosen due to two main reasons. First, theprospective trainees are faculty in a higher-education institution who prefer flexible schedules onany training needs. Second, effective use of media such as video clips excerpted from an actualTBL classroom, narrative presentation, web resources, etc. has been suggested as the best way ofdelivering training for the instructional practice and application. It is intended that trainees willlearn about TBL and also have an opportunity to design or modify their own course with TBL byworking on the reflective project as a final outcome of the training.ReferencesBiggs, J. and Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for Quality Learning at University 2nd ed. Berkshire: SRHE & Open University Press.Knowles, M. (1996). Adult Learning. In R. L. Craig (Ed.), The ASTD Training and Development Handbook (pp. 253-264). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.Prince, M. J. (2004). Does Active learning Work? A Review of the Research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231.Michaelsen, L.K., Knight, A.B., and Fink, L.D., Eds. (2004). Team-Based Learning: A Transformative Use of Small Groups in College Teaching. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

On, P., & O'Connell, R. (2012, June), Training Engineering Teachers Online for Practice and Application of Team-based Learning (TBL) Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22128

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