Parrish, Willams & Estis

Leveraging Synchronous Engagement and Asynchronous Flexibility within an Integrated Online Model for Team-Based Learning

Christopher W. Parrish, University of South Alabama
David S. Williams, University of South Alabama
Julie M. Estis, University of South Alabama


The Integrated Online Team-Based Learning (IO-TBL) model is an innovative framework for applying team-based learning to an online course. Team-based learning (TBL) is an effective instructional strategy that engages and motivates students through a specific sequence of individual testing, team testing, immediate feedback, and team problem solving. With TBL, students are accountable for coming to class prepared and contributing to discussions as they work together to apply content to solve real-life problems. This article describes previous efforts for transitioning TBL to online environments and why there is a need for a different approach. The IO-TBL model combines the flexibility of asynchronous engagement with the connectedness offered through synchronous meetings. The IO-TBL model uses a rapid prototyping approach to achieve the goals of TBL and to meet many of the challenges faced by instructors and students in online courses. This article describes the initial implementation and makes suggestions for empirically testing the IO-TBL model.

Keywords: team-based learning, asynchronous engagement, synchronous engagement, online education, rapid prototyping

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