Michaelsen, the key architect in TBL design, stated that virtually any classroom can be used for TBL as long as the following can be provided: dedicated team “homes”; eye contact within the team; easy instructor access; and noise control (Michaelsen and Sweet 2008). Not all of these requirements were being fully met using standard flat-bed teaching rooms with rows of tables and chairs which were the only non-tiered facilities available for cohorts of 100+ students.
Many of the learning spaces utilised, or designed, for TBL are akin to the SCALE-UP (Student Centred Activities for Large Enrolment Undergraduate Program) concept developed at North Carolina State University and TEAL (Technology Enhances Active Learning) concept which originated at MIT. Essentially they are large classrooms with several round tables and chairs, often with access to a central computer. Unlike many projects reported with regard to teaching space design the team did not have the luxury of planning a bespoke area which would be accommodated in a new build. Relocation of laboratory facilities had led to a selection of old teaching labs being available for repurposing. The design team were allocated a space (approx. 30 m x 7.5 m) which was to accommodate up to 114 people (up to 16 teams). It was envisaged that the space would also be used for other teaching styles and pedagogic activities but the priority was to ensure this was suitable for a TBL session meaning that this design was pedagogy-led rather than estates-led. Emulation of the MIT and North Carolina spaces were considered however the space was not large enough to accommodate the students if tables were included. The plan, therefore, settled on the use of the Node chair (Kuang 2010) which would accommodate the large cohort size and allow transition from individual test mode to team mode, which are essential aspects of TBL.
This interactive presentation, which will imitate aspects of TBL, will describe TBL and the flexibility required in the classroom leading into how the space was designed, how technology has been incorporated and how it is being used. It will also include research undertaken using a post-occupation evaluation survey indicating the impact the space has had on the TBL teaching approach.
Kuang, C. (2010) IDEO and Steelcase Unveil a School Desk for the Future of Teaching. [Accessed 20th March 2017] Available: http://www.fastcompany.com/1660576/ideo-and-steelcase-unveil-school-desk-future-teaching-updated.
Michaelsen, L.K. and Sweet, M. (2008) The essential elements of team-based learning. New directions for teaching and learning. (116), pp. 7-27.
TEAL (2017) [Acessed 25th May 2017]. <https://icampus.mit.edu/projects/teal/>.
Team Based Learning (2014) [Accessed 20th March 2017]. <http://www.teambasedlearning.org/>.
SCALE-UP (2011) [Accessed 25th May 2017]. <http://scaleup.ncsu.edu/>.