Thursday, January 26, 2017

1st week of TBL

TBL (Team Based Learning) is a teaching method that was developed by Larry Michaelson in 1979 when his class size tripled from 40 students to 120 students.

The method is simply an efficient way to get the students prepared and engaged in class. First of all, the professor assigns homework that you need to prepare for. Your preparation for the class is then tested individually by iRAT (Individual Readiness Assurance Test), which is followed by gRAT (Group Readiness Assurance Test). This means that the test questions are first tackled on your own, then with your teammates. Next, there is tAPP (Team Application), where each team is handed out a set of questions that the team should solve together by applying what you have learned during iRAT/gRAT. The questions should be Significant, Same, Specific, and reporting of the answers need to be done Simultaneously (4S) to facilitate rich discussion among teams.

That's basically a summary of the learning environment I was in for the past 1 week and it will go on for another 3 weeks before we do our clinicals.

I volunteered to be our group leader, so I felt extra responsibility and pressure to be well prepared for class. This was a tough task because the reading material each day is minimum 70 pages, so in order to really understand the material I needed to be extremely efficient with my time, which I'm not so good at...

The professor distributes team members equally according to grades, gender ratio and other factors. Since my grades aren't so stellar I pretty much knew that most of the teammates had better grades than me. This was also a stress factor for me since I'm someone who needs confidence and self-belief to be able to effectively lead and facilitate the group.

Whenever our team had a difficulty solving a problem, I felt the responsibility to act as a tie-breaker. Several times we would have situations where 3 members would vote for A and 3 (including me) would vote for B. In these situations I would ask multiple times for further opinion, and when time ran out without a conclusion I stepped up to make the final decision. It would have been awesome if we got the questions right through my lead... but my decisions led the team losing points. This would devastate me and make me feel like I was an incapable leader.

I feel like the answer to this problem is 1. study harder so that you can actually come up with better answers. 2. give up the vote during ties.

I am an outgoing person and love to make suggestions, and I admit that sometimes I can get passionate. I feel like the role of a leader is to make harmony not to only lead the team to good results. I feel like it is my duty to take this team on a smooth ride so that in the end I can hear from them that this was an enjoyable experience. Hence, I am determined to be more yielding and attentive to my colleagues' needs and lessen my urge to take responsibility for everything. I should try to encourage discussions so that the team could come up with an answer and make sure that even the quiet ones speak up. After all, the responsibility is "ours" not just "mine."

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