Developing Team Based Learning as a Unique Student-Centred Pedagogy (USP)

The Initative Team

Initiative Lead
Athlone Institute of Technology

Primary Contact
Michelle McKeon-Bennett

Initiative Budget


Initiative Type


Team Based Learning (TBL) is a student-centred approach to learning whereby students work together in the same diverse, self-managed teams throughout a module. In meta-analytic studies, TBL has been associated with better learning outcomes than more traditional “lecture style” approaches (Liu and Beaujean, 2017). Studies have also demonstrated the advantages of TBL in terms of the development of employability skills, e.g., teamworking, critical thinking and self-leadership (Park et al., 2015; Lee, 2018).

This T&L initiative aims to nurture an interdisciplinary TBL Community of Practice (TBL CoP) consisting of lecturers from the Faculties of Business and Hospitality, Science and Health, and Engineering and Informatics. This initiative also provides the opportunity to utilise institute expertise to explore TBL group dynamics by capturing objective biometric data. This data, when paired with observations of student engagement during TBL sessions, will provide an indication as to whether behaviours are present which may lead to increased cognitive load. Findings will inform the design of TBL sessions.

The initiative will provide opportunities to engage in informal and formal learning, including:

• Facilitated monthly support sessions
• Online seminars and mentoring from international experts
• Enabling of members of the CoP to become TBL Consultant Trainers, allowing AIT to sustainably build the capacity of staff who seek to adopt TBL in their teaching (within AIT and beyond)

These activities will also lead to the development of open source teaching guides and templates for both classroom based and online TBL.