4S Application Exercise

The 4S Application Exercise occurs in the second half of a TBL session. After the basic theory, content and lower order concepts are covered through Pre-Work, IRAT, TRAT and clarifications, the application exercises are where learners apply foundational knowledge to solve relevant problems. This is enormously valuable in preparing learners for real world practice. There four principles of application exercises (the 4S) include:

  • Significant problem: a relevant and meaningful problem such as patient cases for health professions
  • Same problem: all teams work on the same problem which allows a rich debate
  • Specific choice: all teams are force to commit to a specific choice which can be a multiple choice (select the best diagnosis for the patient) or a free response (rank the top three reasons company X should acquire company Y)
  • Simultaneous report: all teams must report their answers at the same time


Teams: Teams can easily submit their response to application exercises through multiple choice or free response questions. Teams can also zoom in on application exercise images.

Educators: Many educators use InteDashboard” to either replace or supplement traditional TBL voting cards. Features TBL educators have requested and we provide include:

  • Online: using InteDashboard” allows educators to easily implement applications in an online synchronous and asynchronous environment
  • Timer and completion screen: drag the timer and completion screen to the main presentation projector so teams can see how much time is left and which teams have completed
  • Simultaneous reporting: when
  • Real-time analysis: faculty can see results when teams answer to being preparing to facilitate
  • Team rationales: option for teams to include a rationale on why they selected an application choice to support facilitation
  • Team member names: mouse over each team number to see a list of names of people on each team very helpful for large classes
  • Images: can be included in question stems, answer choices and team responses
  • Data tracking: application exercise timing and team responses are all tracked and can be easily exported to Excel for further analysis
  • Files as answers: teams can upload files as responses to applications
  • Word limits: educators can limit teams to respond in 20 words or less (for example) to force teams to be concise
  • Grading: for educators that grade applications, MCQ applications are graded automatically and free response applications can use a quick grading template
  • Key word highlighting: key words for free responses can be highlight to support grading and analysis
  • Good answer highlighting: educators can select a “good answer” to support discussion
  • Individual application option: ability for educators (if they prefer) to assign students to answer applications individually before answering as a team
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