Team-Based Learning in an Online Synchronous Setup

Education today has extended beyond physical classrooms to online education, learning through watching videos, reading articles, etc. Team-based Learning, when implemented digitally, allows educators to provide a learning environment to learners, where they learn from reading articles, slides, watching videos, lectures delivered by the educator and most importantly, through their peers. We, at InteDashboard, are conducting online sessions based on Team-Based Learning methodology in a synchronous setting to provide faculty development and training. Our goal is to build active learning digitally, ensuring that even when learners are not present physically, their learnings are enhanced, and they benefit from the cultural and geographical diversity of learners and get different perspectives.

What is synchronous online Team-Based Learning class setting?

Synchronous online TBL is a modality where the educator and the learners are not physically co-located, however they are virtually connected through web-based video or non-video conference at the same time. Typically, learners and educators connect online at specific periods each week.

What are the essential elements for conducting TBL online?

The online session typically connects learners using web video conferencing software and InteDashboard. A key criterion for the software is the ability to break participants into teams. Tools such as BigBlueButton ( and Zoom ( have this capability.

How did we, at InteDashboard, conducted online Team-Based Learning sessions using InteDashboard and Zoom?

We conduct all our online workshop following the Team-Based Learning steps: Prework    Readiness Assurance Process    Applications    Peer Evaluation For our online sessions, we use InteDashboard to setup TBL activities and view results in real-time. Zoom Video allows us to engage learners in a virtual setup and setup breakout rooms for teams to interact. Zoom also allows the educator to travel across these breakout rooms, allowing the educator to get first-hand information on teams’ thought process and discussion areas. Simultaneously, on InteDashboard, the educator gets insight into team performance, how much time they are taking to attempt questions, item analysis/question and performance/student vis-à-vis performance/team.

Detailed Setup to Conduct Team-Based Learning in an Online Synchronous Setup Pre-requisites


Equipment (laptop, phone, microphone)


Internet connection


Software subscription

Class Flow & Timeline

Send out prework through InteDashboard or email or existing learning management system

Start Zoom meeting 15mins prior to the class start time to allow time to participants to settle in and resolve any technical difficulties

At the class start time, simultaneously start IRAT for all learners located remotely

For TRAT, use Zoom functionality to break out the class into teams, to facilitate team discussions. On InteDashboard, teams can assign a team reporter to submit team responses and any clarifications electronically.

After TRAT finishes, the educator brings back everyone to the main room and facilitates discussions based on TRAT responses and clarification requests.

For applications, teams break out into rooms again and submit their responses.

When they all come back in the main room, they are allowed to view responses submitted by other teams and vote for the best response

The educator facilitates the discussions further. An educator may choose to conduct peer-evaluation after completing 2 or more modules to understand team dynamics and team cohesion. Peer-evaluation can be conducted qualitatively and quantitatively using InteDashboard.

Benefits of implementing Team-Based Learning online


Easy management of TBL class flow


Manage teams located in different geographic locations


Builds higher engagement among learners and team-members


Diversifies learning of the learner

Team-Based Learning in an online synchronous environment helps to build trust and cohesion among team members, allowing them to enhance their learning and improve their outcomes through such interactions.

Planning to conduct Team-Based Learning in an online or hybrid setup? – We are here to support you. Write us at: and we can help you setup your online TBL class.

Team-Based Learning in an Online Asynchronous Environment for Nursing Programs

There are a handful of universities that have started using TBL in the online modality. Some of these online courses are conducted synchronously, where students and teachers come to a virtual classroom and interact at the same time typically using live web-based video conferencing. Other online courses are conducted asynchronously, where students and teachers interact at different timing and almost do not meet live. Some of the institutions that we know about are teaching asynchronous hybrid or online TBL, including Augusta University, the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Nevada Las Vegas. These institutions are primarily using online TBL to conduct nursing classes. Graduate nursing programs usually have online components because many working nurses have different work shift patterns, making it difficult to attend physical or even synchronous online classes. This use case will illustrate how most universities are conducting online asynchronous classes.

How to implement asynchronous online TBL?

Every situation will be different and would largely depend on faculty, students, technology and other factors. Here is an illustration of how TBL could be implemented in an asynchronous online modality:

Prework and IRAT on Day 1-2: Students complete prework on their own along with an online Individual Readiness Assurance Test (IRAT). Students may start the test anytime during Day 1 or Day 2. However, once they start the IRAT, they will only have 10 minutes to answer 10 readiness assurance questions.

TRAT and Clarification Request on Day 3-4: Teams complete the online Team Readiness Assurance Test (TRAT). Like the face-to-face and online synchronous modalities, one member of the team will be the official reporter and submits answers on behalf of the team and receives immediate feedback after each submission. The team members can view the immediate feedback. Teams have the option to meet at their convenience to do the TRAT all at one time together or work over the many readily available collaboration tools to complete the TRAT. Immediately following the TRAT, teams can request clarification on specific questions.

Clarification and Applications on Day 5-6: To address clarification requests, faculty could choose to provide an explanation or assign teams to provide explanations. Applications could also be released for teams to work on and respond. Teams can submit responses to multiple-choice or free-response applications. Two additional features that we some educators have requested:

1. Application rationale: Teams can type a written rationale for their answer

2.Individual applications: Individuals could be required to submit an individual response to the applications before the team works on applications. This could be used to enhance individual accountability like the Individual Readiness Assurance Test that comes before the Team Readiness Assurance Test.

Application Reporting and Discussion Day 7: After the applications are submitted, faculty can reveal the answers to all the teams. Faculty can now facilitate a discussion with messages and feedback on application responses. One technique is to require students as teams to comment on the responses of the other teams. The other technique is to conduct an e-Gallery walk, where students can view the responses submitted by other teams and vote for the best answer among them. This is a way to have teams learn by reviewing other team responses and critically evaluating what makes a good response.

Considerations regarding asynchronous online TBL

When implementing TBL online in the asynchronous modality, a few other things to consider:


Orientation and preparation Preparing and explaining to learners what TBL is, why it will be used and how it will be implemented is important in a face-to-face or synchronous online modality and is even more important in an asynchronous context.


Team size Michele Clark from UNLV recommends small team sizes of three or four for online TBL to drive greater accountability as compared to the common practice of team sizes of five to seven for face-to-face TBL.


Peer evaluation frequency Some suggest more frequent peer evaluation, possibly as frequently as after every module or application activity.


Section One university (University of Alabama at Birmingham) divides larger online classes of over 100 students into smaller sections of less than 30 students for more effective discussion and facilitation.

Implementing Team-Based Learning in an asynchronous modality can be hard as everyone is not available at the same time and place. InteDashboard allows educators to set up activities asynchronously so that everyone’s time can be managed. It’s for the team activities that individual teams will have to set up a time where they all can come together to do team activities. Various collaboration tools such as Zoom or Slack can be used to facilitate discussions.

Definitive Guide on Peer Evaluation in Team-Based Learning

Team-Based Learning is a collaborative learning methodology with a focus on applications of course material. Within a Team-Based Learning course, peer collaboration is a big and important component as the name implies. Students’ grades and evaluations are based not just on their work, but also on the work they’ve done with their team. As with any sort of teamwork, it is important to recognize that some students might be better team players and may have contributed more to the team than others. To be able to recognize those who have contributed more and reward them for it, as well as provide feedback to those who could have been better at teamwork, peer evaluation is a useful component that several TBL educators add to their courses. However, the numerous peer evaluation methods available to TBL educators are extremely variant. As a result, it can be incredibly difficult to discern which method of peer evaluation to implement even for those experienced with TBL. To help you make an informed decision about which peer evaluation method best serves your classroom environments, we have constructed this short guide on peer evaluation.


Benefits of Peer Evaluation in Team-Based Learning Peer evaluation is an integral part of Team-Based Learning. But what are the specific benefits of peer evaluation in a Team-Based Learning context? Find out more about the benefits of peer evaluation here:


Peer Evaluation Methods There are 4 main peer evaluation methods and we’ve outlined how each of them works.


Michaelsen’s method Michaelsen’s method was created by Larry Michaelsen, a professor at the University of Oklahoma who was the first person to evangelize Team-Based Learning. For more on Michaelsen’s method see our post on


Fink’s method Fink’s method was created by L. Dee Fink, from the University of Oklahoma. Together with Michaelsen, he wrote the For more on Fink’s method refer to this post: For detailed information on the differences between Michaelsen’s and Fink’s methods visit:


Koles method Koles’ method was created by Paul Koles from the Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright State University. This is a more quantitatively and qualitatively thorough method than the ones previously mentioned. For more on Koles’ method refer to this post:


Texas Tech’s method Texas Tech’s method was created by Kitty McMahon from the Texas Tech School Of Medicine. This approach to peer evaluation is very similar to Koles’ method but it can be more useful in competitive environments. For more on Texas Tech’s methods refer to this post:


Pros & Cons of The Peer Evaluation Methods Once you become familiar with the various peer evaluation methods the question then is - how to choose the one that best suits your particular context? Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the different methods with our post on the


Best Practices For Peer Evaluation Once you know which method to use, it’s helpful to understand what the best practices are for implementing peer evaluation in Team-Based Learning. Read the following post to get familiar with the


Solutions for Common Peer Evaluation Issues Experiencing trouble when conducting peer evaluation or just interested in anticipating common issues? Learn how to solve common issues that arise during peer evaluation with our post on the