Turbocharge student career readiness with team-based learning (“TBL”) at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Asia

Brian O’Dwyer, Commercial Founder and Executive Chairman, CognaLearn



Many students are facing a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous (VUCA) job market due to rapid changes in technology and globalization.  In addition, a higher level of fragmentation of diversity in student backgrounds and jobs with short lifecycles and changing requirements, requires different preparation.  However, the majority of higher education still relies on primarily lecture instruction.  These factors have contributed to an “academic to employability gap” as evidenced by the McGraw-Hill Education 2016 Workforce Readiness Survey reported that only 21% of students feel prepared for the workforce compared to only 11% of business leaders in a 2014 Gallup Survey and 96% of Chief Academic Officers according to Inside Higher Ed’s 2014 survey.



To assess the potential impact of TBL on workforce readiness, the TBL method was compared to the traditional lecture method on ability to impact certain workforce requirements.  One source of workforce requirements was The World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report” which identified the top 10 skills required in 2020.  In addition, interview evaluation criteria of two employers were considered as well.



TBL was likely to improve student skills in six of the ten areas identified by The World Economic Forum compared to zero for traditional lecture, five of eight areas for one employer’s interview criteria compared to one of eight for traditional lecture and four of eight areas for a second employer’s criteria compared to one of eight for traditional lecture.



Team-based learning can be a more effective method to prepare students for the future workforce than traditional lecture


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