Online Synchronous Team-based Learning (“TBL”)

InteDashboard™ is one of the easiest ways to implement Team-based learning (“TBL”) in a synchronous online modality.  Initially, we did not design InteDashboard™  for online TBL.  However, when we started doing web demos of our software where we ran IRATs, TRATs and applications in a live context we realized that we were effectively doing online synchronous TBL.  Since then we have added specific features to support online synchronous TBL.  We have several professors using InteDashboard™  for online TBL and we have run workshops with Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business using synchronous online TBL.


  • Synchronous online TBL is a modality where the educator and the learners are not physically co-located, however they are virtually connected in a live manner typically through web based video or non-video conference. Typically, learners and educators will connect online at a specific time period each week.
  • Asynchronous online TBL is a modality where the educator and the learners are not physically co-located and they do not connect synchronously.
  • Face-to-face or blended TBL is a modality where the educator and the learners are physically co-located for class time.

Online TBL implementation process

We will walk through the key areas of TBL and how they have been implement in a synchronous online modality:

  • Pre-work: Typically pre-work is delivered to learners through an existing learning management system in the form of lecture slides, assigned readings or videos.

Online TBL session:  the online session typically connects learners using web video conferencing software.  A key criteria for the software is the ability to break participants into teams.  We understand that BigBlueButton ( and Zoom ( have this capability.  We have used Zoom for online synchronous TBL for this and it worked pretty well.

  • Individual Readiness Assurance Test (“IRAT”): The online TBL session begins with the IRAT.  Educators can start an IRAT for all learners at the same time using InteDashboard™ by clicking the start IRAT button.  Educators can monitor results in real-time while the IRAT progresses.
  • Team Readiness Assurance Test (“TRAT”): Immediately after the TRAT, educators can begin the TRAT by clicking the start TRAT button.  At this point, teams can be broken out into specific breakout rooms for each time.  At this time teams can work through the TRAT receiving immediate feedback after each submission.
  • Clarifications: After the TRAT, educators have several options on how to address any remaining issues to be clarified.
    • Request questions from learners: One approach is to ask learners to flag any questions they may have either by speaking or by typing questions into the web conference software chat function.  If learners are willing to raise questions this way, it can be a viable option.  Often we find some learners are hesitant to raise questions especially initially.
    • Review IRAT and TRAT data: Educators can also review the “Item Analysis” sections of the InteDashboard™ IRAT and TRAT results screens.  The Item Analysis allows educators to quickly highlight which questions individuals and teams struggle with the most.  The educator can then deliver a mini-lecture to address these concepts.
    • Clarifications function: Educators can use InteDashboardTM to allow teams to request clarification of specific questions.  Immediately following the TRAT, teams are asked to review the TRAT report and then identify questions that require clarification by checking them off and adding a comment to describe what they need clarified.  The educator can then review these requests and either address them with a mini-lecture or assign teams to explain them to the entire class.  This can be done orally or with the explanation assignment feature.
    • Applications: During the application phase, teams will again go into their breakout video conference rooms to discuss and solve the application exercises.  Team can then answer in InteDashboard™  for multiple choice applications.  Educators may want to request the teams to also include a comment justifying their answer.  This will allow educators to potentially have an easier time facilitating a discussion.  For free response applications, teams can upload response as either free text or files.  A few things that maybe helpful. Like MCQ applications, teams can be requested to provide a comment justifying their response.  For free text, there is the option to require teams to limit their response to a specific number of words and also for educators to highlight specific keywords in a response which may help with facilitation.  For simultaneous reporting, educators can click on the “release” button and all learners will be able to see all the team responses.  Alternatively, the educator can share their results screen with learner to highlight and discuss.

We have recently added an “e-gallery walk” feature.  This feature is designed to facilitate discussion of free response application exercises.  After a free response application an educator can initiate and e-gallery walk.  During the e-gallery walk, teams would review all of the other teams responses and decide and “vote” for the best response other than their own.  Like a face-to-face or blended gallery work, students learn by observing the work of others as well as by critically evaluating the performance of other teams.

  • Appeals: similar to some face-to-face or blended TBL classes, appeals can be done with a direct email to the educator citing the basis for the appeal.
  • Peer evaluation
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