Team-based Learning (“TBL”) for governments

Several government-related entities have started piloting TBL. This piece will focus on TBL in government entities and describe examples of who is teaching with TBL in government, what they are teaching and how it is being done.

Who is teaching with TBL government and what are they teaching

The Republic of Singapore’s Public Utility Board (“PUB”) became interested in TBL in 2016.  They heard about TBL from Nanyang Technical University (“NTU”).  NTU’s honors engineering program had adopted TBL and the team at the PUB’s Water Academy thought that an effective way to train engineers at NTU might be an effective way to train new engineers at PUB.  PUB wanted to use TBL to teach a project management course to new engineers.

In Australia, the Department of Employment implements employability skills training through a network of third-party vendors.  One of those vendors, Australian Employment Training Solutions (“AETC”), saw the keynote speech at the EduTech conference in 2016 about TBL by Brian O’Dwyer [‘Fast-flip and the death of lecture-style learning] and decided to use TBL to deliver their employability skills training.

How to use TBL in government

TBL in government entities largely follows a similar structure as in other environments.  However, both the PUB and AETC are using TBL in multi-day training events of approximately one week.  In this situation, a specific topic or module might be covered on a given day or half day.  During that time, there would be IRAT, TRAT, Clarification and Application Exercises.  In the case of PUB, e-learning modules were developed as pre-work before the session.  In both cases, TBL activities were combined with other learning activities.

Key differences from TBL in academic include the elimination of peer evaluation and appeals.  Both these mechanisms were deemed to be less important in a training environment where the time schedule was very constrained relative to the material to be covered.

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