Team-Based Learning is an approach to learning and teaching that has been used for decades in a wide variety of disciplines and schools. The root idea is that class time will be used mainly for teams of students to work together on authentic/interesting problems. This, of course, requires that individuals students come prepared to make meaningful contributions to their team's work. Read this short handout to get a sense of how class sessions will work with TBL.

We'll have to do some setup to make sure TBL works smoothly for us. First, we'll form teams. These teams will be permanent, for the whole semester. We'll form them together, in a way that tries to make each team as diverse as possible (research shows that diverse teams do better). Second, each team will choose its name. Third, we'll have a sample team-based experience :). At the end of the first class, we'll use the teams to decide on how much weight each course element should have in your final grade.

There are three categories of activities that will contribute to your grade: (1) individual activity; (2) team activity; (3) peer evaluation.

Individual Activity encompasses the TBL iRATs, midterm and final exams, and individual programming assignments. Each of these will be graded by me in the way you'd expect (we'll talk more later about how progamming assignments will be graded).

Team Activity encompasses the TBL tRATs and TBL Application Activities. Each member of the team will get the same grade for each of these. The tRATs will be graded as described on the TBL handout. Application Activities will be graded on a daily basis: For each class session in which we have Applciation Activities, each team will start with 3 points. Some Activities will be point-bearing: teams will evaluate each other's work, with the possibility of increasing or decreasing each team's points for the day. Moreover, I may occasionally assign a team a bonus point (for exemplary work) or a demerit (for things like disruptive behavior or extremely poor attendance) for the day.

Peer Evaluation provides you the chance to grade your teammates. These evaluations will affect final course grades. Students who are poorly prepared or otherwise don't contribute to the team tend to get very low marks from their teammates; students who are well-prepared and contribute to the team's success tend to get good marks from their peers. In our second class session , we'll also use the teams to decide the five peer evaluation criteria to be used when you evaluate each other on your team participation. We'll have a "practice" peer evaluation 5 or 6 weeks into the semester, so that you learn how your teammates perceive you and make any improvements you wish. The "real" peer evaluation will happen on the last day of class.