Trying Team-Based Learning in Two Classrooms

What Can an Anthropologist Learn from a Statistician and Vice Versa?


  • Olu Awosoga University of Lethbridge
  • Jeff Meadows University of Lethbridge
  • Janice Newberry University of Lethbridge


team-based learning, student engagement, reducing barriers to innovation, cross-disciplinary collaboration in SoTL research


Team-based learning (TBL) was originally designed in the context of business education but has proven to be a remarkably adaptable approach. Here, a statistician and an anthropologist compare notes on how they have used TBL in two of their courses, a third-year statistics course and a first-year anthropology course. Their motivations for adopting aspects of TBL differed, as did their methods for researching its effectiveness. In this article, we tack back and forth between accounts of why we chose to use TBL, how we adapted TBL to serve our purposes, and how we researched TBL in our respective classrooms. Ultimately, our contrasting experiences demonstrated the flexibility of team-based learning as a way to increase student engagement, accountability, connection, and success, and the importance of allies in supporting innovation in teaching and learning.






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