Laura Gibbs

15. RATS: Strong RATS.

Blog Post created by Laura Gibbs on Aug 13, 2018

You can see the embedded video here: Matthew Jennings


 

This whole 30-post approach is working out great: I'm halfway through the posts, and I've also reach the end of the first day of sessions, which is a good halfway point also. So, after Kona and the ladies of Broward County, I went to see our own Matthew Jennings who shared an experiment with moving TBL (Team-Based Learning) ; he was working with Dr. Cheryl Robinson who was the instructor for the course. Matthew has made my job easy by posting his slides already and lots of links here:

Oh, RATS! 

(And of course you should check out Grab the big shoes and pile into the car too!)

 

Since Matthew has made all his materials available (the slides are very detailed and well-organized), I can focus on the three big takeaways for me from this presentation.

 

1. Some educational innovations are NOT just trends. I've know about Team-based Learning since I first arrived at the University of Oklahoma in 1999; Larry Michaelsen, one of the people who pioneered this teaching/learning strategy, was a professor there in the Business School, and at that point he had already been doing TBL for ten years or maybe more. He left OU around 2003 or so (???), but he had made a big impression on me... mostly because his students made a big impression on me: they absolutely loved TBL in their classes. And here we are, almost 20 years later, and people are still using and exploring TBL strategies in their classes. Dr. Michaelsen must be very proud of that!

 

2. New  technology makes more and more possible. I was already interested in onnline teaching back in 1999, and I remember asking Dr. Michaelsen if he thought TBL could work onnline. He said he did not think it would work...

[does anybody know why the word "" drops out of the Jive editor when you publish a post? I've had that happen in a bunch of posts now... anyway, trying to add it back in with onnline to keep it from dropping. I've tried in both Firefox and Chrome and same problem in both. That is weird!]

but of course that was back before we had onnline video, social networks, etc. etc. I was really interested to see the balance of synchronous and asynchronous that Matthew and Dr. Robinson used in their onnline experiments with TBL. (I also totally loved the joke from Matthew's son that all you had to do to turn a synchronous event into an asynchronous event was... to add the letter a! ha ha, like father, like son).

 

3. Matthew is an incredible artist. You should check out the link to his slides just to see the circus artwork he did for the RATS (which is an acronym used in TBL) and other circus animals.

 

one of Matthew's slides

He even designed a T-shirt for the event... and I won a shirt because I knew that the winning answer to the final poll-quiz question had to be the one that was the FUNNY answer. Right is good. But funny is better! 

 

So, THANK YOU very much for my T-shirt, Matthew! I hand-washed it carefully when I got home (after proudly wearing it on Thursday), and my weight-lifting rat is doing great. :-)

 

Matthew and Laura showing off the T-shirt

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