“Diversity is being at the party. Inclusiveness is being invited to dance.”


That's the title of the winning case study by Gabriella Cagliesi and Mahkameh Ghanei who shared more about their Team Based Learning approach in teaching economics.

They summarise the project as follows:

Last year we piloted a new initiative for a compulsory level 6 course in Economics that totally changed our teaching pedagogy and practice with the aim to make diversity evolve into inclusiveness. 

The change involved going from a "general" group work approach (i.e. self-selected, semi-structured, unobserved, delayed/outcome driven feedback) into a specific team-based learning (TBL) approach. The TBL approach is a well-structured teaching and group learning pedagogical strategy designed to engage students through individual testing and small group collaboration, where tutors are facilitators who provide immediate process driven feed forward responses.

The approach helped to change the group dynamics from co-operation into collaboration, enabling each member of the team to contribute, be listened to and feel valued in completion of a collective group task. This approach enabled the less interactive students (shy, reserved, introverted) to become more proactive and to participate more fully to the group activity.  

The immediate learning gains were evident when we compared the average and standard deviation of the TBL assignment completed in term 2 with the average and standard deviation of the individual assignment completed in term 1, with a substantial reduction of the standard deviation. The average of the White students was 72 in both assessments and the standard deviation went down from 10 to 5 when TBL was used; the average of the BAME students increased from 68 to 69 (TBL) and the standard deviation has reduced from 13 to 8 when TBL was used.

They conclude: 

We believe that the TBL approach is particularly suitable in our discipline to overcome concerns (expressed by many of our students) in dealing with real life economic applications and data analysis and to gain skills that are sought after by employers.

Student feedback was strongly in favour of the TBL approach and they recognised the benefits of the interactive learning and the enjoyable learning experience of collaborating in an inclusive setting.

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