TBLC Educational Development Workshop Series

Using Very Short Answer Questions (VSAs) instead of MCQ for TBL's Readiness Assurance

Date: September 29, 2021
Time: 10:00AM - 11:00AM Eastern
Presented by: Ernie Ghiglione and Claire Ann Canning

In recent times, as teachers, we’ve been creating assessments mainly with multiple-choice questions -or single-best-answers (SBA). However, SBA questions can give a false impression of students’ competence while Very Short Answers (VSAs) questions have greater authenticity and can provide useful information regarding students’ cognitive errors, helping to improve learning as well as assessment.

MCQ questions are vastly used in TBL. They are very popular with lecturers for various reasons, but primarily because they can be used to assess topics with high reliability and are a very practical question format as they are automatically marked by computers. As they provide a definitive correct answer, the answer is not subject to interpretation.

However, recent research on single-best answers like MCQs has debated their validity for assessment -calling them in some cases “inherently flawed” for certain educational contexts.

Additionally, MCQ question types provide a set of “fixed” answers, in which one of them is the single best choice. The provided answers give narrow the students’ attention to just those options and, of course, offering as signification cueing.

In contrast, VSAs have a description followed by a lead-in question but no “possible answers”. Instead of having to select one of the possible answers like in the MCQs, the students are prompted to provide their own answers.

VSAs are designed so that the answer required is one to five words in length. The possible answers from the students can be pre-programmed correct and incorrect answers allow the VSA responses of most candidates to be marked automatically. Any responses not fitting the pre-programmed answers are then reviewed by the lecturer who examines the answer and might accept it as correct.

In 2019, academics from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Singapore) and Imperial College London Medical School ascertain that VSAs can be used in the context of Team-Based Learning (TBL) effectively.

A study with 200+ students in Dec 2019 was conducted using VSAs in the context of TBL using LAMS.

The use of VSAs in Team-Based Learning has been effective and the feedback from the students is very positive. Currently, both Medical schools (LKC -Singapore and Imperial -UK) deploy online TBL lessons utilising VSAs questions.

Participants will:
- Explore alternative assessment options for RATs

Presented by:

Claire Ann Canning
Duke-NUS Medical School
Assistant Professor

Ernie Ghiglione
LAMS Foundation
Project Manager

Implementation and Evaluation of Online TBL at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam

Date: October 26, 2021
Time: 10:00AM - 11:00AM Eastern

Presented by: Teun de Vries, Katie Crouwel, Amber Burke-de Wilde, Erica Vogelzang

The wish to implement active teaching and learning methods in the curriculum of the Academic Centre for Dentistry in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, has long been acknowledged. Last year team-based learning (TBL) was decided upon as the main teaching method and was implemented in the first year of the Bachelor’s programme in September 2020. More than with traditional teaching methods, TBL stimulates students to participate actively in their own learning process. This team-oriented method prepares future dentists for academic reasoning and clinical decision-making. In the webinar, we describe how we introduced TBL in the first year of the Bachelor’s programme. First of all we set up a TBL course for the teachers in order to prepare them for a new method of teaching. Subsequently, TBL teaching sessions for a total of seven courses were prepared by these same teachers. They received the help and support of four ACTA staff members, the so-called TBL team. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TBL was introduced as an online variant, requiring close cooperation with IT-services. IT took care of the online test environment for individual readiness assurance tests (iRATS) and team readiness assurance tests (tRATS) and organised the breakout rooms. Since  TBL was new to everyone, the TBL team was present at all TBL application sessions, providing feedback to teachers at the end of each session and offering advice if necessary during sessions. Half-way through the academic year, the implementation of TBL was carefully assessed by panel groups of students and teachers. This was then followed by an evaluation by all first-year students at the end of the academic year. Both these procedures allowed for further fine-tuning. In September 2021, we will be continuing with the implementation of TBL in the second-year Bachelor’s at ACTA. The webinar is of interest for those that want to pick-up ideas for how to set-up and implement a new teaching method in all courses of a curriculum.

At the end of this webinar, audience will have knowledge on how to implement a new teaching method in all courses of a programme. 

Presented by:

Katie Crouwel
ACTA Dental School (University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam)
Policy maker Education

Teun de Vries
Academisch Centrum Tandheelkunde Amsterdam
University lecturer/Assistant professor

Erica Vogelzang
ACTA dental School (University of Amsterdam/VU University Amsterdam)
Policy officer

Using Images in 4S application activities for (Remote) Art and Design Studio Course

Date: November 24, 2021
Time: 10:00AM - 11:00AM Eastern

Presented by: Micki Spiller

Even in an Art and Design studio, good listening and speaking skills are essential and getting students to verbalize their thoughts in small increments is key to successful productive end of semester critiques.  My current first year students are coming from diverse backgrounds while in the midst of making enormous social adjustments, and a large percentage of them are international. Methods established in ESL/ ELL language support education will be used as a central component in this session to explore concepts and vocabulary to draw students out and get them talking. This session will share successes and experiments employing images for in class 4S application activities.

Collaborative practice between student teams is one way to scaffold vocabulary to build the student’s communication skills.  Discussions will focus on the topic of listening and speaking in an internationalized foundation studio context, aiming to illuminate some key strategies and differentiated instruction methods arts educators can use to stay rooted in positive pedagogy. Since this will be a Zoom session, we will be engaging in activities using collaborative whiteboards such as Milanote and Mural. 

  1. Demonstrate the understanding of basic and fundamental 3 dimensional design principles.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to use a common vocabulary to analyze, evaluate, reflect on, critique and present work to others.

Presented by:

Migiwa Spiller
Pratt Institute
Adjunct Associate Professor CCE