Oral Session 4: Threshold Concepts-Based TBL
Date & Time
Monday, March 16, 2020, 4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
The purpose of this presentation is to introduce participants to threshold concepts and how they can be used to improve educational programs. Many students struggle because of information overload. Threshold concepts help us to address the problems of curriculum overload and cognitive load. Threshold concepts have characteristics of being troublesome, transformative, integrative, bounded and irreversible. Identification of threshold concepts in different disciplines can be used as a foundation for designing an effective and powerful TBL session. This is because threshold concepts are those ideas that learners often find difficult but must understand in order to progress in understanding. TBL is an ideal environment for learners to articulate their understanding or misunderstanding of these key ideas and help each other work toward mastery of threshold concepts. This is because threshold theory recognizes the importance of liminality which is the need for many students to spend time working through difficult concepts before fully understanding them. On another level, threshold concepts can enhance teachers ability to integrate across disciplines, especially those from humanities, social and biomedical sciences. TBL session and application exercises, in particular, provide an ideal opportunity for students to engage with threshold concepts critically to solve complex problems. One limitation is that preparatory work of faculty is needed to collaboratively identify threshold concepts in their courses.