Team-Based Learning

Module developed by Scott Simkins, Department of Economics, North Carolina A&T State University, with assistance from Mark Maier, Glendale Community College, and Phil Ruder, Pacific University

What is Team-Based Learning (TBL)?

Team-based learning (TBL) improves student learning through a structured, evidence-based, whole-course framework designed around a

  • five-stage "readiness assurance" process (RAP), and
  • a series of classroom-based "application exercises" (AES) that require teams of students to solve, discuss, and report out solutions to relevant, significant problems.

Learn more about Team-Based Learning...

Explore the library of TBL application exercises »

Why use Team-Based Learning?

Teachers in a variety of disciplines adopt the TBL approach to increase student learning and engagement, especially for students from underrepresented groups, including minorities, women, and first-generation college students.

TBL provides strong incentives for students to

  • prepare prior to class,
  • collaboratively apply economic concepts to analyze important economic issues during class using hands-on activities, and
  • work effectively in teams.

Learn more about the benefits of Team-Based Learning for students and instructors...

How to use Team-Based Learning

TBL requires teams to apply disciplinary concepts to make decisions about significant economic problems. Each TBL module contains two components:

  • the Readiness Assurance Process (RAP), which ensures that students have a basic understanding of key economic concepts for that module, and
  • Application Activities (AEs), which require student teams to apply those concepts in new and meaningful ways. TBL is a student-centered teaching practice, with a minimum of lecturing.

Learn more about getting started with Team-Based Learning in your own class...


The Application Exercises page includes a collection of ready-to-use TBL Application Exercises, including teaching notes on how to best use the exercise in your own class. Use them as-is or adapt as needed for your own course.

Learn more about TBL Application Exercises you can adapt for your class...

References and Resources

The TBL References and Resources page includes a large collection of valuable TBL-related information, including web- and print-based resources illustrating TBL's development, use and effectiveness across disciplines.

Learn more about TBL, its development, and effectiveness across disciplines...

National Science Foundation (NSF) Support for Team-Based Learning

NSF Logo
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has supported the development and diffusion of Team-Based Learning in economics through the following grant: (DUE 1712295).

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