Step 1 - Readiness Assurance Process

A TBL course is made up of a sequence of TBL modules that each contain a Readiness Assurance Process (RAP) [Step 1], followed by a series of Application Activities (Application Exercises) that build in complexity throughout the module [Step 2], and a summative assessment (e.g. homework, an exam, or an essay). A TBL course generally includes 5-7 TBL modules, each covering a core concept or topic area in the course.

Carrying out the Readiness Assurance Process (One class period)

The Readiness Assurance Process (RAP) includes five stages, sequenced to promote readiness for the application exercises that follow.

1. Pre-reading or Other Preparatory Activity

At the beginning of each module students are required to complete a reading assignment or other activity aimed at developing a foundation-level understanding of the key concepts and ideas to be covered in the module.

2. Individual Readiness Assurance Test (iRAT)

After completing the pre-reading, students complete an individual Readiness Assurance Test, typically in the form of a short multiple-choice quiz (often 10-15 questions). The quiz questions are generally aimed at testing students' understanding and knowledge of basic concepts needed for the module. After completing the iRAT, students submit their responses, but don't yet know whether their answers are correct or not. The iRAT can be implemented in class or online prior to class.

3. Team Readiness Assurance Test (tRAT)

After all students have completed and submitted their iRAT responses, the identical quiz questions are handed out to the TBL teams for completion as a team. During this time team members consult with each other to determine a consensus answer. A single IF-AT scratch-off form (similar to lottery tickets) is used to record each team's answers to the tRAT questions. Students immediately find out if the answer they selected is the correct answer (a symbol appears in the box if the answer is correct); if not, the teams consult again and select another answer until the correct answer is uncovered.

Scoring: Usually the RAT scores are a small part of the total course grade.

During the tRAT, the instructor moves around the classroom, listening in on team discussions.

4. Appeals Process

At the conclusion of the tRAT, teams may submit a written appeal for questions they got wrong. The written appeal must include a well-reasoned argument supporting their selected answer. The instructor announces the results of the appeal(s) in the following class.

5. Mini-lecture

Following the tRAT, the instructor may conduct a clarifying mini-lecture on concepts that teams found challenging during the tRAT, often expanding on issues that were uncovered while walking around the classroom during the tRAT process.