Faculty receive NACTA E.B. Knight Journal Award for their Team-Based Learning article

 Originally posted on Iowa State’s Department of Economics website:

Dr. Georgeanne Artz, Dr. Keri Jacobs, Dr. Christian Boessen

Artz, Jacobs, Boessen publication receives award

Georgeanne Artz, assistant professor, Keri Jacobs, assistant professor, and Christian Boessen, senior lecturer, received notification from the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) that their recent publication in the NACTA Journal is being awarded the E.B. Knight Journal Award, which is chosen annually for the top article published in the journal.

The award was established by the NACTA Executive Committee after E.B. Knight’s death in 1965, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to NACTA. Knight received his graduate degrees from the University of Missouri. He taught 1939-1949 at the University of Tennessee and 1949-1964 at the Tennessee Polytechnic Institute. Knight was a charter member of NACTA, served as its first president 1955-56, was editor of the journal from 1958-1960, and author of numerous articles published in it.

The award will be made at the June 2017 Annual Conference at Purdue University.

The paper: Artz, G., K. Jacobs, and C. Boessen. 2016. “The Whole is Greater than the Sum: An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Team Based Learning on Student Achievement.” NACTA Journal 60(4): 405-411.

Visit Iowa State’s Department of Economics web post.

The Team-Based Learning award-winning article is available for download from Iowa State’s Digital Repository, The Whole is Greater than the Sum: An Empirical Analysis of the Effect of Team Based Learning on Student Achievement (PDF)

Summer 2017 Offering for Team-Based Learning (TBL)

Holly Bender, Associate Director, CELT, has been offering her incredibly popular Team-Based Learning (TBL) series each semester (meeting once weekly for five consecutive weeks) for several years now. Inevitably there are a handful of faculty who are unable to participate because of conflicts with their teaching schedule. Holly will be offering the TBL series this summer if there is enough interest.  If you are interested in participating please fill out the survey below prior to April 24.

Help us to discover the best days/times by participating in CELT’s 2017 Team-Based Learning Summer Offering Qualtrics Survey.


Demonstrating the Team-Based Learning (TBL) teaching approach in Math

In 2016, CELT visited with professor of mathematics Elgin Johnston and senior lecturer of mathematics Heather Bolles as they were using the Team-Based Learning (TBL) teaching approach in their MATH 166: Calculus II course. The course is held in an active learning classroom (213 MacKay Hall). View the Demonstration of the Team-Based Learning (TBL) teaching approach in Math 166: Calculus II YouTube video.

Math faculty examine numbers to improve student learning (Inside Iowa State)

Below is an excerpt from a March 23, 2017 Inside Iowa State article by Paula Van Brocklin that describes Johnston’s and Bolle’s successes. The full Inside Iowa State web article is available at Math faculty examine numbers to improve student learning,

On to calculus

Over the past few years, professor of mathematics Elgin Johnston and senior lecturer of mathematics Heather Bolles have transformed their calculus sections for greater student success using team-based learning (TBL).
What is TBL?

TBL is a form of active and small-group learning that can be implemented in a large classroom. It requires students to do assignments before class in order to inspire more engaging classroom discussions. During class, students work on significant team projects, applying calculus concepts. With support from a Howard Hughes Medical Institute grant, Johnston and Bolles, with input from faculty in science and engineering, have spent years developing and refining their TBL materials.

Johnston and Bolles assign their students readings, videos and a quiz prior to class. When class convenes, students work in their assigned groups of five to seven individuals, and take the quiz again.

“They almost always do better after the team quiz,” Johnston said.

Greater student success

Bolles said one of the positive outcomes of TBL is that more students physically come to class.

“We’ve had significantly higher attendance rates,” Bolles said. “We had rates as low as 60 percent before the TBL implementation, and now we’re at 85 to 90 percent.”

Johnston attributes the increased participation to students feeling accountable to their teams.

“Some teams get very close by the end of the semester,” he said.

Like McNicholl, Johnston and Bolles measure students’ calculus knowledge at the beginning and end of the semester. What they’ve found is that the students in TBL sections score higher than students in non-TBL classes. In addition, TBL students earn higher scores, on average, on the departmental midterm and final exams.

“TBL lets students be actively engaged in the classroom, and their learning is better for it,” Johnston said.

Team-Based Learning at Iowa State

Iowa State has an active and vibrant group of faculty and graduate students involved in team-based learning. Each semester, CELT offers a team-based learning workshop to help teachers implement this flipped classroom method. CELT also supports an ongoing faculty learning community. After completing the TBL workshop, participants are invited to join the Team-Based Learning Community for additional support from others who are also using TBL in their courses.

To learn how you can get involved with TBL, visit CELT’s Team-Based Learning website.


CELT Teaching & Learning Circles (Workshop Series) Announced for Fall 2016

This fall, CELT is offering 4 different sets of teaching and learning circles (workshop series) for the campus community.  These series provide a structured way for faculty, instructors, and staff to hear new teaching strategies, meet new colleagues, and build a community of practice.  Registration is required via Learn@ISU website.