Team-Based Learning with LAMS

Chelsea Bullock
4 min readMar 1, 2021

Engage students in collaborative work to encounter inconsistencies and develop new understandings.

Team-based learning (TBL) is an active learning and collaborative teaching strategy that enables learners to follow a structured process to enhance student engagement and the quality learning. TBL uses a specific sequence of individual and group activities and immediate feedback to engage and motivate in which students increasingly hold each other accountable for their preparation and contribution to discussion.

The TBL Process

TBL Process
  1. Individual pre-work
    Students are expected to peruse a set of preparatory materials, which can take the form of readings, presentation slides, audio lectures or video lectures. They should be set at a suitable level for the students of the course.
  2. Individual Readiness Assurance Test (iRAT)
    In class, students complete an individual quiz called the iRAT, which consists of 5–20 multiple-choice or very-short answer questions based on the pre-work materials.
  3. Team Readiness Assurance Test (tRAT)
    After submitting the iRAT, students form teams and take the same test and submit answers — on a scratch card or using TBL enabled software — as a team. Both iRAT and tRAT scores count toward the student’s final grade.
    After taking both the iRAT and tRAT, students will have the opportunity to raise points of clarification or question the quality of multiple-choice questions in the tests. Instructors can then address the questions and facilitate a discussion regarding the topics and concepts covered.
  4. Application exercises
    Finally, students work in teams to solve application problems that allow them to apply and expand on the knowledge they have just learned and tested. They must arrive at collective response to the application question and display their answer choice in an e-gallery walk in the classroom. Instructors then facilitate a discussion or debate among teams to consider the possible solutions to the application problem.
  5. Peer evaluation
    This last stage is an periodically used component of the team-based learning process. At the middle or end of the course, some faculty members do a peer evaluation for their teams.

Now that you know how the TBL Process works, let’s see how you can do it in LAMS.


LAMS was the first online platform to implement TBL back in 2012 under the fearless leadership of Paul Gagnon & his team at LKC Medicine.

For comprehensive documentation on TBL with LAMS, see TBL documentation:

How to do TBL with LAMS

  1. Starts with an Introduction This can be a introduction to TBL or the subject it self if you students are already familiar with the TBL workflow.
  2. Then, Team Formation. There are many ways to create teams or reuse teams from previous lessons, we’ll cover this shortly. Teams formation uses the group activity in LAMS.
  3. Followed by at Gate A gate to control the student’s flow. By using gates allows you to control when students can begin an activity. Gates give you the overall management of students’s flow in the lesson. You will see a few gates in the design, these gates will help you to decide when students should begin or finish different activities.
  4. Next, it’s the iRAT The Individual Readiness Assurance Test (iRAT) is where the students will take the RAT questions individually.
  5. Leader selection The Leader Selection activity, where students get to discuss and select who will be the person that will act a “leader” for the group. This person will be the one that select and write the answer on behalf of the team. The reason we put this as a separate activity is because we want the students to understand the importance of the role, not just as a mere note taker, but as a person that commits the team to a consensus answers, encourage other team members to participate and also importantly, keep track of time.
  6. tRAT Then we are up to the tRAT or Team Readiness Assurance Test -which contains the same questions as the iRAT but now to be answered as a team. In the tRAT the team leader will answer the questions on behalf of the team and also might raise challenges or burning questions when the team feels that clarification or further details on the subject is required.
  7. One or more Application Exercises According to the learning outcomes to be covered in your TBL design, you might have one or more Application Exercises. These AEs are real and authentic cases where students in their own teams will get to apply and expand on the knowledge they have just learned and tested previously (in the iRAT and tRAT).
  8. Periodically, TBL might use a Self & Peer Review activity This stage is an periodical component of the team-based learning process. Usually used at the middle or end of the course, .
  9. Final reflection This is technically not part of the TBL process, but it’s encouraged. In this activity, students are asked to reflect on their key learning points covered by the lesson. This reflections aim to solidify key learning concepts for the students and can later be reviewed by them as preparation for other assessments/exams.

Click here to experience this lesson

For a step by step run of the learning design or to download it and adapt it to your own teaching, take a look at this card:



Chelsea Bullock

I’m a Communication Manager and Outreach Officer at LAMS (Learning Designer App).