October 13, 2016 Keynote Speaker

October 7, 2013 - Northeastern University faculty member Michael SweetDr. Michael Sweet is Senior Associate Director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research at Northeastern University.  He has published and presented widely on critical thinking and team-based learning, including the volume Team-Based Learning in the Social Sciences and Humanities: Group Work that Works to Generate Critical Thinking and Engagement.  He served as the 2009-2010 President of the international Team-Based Learning Collaborative and is now its Executive Editor of Publications. The online resources he developed to support critical thinking instruction and team-based learning have achieved international adoption. Previously, he was Director of Faculty and Graduate Student Engagement in the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Texas at Austin, and led the Teaching Effectiveness Program’s instructional technology support services at the University of Oregon. Learn more about Dr. Michael Sweet here.

October 13, 2016

9:00 – 12:00  Team-Based Learning:  Group Work that Works

As the science to support active learning accumulates, college teachers are increasingly looking for practical ways to engage students in classes of every size.  In this workshop, you will experience Team-Based Learning (TBL), an instructional strategy that both teachers and students have reported increasing levels of student attendance, preparation, participation and critical thinking.  This specific form of small-group learning has enjoyed increasing adoption across disciplines in the last decade.  Dr. Michael Sweet has published and presented widely on TBL, and will be leading participants through a TBL experience.  Upon completing this workshop, participants will be able to:



  • Explain the structural flaw in most “traditional” forms of group work;
  • Identify three important distinctions between TBL and other forms of group work;
  • Describe the four practical elements of TBL; and
  • Begin designing an effective and enjoyable group assignment.

1:00 – 4:00  Designing Successful Group Activities in Your Discipline

“Group Work” has a checkered reputation for good reasons:  it is often a frustrating experience for both students and teachers, and too often produces mediocre results.  The good news is that there are clearly understood principles that lead to failed group activities, and with the right kind of structure these disappointments can be avoided.  When well-designed, collaborative application activities produce a powerful learning experience and level of classroom energy.  In this workshop, we will:

  • Review the principles and constraints that make a group activity successful;
  • Design specific application activities from your own disciplinary content; and
  • Work together to identify the specific learning outcomes that one’s activity is designed to produce.

You  need not have attended the morning session on Team-Based Learning to participate, (though it will enrich your afternoon workshop experience.)

Bring concepts, topics, or materials for which you would like to develop an application activity, and you will come away with an activity nearly ready to use.

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