Rula Amer
Ontario Tech University


The primary motivation for teamwork in higher education is that students must maintain their skills and knowledge to train for real-life projects. Moreover, it is challenging for the learners to stay in the high-demand market that counts on collaboration (Hunter, 2015; Laverie et al., 2008). Therefore, students must motivate themselves to acquire adequate teamwork skills and drive the focus on objectives (Ertmer & Newby, 1996). Individual interests are not the only intention; it is about working as a team to achieve the project’s primary goals. Furthermore, it is on the teacher training agendas to bridge the gap between what they encountered as a learner and the actuality of classroom teaching; educators explore instructional strategies and materials that provide students with a better thorough education (Donovan et al., 2002; Fitzgerald et al., 2009). Nevertheless, this chapter focuses on two main points: how to construct a curriculum in online higher education that enhances the practice of team-based learning using real-case practices. Second: applying technology-enhanced learning (TEL) to deliver case-based pedagogies to engage learners in a professional reflection in a team-based setting (Fitzgerald et al., 2009). Learners complete activities assigned by the instructor using their abilities and talents to ensure the team’s success. However, the question is, how does teamwork benefit the students, and why do students work in teams?


Case-based, Collaboration, Curriculum, Higher education, Team-based,  Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL).


There is an area where the learners can learn themselves to do work without aid. On the other hand, according to the zone of proximal development, there is another area that learners still cannot accomplish themselves. In other words, the proximal development zone is where learners can achieve with guidance and learn from other adults. Bransford et al. (2000, p.81) explained that the zone of proximal development is the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem-solving adult guidance, or in collaboration with more capable peers”.

The four main focuses for the team-based and case-based framework are: the teacher needs to build real case-based learning, form a team, build a cooperative and encourage a collaborative learning environment, and identify the required technology.

Applying a Real Case-based Learning and a Team-Based Framework

The syllabus must include details; the educators must add details about the team-based learning approach in the course (National Research Council, 2000). Also, the educators should clarify the different roles the student plays in a team-based active learning class. For example, students need to know that they will face real-world problems and offer solutions in a written action plan. Moreover, it is essential to discuss the class policies at the beginning of the semester. In addition, the instructor needs to set a tone of mutual respect for the class (Hunter, 2015). For instance, students quickly notice if the instructor respects their contributions to the class work. Besides, conveying enthusiasm verbally and non-verbally in the team-based approach creates a positive learning environment such as being in the class early and interacting with students before class can set a positive, respectful tone. The instructor should randomly assemble teams using variables considered critical to team success and ensure that duties spread across teams. Correspondingly, variables: might include academic achievement, major, gender, background, personality, and work experience. As Hunter (2015) explained, building a Heterogeneous team is significant as they benefit from diverse standpoints.

Furthermore, groups need to be small enough that students believe the team requires their participation; four or five teams are ideal. Also, the instructor should familiarize the teams with the components of cooperative learning as positive interdependence, face-to-face interactions, individual accountability, social skills, and team processing. Finally, the team-based and case-based framework is a structured, systematic instructional strategy in which small groups work together toward a common goal.

Applying Cooperative team-based Learning

A Concrete Interdependence. Concrete interdependence means that each student’s success is reliant on the team’s success. That is, interdependence is possible by having: shared goals, communicated resources and rewards and complementary roles. Besides, the structure, interactive processes, and accountability help the students become committed to learning, develop a shared vision, and become open-minded. Consequently, students are also encouraged to question and think outside the box. Relying on the higher degree of learning approaches, the values associated with the team’s learning capabilities change on a commitment to learning, open-mindedness and Face-to-face Interaction. It occurs when students work together, and the instructor provides encouragement, concern, and feedback. When can the interactions occur during class time, that is set aside for active learning or outside of class to learn broader teams learn to form a shared idea as they need to develop a particular answer among their group.

Individual Accountability

Individual accountability reflects on the observation; for example, the instructor moves around to observe teams, and students receive feedback on the production of the individuals in the team and the group. For instance, if a previous assignment is given earlier to the group activity and an individual does not complete that assignment, that student might receive a part of the team’s grade. Also, peer pressure acts on the individual that is not completing their duty in the team.

Social Skills

At the beginning of the course, ice-breaking games are suggested to get to know and trust each other. Moreover, assigning roles helps students interact in a planned way and makes them aware of team dynamics. Another example as Laverie et al. (2008) explained is rotating roles on each task provides each student comprehension of the different responsibilities, transfers the commitment to these responsibilities, formulates a feeling of interdependence, and makes students appreciate the efforts of their colleagues.

Team Processing Skills

Educators must develop processing skills to foster a learning approach and encourage open-mindedness and commitment. First, everyone has to feel included and relaxed while discussing ideas. Besides, partners should use constructive criticism. Likewise, team-based active learning help students convey higher levels of self-confidence in their discipline-based knowledge (Ertmer & Newby, 1996).

Team-based Learning Environment

One way to encourage a learning orientation is to utilize authentic cases or problems where students participate in self-directed, collaborative learning. Besides, students must be introduced to the structural complexity of the active learning tasks. Likewise, the instructor has to challenge students with tasks rather than teach sequences of subjects.

Partnering and Team-Based

Partnering pedagogy as Moor (2010) indicated, the educator’s positions in the team-based framework are organizing, implementing and monitoring plans, and directing. Besides, the educators must encourage open-ended, critical thinking inquiry. Moreover, the teacher should be the motivator & assistant. The teacher performs as the class supervisor and learning designer, who inspires creativity and makes content valid. Finally, the teacher completes evaluations and should develop dynamic assessments and change the assessments if the tasks and the requirements change. Similarly, partnering is inquiry-based learning, deliberating on effects via productions, problem-based education that offers prospective examinations, and as Fullan (2013) illustrated, it is a continuous transition.

Connectivism and Team-Based

Connectivism is an essential direction for developing learning applications in a networked community (Blessinger & Petrova, 2013). John Dewey stated that learning could best happen when students relate new knowledge to their lives and real experiences (Siemens, 2005).

Pedagogy of Care and Team-Based

We need human and social means for suitable school. Likewise, focusing on the relevant findings is crucial to sustaining the transformation among groups and individuals. It takes remarkable actions to make a difference in the school system and impact the change (Fullan, 2016).

Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Applications

The role of technology in learning should assist learners with gaining access to learning, content, teachers and peers. Moreover, technology tools should support more effective feedback from others and assist better learners’ self-management. Also, employing the computer and digital technology is mainly collaborative since it benefits learners and teachers by supporting discussion, interaction, and feedback. Further, supporting teachers and learners in developing digital technology is essential to ensure it improves learning, not only focusing on technology skills in using the equipment. The educational organization should have ongoing professional development and support to evaluate the impact of the current technology and its implementation on learning. Identify what learners and teachers will stop doing. The use of digital technology must be a supplement rather than a replacement for regular teaching, and it is essential to identify what it will substitute or what the technology activities add to learners’ experience.

Alternate Teaching Strategies

There is no concrete way to offer the curriculum and demonstrate the materials; it requires various techniques and methods (Donovan et al.,2002). Whether during the cooperative education or involving the technology-enhanced learning TEL. Likewise, thinking equity when selecting and involving the tools to respond to the educators’ and learners inquires.


“Team-based active learning is related to students reporting higher levels of self-confidence in their discipline-based knowledge ” (Laverie et al., 2008, p.43); Gagne developed guidelines that arrange instructional design and teaching; one learning approach organizes the learning process into a sequence of different steps: (1)  Define new terms and concepts. (2) Determine and list the significant factors of the problem. (3) Analyze the problem by brainstorming and drafting multiple solutions using previous knowledge. (4) Critique the proposed solutions and produce a classification of the learning process. (5) Recognize the learning problems in self-paced learning. (6) Maintain and review course material. (7) Produce reflective writing on the team-developed problems; that demonstrates the integration of knowledge and notes to ensure the solution is detailed enough. According to Hunter (2020), Learners who communicate with different people create positive perceptions and establish greater confidence in an equal society. Additionally, a cooperative environment increases the likelihood of working towards ease and compromise and are more likely to hold proportional, familiar viewpoints. Team-based in cooperative environment helps learners demonstrate various viewpoints, critical thinking, decision making, problem-solving skills, creativity, and academic self-confidence. Another example is videoconferencing in school-based plans to overcome intergroup conflict or enhance intercultural education. Another example is webcams, which can be a critical factor in an online setting and increase coherence between post-secondary students.


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Technology and the Curriculum: Summer 2022 by Rula Amer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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