TBL Features & Customisations

A list of TBL features and customisations that we have added to LAMS.

Adding Pre-Class Resources

In LAMS you can use the Share Resources tool to create your Pre-class resources for your TBL

See this video - somewhat old Share Resources version, on how

Grade Weights

You can assign output weights to any assessment activity in LAMS. Therefore you can set the iRAT, tRAT and AEs a weightage percentage that fits your assessment criteria.

Here's how you do this when you create your TBL design:

Note that you can change this weight in the lesson too (see Gradebook).

Here's a video if you need further details

Time Management

There are many many ways to manage time in a LAMS lesson and the way you manage timings in your lesson will depend on how you intent to run your lesson.

For instance, depending on whether you run synchronously or asynchronous, or whether your students are in the classroom or connecting to the lesson remotely.

Scheduling a lesson start and end

When you assign a design to a class, thus creating a lesson, you are able to schedule when you want the lesson to become available to students and when it should not longer be available.

In "Add Lesson", go to the Advanced tab, choose the Scheduling option and the sent your start and ending date.

Scheduling Gates

As we seen before, gates are a very useful way to manage how the students flow within a lesson. One of the types of gates you can use is a Schedule gate, which will allow you to set up a time for when a gate can be open for students.

The schedule time can be set in LAMS Authoring when you are creating your design (in relative time -ie: 3 days from the start of the lesson) or you can set absolute time (on Tuesday at 3AM) -once you have created your lesson.

See how you do this in Author and in the Lesson (see both tabs below)

When creating a gate in Author, you can set relative time (to the moment the lesson is started)

Within each Activity

Now, within each activity, you can control when and how much time you want students to have to complete an activity.

These timings will allow you manage relative timings (ie: I want all students to have 10 minutes only from the moment they start the activity), absolute timings (ie: Everyone has to finish this activity in 5 minutes), grant extensions to students and teams (ie: student Padawan Anakin Skywalker needs an extra 30 more minutes because he's been playing with the Dark Side).

These activity timings apply to all iRAT, tRATs and AEs. See Time Limits for details.

In AEs based on Assessment tool or when using the doKu tool for collaborative document responses, you are able to configure Gallery walks after the students complete the AE.

See How do I use Gallery Walks... in Application Exercises.

Answer justification

In the iRAT or any AEs based on the Assessment tool, you are able to ask students to justify their MCQ answer selection.

Just make sure that you configure the option in Assessment tool authoring:

Synchronising RAT questions

If you make a change in an iRAT question, these will automatically replicate to the same question in the tRAT, so your RAT questions are always in sycn.

VSAs for RAT questions

A lot of the features that we add to LAMS are based on research project we conduct with various universities to test and extend TBL's limits.

One of them in particular is the VSA Project where we added support for very short answers to TBL's Readiness Assurance Process.

AEs: not just MCQs and Essays

Application Exercises are by far my favourite part of the TBL process.

It is where students get to apply their collectively built knowledge in a real world problem. It's also where you will see the highest levels of collaboration and ideas building.

Therefore we, at LAMS, always thought that limiting AEs to MCQs and Essays are rather limiting and we want to use technology to provide other options for AEs.

Therefore we have added AE capabilities to a whole lot of LAMS educational tools:

All these tools are equipped with gallery walks and/or simultaneous release so you won't miss these important aspects of the TBL process.

We encourage you to explore these tools and use the as your Application Exercises. If you require examples, don't hesitate to let me know.

Asynchronous TBL

There might be times where you need to run TBL asynchronous, meaning that your students will not participate of the lesson at the same time.

In these cases, there are a few things to take into account:


While communication is critical in synchronous TBL lessons as well, it is much more important when your students are distributed in various time zones.

Make sure you use the Notifications feature in Monitoring to follow up with your students. Notifications will allow you to schedule emails to students that are falling behind or not participating activity in the lesson.

When you can, try to communicate with the leaders of each team to gauge the general team engagement.

The Learner's tab in LAMS Monitor will show you the individual progress of each student in the lesson. If a student is falling behind, you can email him/her directly from LAMS.

Time management for TBL activities

As we have seen, you can set up a large range of time limits (deadlines) and restrictions on activities -absolute and relative to events. iRATs, tRATs and AEs have their own set of time restrictions that can be configured and changed at any time.

As for Time management, make sure that you set time limits of restrictions in your iRAT, tRAT and AEs accordingly and that these are well known to the students in advanced.

Collaboration/discussion tools

Students will need tools to collaborate and -effectively, learn from each other.

Within LAMS, there are a set of features that allows students to share and communicate with each other that will become very handy in asynchronous TBLs.

Discussion Pads in iRATs and AEs

In tRATs

When creating the tRATs, make sure you Enable discussion pads for each question:

Then, in their teams, students will be able to discuss and shared their answer preferences in the tRAT

In AEs

Similarly, in Application Exercises, you can enable discussion pads when using the assessment tool:

Use support activities

Support activities in LAMS let you have a set of activities that are not part of the design, but can be accessed and any time.

For asynchronous TBL, you can use Support activities and include a Chat. This will allow students to have a chat channel accessible to them (and you as teachers) throughout all the lesson. Here's an example of a chat tool as support activity in a TBL design

You are not limited to just one support activity, so depending on what types of interactions you expect from the students, you might want to add a few collaboration tools like a doKu -where students will be able to share notes, and Mindmaps for brainstorming.

Last updated