Teaching Team Based Learning with engaging blended activities

A Connections Workshop

Engaging students virtually and in mixed online/face-to-face environments can be difficult, especially with STEM activities. In today’s world, teachers and lecturers have access to an ever-growing number of online tools to support the delivery of their teaching, but the number and complexity of tools can be confusing to many educators. Multiple platforms can also be a problem for students who are required to split their attention between complex information presented and solved in different tools.  

In this workshop, we will examine one type of tool - interactive notebooks - that allow lecture material, videos, equations and coding to be integrated in one place. STEM students can use the notebook by adding notes, do their own calculations or solutions and share their solutions with educators. Interactive notebooks work well at different stages of Team Based Learning (TBL) – they can be used to create preparation material and provide application exercises that already perform some calculations and allow team members to adjust their results by discussion and interaction to provide answers to the application exercise.  

Elements of cognitive load theory can help us design these interactive notebooks to reduce the demands of working memory for students and carefully build long-term memory. Interactive notebooks allow for careful balancing of cognitive load, with worked examples being developed that gradually increase the amount of input the student contributes. Interactive notebooks can also be used to provide faded worked solutions. For example, educators can use interactive notebooks to hide a formula but allowing students to play with parameters. This workshop will go through the basics of cognitive load theory and interactive notebooks and put you in the place of educational designers working to improve interactive notebooks for your students.  


About the Speaker

Associate Professor Stuart Clark headshot

Stuart Clark is an associate professor of geophysics at UNSW Sydney. A/Prof. Clark has several years’ experience teaching TBL in science and engineering in higher educational environments. He was the recipient of the UNSW Vice Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2019. Stuart has a PhD in computational geoscience and is a member of the UNSW Academic Board, Programs Review Committee and the Engineering Academic Quality Assurance Committee as well as being the Academic Disability Advisor for the Faculty of Engineering.



This event is a part of the Connections series, consisting of seminars and workshops that provide you with the opportunity to learn from your colleagues to inform your own teaching practice. This year, Connections will align with the Educational & Student Experience themes of “Listening, Challenging, Supporting”.