Team Teaching

What is Team Teaching?

Team teaching is an approach to instruction that involves two or more instructors teaching in the same unit or course. There are different approaches to team teaching with various terms used to describe them. An overview of the more common approaches is provided below.

Co-facilitative approach – All instructors in the team collaborate across all aspects of the unit, including design, teaching and assessment. Students can contact any member of the team for feedback/advice.

Tag-team / breakout approach – All instructors in the team collaborate across all aspects of the unit (including design, teaching and assessment), but implement aspects of the unit within their own designated group of students or section. Instructors only assess their own students’ work and provide feedback/advice only to their own students. Instructors engage in frequent collaborative meetings with teaching team to debrief, discuss how the unit is progressing, problems and student feedback.

Specialty approach – All instructors in the team collaborate across all aspects of the unit (including design, teaching and assessment), but team members are not delegated to teach particular whole sections or classes. Instead, certain team members may teach a segment/topic, or facilitate an activity, within a class in the unit (because it falls under their expertise area). Specialty instructors typically only assess work produced from the sections they have taught, and interact with students involved in those sections.

Basic approach – Involves two or more instructors collaborating to design the foundation or basic structure of a unit they are co-teaching, but then are delegated to take complete ownership of their ‘piece’ of the unit, including design, modalities, texts, assessment design. Instructors only assess their own students’ work and provide feedback/advice only to their own students. Students direct their questions and feedback to the instructor responsible that that section of the unit. Teaching team meets occasionally to discuss how their respective sections are progressing according to the collaboratively basic structure.

What is Involved in Team Teaching?

  • A breakdown of all the academic and administrative tasks relevant to the unit or course and the estimated amount of time taken to undertake these tasks.
  • High levels of organisation, planning, scheduling, and delegation
  • A communication protocol, for all team members to keep in touch with each other.
  • Positive rapport between teaching team members (to enable collaboration to take place)
  • Regular team ‘check-ins’ to keep track of unit administration and milestones

How do I plan for teach teaching?

The figure below lays out the stages for planning and carrying out team teaching. You can adapt these tasks as required.