A variety of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) research has identified Team-Based Learning (TBL) as a powerful and versatile teaching strategy enabling instructors to take small-group learning to a higher level of effectiveness. TBL employs a series of active teaching and learning techniques to transform groups of individuals into high-performance learning teams. While research exists in a variety of disciplines, a dearth of information exists regarding its applicability and effectiveness in homeland security. The following study investigates student perceptions of TBL in two homeland security courses over the period of three years. The authors provide background on the methodology as well as smart practices for those considering its adoption.


William J. Sullivan

Dr. William (Bill) Sullivan is an Assistant Professor of Homeland Security at Eastern Kentucky University where he teaches courses on counterintelligence, security operations and infrastructure protection. Dr. Sullivan retired from the Kentucky State Police in 2008 at the rank of Major where he was the executive level director for 8 of the 16 State Police Posts in Kentucky. Following his retirement Dr. Sullivan instructed classes at the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) developing and teaching a variety of courses addressing prevention, mitigation and response strategies for active shooter events and other critical incidents. He obtained his B.S. in Police Administration in 1984, M.S. in Safety Security and Emergency Management with a certificate in Homeland Security in 2007, and his Doctorate in Leadership and Policy Studies with a research focus on School Safety and Security from Eastern Kentucky University in 2013.

Ryan K. Baggett

Dr. Ryan K. Baggett is an Associate Professor of Homeland Security (HLS) at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) and also serves as the Program Coordinator for the EKU HLS Program within the College of Justice and Safety. Previously, Baggett served as the Director of Homeland Security Programs within the Justice and Safety Center at EKU. The federally funded center managed over $100 million worth of grants from 2001 to 2011. During his decade at the center, Baggett provided oversight of various United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and United States Department of Justice (DOJ) funded programs. He holds an Ed.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from EKU (2012), an M.S. in Criminal Justice from EKU (2001) and a B.S. in Criminal Justice from Murray State University (1999). With regards to publications, Baggett has authored several book chapters and co-authored two textbooks, “Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection” (2009) and “Homeland Security Technologies for the 21st Century” (2017) and is currently completing the 2nd edition of the critical infrastructure text that will be released in 2018.

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Undergraduate Student Perceptions of Team Based Learning (TBL) in the Homeland Security Classroom

Suggested Citation

Sullivan, W. J. & Baggett, R. K. (2018). Undergraduate student perceptions of team based learning (TBL) in the homeland security classroom. Journal of Homeland Security Education, 7, 1–12, https://jsire.org/undergraduate-student-perceptions-of-team-based-learning-tbl-in-the-homeland-security-classroom