In addition, JiTT reduces lecture time because the session does not need to cover information that the students already understand. JiTT helps students develop meta-cognitive skills, such as self-assessing learning needs, by asking them to identify what is confusing. Last, when students see that their answers were used to tailor the in-class session, they take ownership of the content to a greater degree (Novak, 2011).
Just in Time Teaching is an instructional strategy used to customize the in-class content, such as lecture, to the concepts that students found most confusing; this method starts with a pre-class assignment for students.
In JiTT, a pre-class assignment has two parts. First, the students are given content to learn; this “content input” may be a handout. This “content input” may be a handout, a book chapter, or a website that students read prior to class. Next, they complete three questions. The quiz consists of two content-related questions, and a third question that asks, “What part of the reading did you find most confusing?”
The quiz accomplishes two things. The first two questions ensure the students read the material and understood basic concepts. The third question identifies at least one area that confused the student during the reading/content input. Giving a small number of points for completing the quiz (not for getting the right answers) increases student participation in this quiz. After the quiz submission deadline has past, the faculty member reviews the answers and tailors the in-class instruction to the content that most confused the students.
Many tools are available online that allow faculty to collect student responses to the pre-class quiz. These include RedCap, Survey Monkey, Blackboard, and Google Forms. Each of these has features that meet different needs. The VCU SOM faculty developers are available to help you learn how to use these tools.
Following the tailored in-class instruction (usually lecture), faculty should verify the students’ understanding. A concept test is a short question asked in class to ensure that the majority of students understand the concept behind the question. Asking a concept test question allows a faculty member to take the pulse of the students’ understanding. If the majority of students answer correctly, the lesson moves forward. If the students answer incorrectly, the concept is not understood and should be revisited. In this situation, Peer-Instruction is one way to quickly revisit material.
This is an in-class teaching strategy in which peers discuss confusing concepts to clarify key points. After a concept test is administered, a student explains to a neighbor why his or her answer was correct by trying to convince the peer of the alternative response. This methodology works on the idea that the student (as a novice) can explain a concept to another student at a more appropriate level and using novice-level language, as compared with how an expert (the faculty member) would explain the same concept. After peers discuss their answers, the concept test is re-administered to make sure that the majority of students are correct in their understanding. If students still answer incorrectly, the faculty member intervenes with an additional explanation or a mini-lecture on the key point. Peer-Instruction is often paired with JiTT.
ARS / Clickers
Audience Response Systems (a.k.a. “clickers”) is an easy way to pose a concept test to a class. This polling method is used in the classroom and allows students to respond to a question displayed on the screen. VCU SOM uses the web>clicker product. Software for this product can be downloaded from iclicker.com. Another option is Poll Everywhere, which is free and uses texting to poll the audience.
- What is Just in Time Teaching (Novak, 2006)
- JiTT Module at Carleton College (Guertin, et. al., 2013)
- Developing Effective Questions for JiTT Exercises (Guertin, et. al., 2013)
- Just-in-Time Teaching Digital Library (NSF, 2008)
- Just-in-Time Teaching, A Case Study [Video] (California State University)
- Just-in-Time Teaching: Active Learner Pedagogy With WWW (Novak & Patterson, 1998)
- Just-in-time Teaching: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy (Simkins & Maier, 2010)
- Learning via JiTT Education: A Must For All Medical Schools In The Global Information Age (Kanagasabai & Najimudeen, 2013)
- JiTT: Harnessing the Power of Google Forms (Hamon, 2013)
- Just-in-Time Teaching Explained (Tucker, 2014)
- Confessions of a converted lecturer: Eric Mazur (Mazur, 2009)