Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Just asking about 'Just in Time Teaching'

I've been experimenting in my classroom with some ideas inspired by Just in Time Teaching (and here). I'm intrigued by the JITT approach and would love to hear from others who have incorporated JITT-like techniques into their teaching (or who have considered doing so). I've not been able to locate any examples of JITT in philosophy teaching.

I'd be interested in knowing:
  1. How does JITT differ from the inverted classroom?
  2. A lot of JITT literature emphasizes that pre-class exercises should be open-ended or problem-based. Why not more 'objective' activities like quizzes, etc.?
  3. How do students react to JITT methods? Does it enhance engagement and student interest?


  1. I'd never heard of JiTT, but I've been doing something in that ballpark for a year or two now in my upper-level classes. I make simple assignments, which involve answering questions about key aspects of the readings, and have them due just a few hours before class. I'm generally able to read (most of) them before the class, and often that clues me in to what students aren't understanding, so I can put a focus on that in class.

  2. I do things similar to this (but without a fancy name). In most classes, about once a week, students have an out of class short reflective assignment or reading question, usually on a reading to be discussed (sometimes they are retrospective assignments). They work. Students do the reading, more of them have things to say. And as Gazza notes, it helps get me (and them) clear on where they're having trouble.

    In a large 100-student class (the second time I did a big lecture hall class), I actually did something closer to the JiTT, in which each day a sample of 10-12 students had to write a structured response to some aspect of the reading for that day. (Obviously I could never have all of them do that every day; it was a little work to set up a schedule for each unit, but the vast majority of the students did their little bit.) They e-mailed them prior to class, and I could look through them on my walk over to the classroom, have a sample of student reactions fresh on my mind, and then put that to use.


If you wish to use your name and don't have a blogger profile, please mark Name/URL in the list below. You can of course opt for Anonymous, but please keep in mind that multiple anonymous comments on a post are difficult to follow. Thanks!