Tuesday, July 21, 2009

JiTT-Just in Time Teaching

RIS Dept
Lea Leininger


Big thanks to earlier posters for spreading the word about FREE professional development and July TLC workshops. Here's my summary of a nifty TLC session that was offered today.

Scott Simkins, Director of the NC A&T Academy for Teaching and Learning, spoke about "Just in Time Teaching."

JiTT is supposed to increase the interactivity and effectiveness of class meetings. You assign students to answer a few questions on the topic to be covered *before* class meets. In this way you could potentially skip or skim topics that are well understood. Realistically you'll spend more time clarifying muddy points. But it is important mud!! And you have evidence that you're in splashing around in the correct puddle.

You start class by showing responses (no names attached) to questions. Students get excited to see their info shown at the front of the room. This should be part of an active learning exercise, but I suppose it could be an intro to a standard lecture instead.

Simkins gives the following advice for creating and administering questions:
  1. Only ask one or at most two questions
  2. Questions should be tied to your instructional objectives
  3. Questions should call upon students to use skills on the upper end of Bloom's taxonomy. No asking "How do you get help from the library."
  4. Set due time as close as possible to class meeting time, between 3 and 12 hours beforehand.
I disagree with point 3, at least for library instruction. If you are able to get a professor to go along with JiTT for LI, why not shoot for the moon? Give a reasonably short list of questions ranging from basic to demanding so that you can "cross off" the easy stuff.

Anyway, interesting stuff. I especially liked Dr. Simkins' comment that the NC A&T Academy for Teaching and Learning likes to collaborate with UNCG, hence UNCG faculty are welcome to attend their workshops. If any instruction buffs out there want to supplement UNCG campus workshops on pedagogical methods, keep the ATL in mind. Very easy on the wallet :)

1 comment:

Scott Simkins said...

Thanks for this wonderful summary of JiTT and its usefulness, from a library services perspective. I'm glad that you found it of high enough value to blog about... and only a couple of hours later! Great!