Just-in-Time Teaching

What is Just-in-Time Teaching?

Just-in-Time-Teaching (JiTT) is a teaching and learning strategy that incorporates active learning approaches. It helps students to engage in learning new material and gives the instructor information regarding students’ prior knowledge and skills about the material.  

In JiTT strategy, students are assigned to complete pre-class activities online before coming to the class. Students need to submit their assigned work a few hours before class starts. The instructor will collect students’ responses and find the areas of understanding and misunderstanding, then develop teaching activities in a meaningful way to bridge the gap. It uses feedback between class activities what students do in the classroom and what they do outside of the class through online.

How can I do it?

The Just in Time Teaching strategy relies heavily on the at-home web-based aspect of the learning. However, it should not be confused with distance learning or computer instruction because this strategy has another main component to it, which is the live classroom instruction that occurs the day after the web-based learning. Here is a quick look at how you can implement each component of this strategy into your classroom.

Web-Based Assignments

The web-based assignments are the heart of the strategy; this is where students will do a short warm up activity outside of the classroom. This helps students to think about the upcoming lesson, as well as answer a few questions prior to the class. In preparing the warm-up assignments, remember they should be web-based and are meant to activate students’ prior knowledge of the topic.

They are meant to serve as an introductory assignment that will help stimulate thought and reflection about the upcoming lesson. Are you introducing a new concept or building upon a previous one? Think about what you want the students to focus on, then create a brief outline to help you create a few broad questions to help you plan for the active classroom activity.

Active Classroom Activity

The active classroom activity is linked to the web-based assignment and questions that students answered previously at home. However, how you structure the active class time will depend upon your students’ age, your class size, and other varying factors. The advantage of using this strategy is that students become more interested in participating in class activities because they now have experience with the content from the assignment the night before. They also feel a sense of ownership because their answers are the basis of the in-class activity. In preparing your in-class activity, gather student responses and plan group activities based upon how the class performed on the individual web-based assignments. Instructor can start the in-class lesson by conducting a brief, 10-minute mini-lesson based off the students’ feedback. Then instructor can start a classroom discussion based on the topic at hand, and follow that up by hands-on group activity.

The Just in Time Teaching strategy can help improve student interest and motivation, it can also help to increase student engagement by providing students with an active learning environment. In order for this strategy to be effective, instructor must have students complete both the web-based learning portion, as well as the in-class activity.

The following link provides more details and step-by-step activities to get started using JiTT in a course.



Who’s doing it at USA?

Dr. Mattson has been working with ALISA project faculty to embed JiTT activities into many courses - get some information from her