Just In Time Teaching (JITT) and Assessment

Thank you again for inviting me back to MDC Conference Day. In today’s session,  I would like to talk a bit about 21st Century Learning, fighting the Google Effect with retrieval practice, Just In time Teaching (JITT), and low stakes quizzing through active learning. Before we begin, I want to remind you that everything we are going to talk about today is already in your memory. Your memory has simply been outsourced. This webpage will serve as your “Outsourced Memory” for the presentation. Please feel free to refer back to it and share it with others.

Reading, Research and Learning in the 21st Century



How Did You Do That?

Teacher Asks: Are you a digital utopian or a digital dystopian? What famous authors can be put into these categories? Read Is Google Making Us Stupid?, pick a side, and support your answer with some research.

A 21st Century Student Does

Mercury Reader is a browser extension that cleans up your reading experience in Chrome. Get rid of the adds and junk and enjoy the read.

Pocket is a free service that makes it easy to discover great content that’s personalized to your interests, and save this content so you can return to it later – on any device, at any time. It’s your one-stop destination for reading engaging content, catching up on your favorite blogs and news sources, and watching videos that you discovered but weren’t in the right place to watch.

Smmry – SMMRY’s mission is to provide an efficient manner of understanding text, which is done primarily by reducing the text to only the most important sentences.

Citelighter is a virtual highlighter that automates the research and paper writing process. It allows the user to find and capture unique facts online, automatically generate citations, and write better quality papers in less time.

Fighting the Google Effect

How much does a student actually remember using all of these tools?  Are students remembering the information? or are they remembering how to get to and parse the information when they need it? The Google Effect, also called digital amnesia, is the tendency to forget information that can be found readily online. People today often don’t remember what stuff is, they remember where it is or how best to get to it when they need it.

In 350 BCE, Aristotle wrote that “exercise in repeatedly recalling a thing strengthens the memory.”

However, seeing repeatedly is not enough for learning.

How Did You Do That?


Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) is a strategy that promotes the use of class time for more active learning. Originally developed by Gregor Novak and colleagues, JiTT relies on a feedback loop between online learning materials and the classroom (Novak et al., 1999). Teachers use online assessment tools to ask students to perform Warm-ups, Puzzles, and Goodfors  The students answers to the assignments are delivered to the instructor a few hours before class starts. The teacher looks over student responses to see where students are and adapts the lesson accordingly. Teachers can also now use the  responses as scaffolding on which to build learning.

How Do I Get Started?

Prior to class, give your students a slightly provocative and memorable statement/question that is open interpretation. Have your students rephrase the question in their own words, and make them take a stand and justify their position. To do this, they will have to examine prior knowledge, consult the course resources, and perhaps discuss the issue with classmates. The goal is to have them actively engage with the content and activate schema related to the content.

Tools of the Trade

Benefits of JITT

  • JITT questions can be reused on exams, and student responses make for excellent distractors.
  • Student responses will help you to beat the Curse of Knowledge
  • You can grade HW for thoughtful effort.
  • You can include metacognitive questions to get students to think about their thinking in discipline.
  • You can complete the feedback loop and provide personal responses to questions this let’s students know that you value them and their effort.
  • Because much of the beginning scaffolding work is done at home by the learners, this frees up additional class time for Active learning.

Active Learning Ideas

Now that you know how to make your Just In Time Teaching assignments, let’s discuss some active learning ideas.

  1. Find the Flaw (Google Drive)
  2. Quiz Quiz Trade (Post it Printable)
  3. Gallery Walk & Talks (Embedding in Discussions)
  4. Roving Reporters (Google Hangouts)
  5. Four Corners  (Any Classroom)
  6. Elevator Pitching  (Concentric Circles Anywhere)
  7. Playing 21 with 1 Minute Papers (Peer Grading)
  8. Top 5 or Top 10 Assignments (Smart Device Research)
  9. Six Degrees (Smart Devices)
  10. Virtual Field trips (Street View or Google Expeditions)

Guns & Rock-n-Roll – How to Rock a Google Search

PowerSearching with Google

Works Cited

Novak, G, Patterson, E.T., Gavrin, A.D., and Christian, W. (1999). Just-In-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology,Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.