CCD Jump into JiTT - Feb 2014


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  • “Learning technologies should be designed to increase, and not to reduce, the amount of personal contact between students and faculty on intellectual issues.”Study Group on the Conditions of Excellence in American Higher Education, 1984
  • One person: Bad teachers use constructivism because they have a defective DNAAnother: Good teachers have an education background
  • Bombarded:hybrid courses, brain-based learning, blended courses, technology in the classroom, learner-centered teaching, etc.Focus and attentionNo such thing as multitasking, etc.Using emotions appropriatelyA little anxiety is good, a bit more is bad, etc.
  • About ~20 years ago, physics teachers began treating education as a research topic!Their findings were pretty grim"But the students do fine on my exams!“It appeared that students had been engaging in “surface learning” allowing them to solve problems algorithmically without actually understanding the concepts.
  • Was this just at Harvard (silly question)!Data from H.S., 2-year, 4-year, universities, etc.0.23 Hake gain on the FCI means that of the newtonian physics they could have learned in physics class, they learned 23% of it.Conclusion: Traditional physics lectures are all similarly (in)effective in improving conceptual understanding.
  • Enter Physics Education Research:An effort to find empirically tested ways to improve the situation.
  • Jeff’s results: Depending on the class 60-80% of my students do their WarmUps, self-reporting that they spend ~40 minutes reading/responding (very consistent average)Others results come from ~ 40 faculty, ~30 higher ed technology folks and ~10 studentsFor this group:
  • Questions are about NEW material
  • Results for time-spent question: A pretty steady average of ~40 minutes across many courses/levels/cohorts
  • Misconceptions, good efforts, superior explanations, metacognition, etc.Incorrect or incomplete responses are often particularly useful for classroom discussion.
  • Regarding clarifying of standards: Allows us to show model responses that are not teacher-generated.
  • Is this just about new energy being put into an old class?(This is a difficult confounding factor in assessing new teaching techniques.)
  • Is this just about new energy being put into an old class?
  • This is not a “guess what I’m thinking” exercise
  • Possible prompt: Think about your reaction to this for a minute, then share with your neighbor and find a question together.
  • Possible prompt: Think about your reaction to this for a minute, then share with your neighbor and find a question together.
  • Possible prompt: Think about your reaction to this for a minute, then share with your neighbor and find a question together.
  • CCD Jump into JiTT - Feb 2014

    2. 2. 2 In what (rough) area do you teach? A) Humanities B) Natural sciences & mathematics C) Professions & applied sciences D) Social sciences E) Teacher education …no surer way to offend…
    3. 3. 3 Which of these is the dominant source of your “teaching heritage.” That is, pick the one that has contributed the most to how you teach the way you do. A) Personal preference B) The best/worst courses I had as a student C) Education/training in teaching D) Trial & error E) Research on best practices (sorry… you can’t pick more than one)
    4. 4. WARM-UP: TEACHING HERITAGE Thinking about the college instructors you've had experiences with (including yourself), where do you think their methods and attitudes come from? Why do you think they teach the way that they do? ~70% → They teach the way they were taught ~19% → Inside their comfort zone ~22% → Education & training ~11% → Trial & Error ~22% → Personal drives & preferences ~7% → Because of research
    5. 5. TEACHING HERITAGE COMMENTS “I teach the way I learned.” “Many college instructors teach based on how they were taught when they were students which is supplemented by professional development they received at the college where they teach.”
    6. 6. TEACHING HERITAGE COMMENTS “I suppose that it's self-replicating; we teach the way we were taught. We do what we know has 'worked' in the past. I think also that many of us are reluctant to innovate too much because we still have to cover X amount of material in Y number of class periods, and one worries that trying out new things will reduce the amount of time we have to complete what is required of us on the syllabus.”
    7. 7. 7 THE EVIDENCE STANDARD Teachers can feel bombarded… I strive to be a scholarly teacher … Common (evidence-based) themes: • Focus and attention • Using emotions appropriately • Repetition and practice • Feedback
    8. 8. 8 In your teaching do you have a method for holding students accountable for preparing for class? 20% A) I don’t, but I ask/threaten really well. 45% B) I use a paper method (quiz, journal, others?) 11% C) I use a digital method (clickers, others?) 7% D) I use Just in Time Teaching. 18% E) I have some other method. (others)
    9. 9. 9 OVERVIEW 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Motivation for change Basics of Just in Time Teaching Examples & details Evidence for effectiveness Feedback from students Summaries
    10. 10. 10 PHYSICS EDUCATION REVOLUTION Eric Mazur, Physicist at Harvard:
    12. 12. 12 University of Washington University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Colorado
    13. 13. 13 FEEDBACK THAT WORKS “Improvement of performance is actually a function of two perceptual processes. The individual’s perception of the standards of performance, and her/his perception of his/her own performance.” The Feedback Fallacy – Steve Falkenberg (via Linda Nilson)
    14. 14. 14 TECHNIQUE & TECHNOLOGY Technique: Just in Time Teaching Learner Technology: Online question & response tools Teacher
    15. 15. 15 JUST IN TIME TEACHING Online pre-class assignments (“WarmUps”) First half - Students • Conceptual questions, answered in sentences • Graded on thoughtful effort Second half - Instructor • Responses are read “just in time” • Instructor modifies that day’s plan accordingly. • Aggregate and individual (anonymous) responses are displayed in class.
    16. 16. 16 WHAT JITT IS NOT… JiTT is not about … online courses or distance learning. … computer-graded homework. … delivering content via the web. Goals of JiTT: • Student preparation • Obvious communication loop • Student ownership and buy-in • Create a community effort towards learning
    17. 17. 17 Consider a typical day in your class. What fraction of students did their preparatory work before coming to class? 25% 35% 21% 14% 6% (others) A) 0% - 20% B) 20% - 40% C) 40% - 60% D) 60% - 80% E) 80% - 100%
    18. 18. 18 Students have developed a robot dog and a robot cat, both of which can run at 8 mph and walk at 4 mph. A the end of the term, there is a race! The robot cat must run for half of its racing time, then walk. The robot dog must run for half the race distance, then walk. A) The cat wins B) The dog wins C) They tie
    19. 19. WARM-UP: ROBODOG VS. ROBOCAT Predict which one will win the race, and explain why you think so. ~38% ~19% ~19% ~12% → → → → Robocat! Robodog! They tie! Can’t tell! ~12% ~4% ~27% ~35% ~19% → → → → → Good math Bad math Good reasoning Bad reasoning Invalid arguments
    20. 20. WARM-UP: ROBODOG VS. ROBOCAT “Cats rule - dogs drool!” “Robot dog. Because dogs naturally walk more thaan cats. ” “The cat--it won the flip of the coin.” “The cat.... To be honest, I used the resources I have and asked my colleague who is a physics major.”
    21. 21. WARM-UP: ROBODOG VS. ROBOCAT “The robot cat will win. My reasoning for this is: -the dog will run for half the distance, but then walk the rest, which means he will be walking the same amount of distance but that also means that will take him longer to do the last half of the race. -the cat will run, no matter what, half the time, so her walking time is definitely less than the dogs walking time”
    22. 22. 22 WARMUP QUESTIONS • Every-day language • Occasional simple comprehension question • Mostly higher level questions (a la Bloom) • Perhaps any question is better than none Connections to evidence: – Pre-class work reduces working memory load during class. – Multimodal practice (not learning styles): JiTT brings reading, writing and discussion as modes of practice.
    23. 23. 23 METACOGNITION Two questions end every WarmUp: “What aspect of the material did you find the most difficult or interesting.” “How much time did you spend on the pre-class work for tomorrow?” [Multiple choice] Connections to evidence: – Forced practice at metacognition: Students regularly evaluate their own interaction with the material.
    24. 24. 26 JUST IN TIME TEACHING A different student role: Learner Teacher • Actively prepare for class (not just reading/watching) • Actively engage in class • Compare your progress & plan accordingly A different instructor role: • Actively prepare for class with you (not just going over last year’s notes ) • Modify class accordingly • Create interactive engagement opportunities
    25. 25. 27 MAZUR AFTER 1 YEAR
    26. 26. 28 ELSEWHERE?
    27. 27. 29 STUDIED EFFECTIVENESS Used at hundreds of institutions Dozens of studies/articles, in many disciplines: Bio, Art Hist., Econ., Math, Psych., Chem., etc. – Increase in content knowledge – Improved student preparation for class – Improved use of out-of-class time – Increased attendance & engagement in class – Improvement in affective measures
    28. 28. 31 EXAMPLE STUDY: BIOLOGY Marrs, K., 2005, “Assessment of JiTT on Student Learning” ‘Crammed’ in Biology N100 ‘Crammed’ in other courses B students 16% 34% 44% 63% C students 41% 65% D students 64% 68% 71% 69% A students F students
    29. 29. 34 FEATURES OF A GOOD QUESTION What would a “good” response look like? – A paragraph? (too long) – One word? (too short) Make sure the reading is needed to respond (but a sentence straight out of the book shouldn’t work). Make sure a beginner can take a crack at the question Be concrete: – “Explain in 2-3 sentences.” – “Give two brief examples.” – “Explain how you got your estimate.”
    30. 30. 36 FEATURES OF A GOOD JITT TOOL Necessary features: All student responses on one webpage Auto-grading: 2/2 for anything by default. Click to email students from the response page. Your TLC has developed a good D2L workflow! Luxury features: “Frequently sent responses” List of responses is either randomized or tracked Other amenities: Autosave, time warnings, etc.
    31. 31. 37 SMALL ASIDE: TEXT EXPANDER Every professor should have this! You define a short text string, such as “ttyl” When typed instantly replaced: “Talk to you later!” Best FREE tools for Windows: – Texter (simple with some advanced tools) – AutoHotKey (advanced and can do much more) Best tools for Mac: – TypeIt4Me (30 days free, $5 after that. Worth it)
    32. 32. STUDENT FEEDBACK ON JITT From anonymous end-of-term survey: College Physics II, Fall 2010: “These warmups helped me stay caught up with the material because sometimes in other classes, since we are not required to read, I end up cramming the material at the last minute. So these helped to read a little bit everyday.”
    33. 33. STUDENT FEEDBACK ON JITT From College Physics II, Fall 2010: “I appreciate that the questions require thought. It is beneficial to read the material and really have to use the ideas, yet not be afraid to make mistakes or incorrect assumptions”
    34. 34. STUDENT FEEDBACK ON JITT From College Physics II, Fall 2010: “Though I sometimes grumble and groan about completing them, they have helped me stay on top of the coursework. Additionally, my wrong answers have been just as instructive in my learning as the right ones. Introducing a problem, requiring my thought, before coming to lecture, then covering the answer, has given me a greater sense of relevance of the material in several instances.”
    35. 35. STUDENT FEEDBACK ON JITT 315 students in 7 classes over 4 terms (roughly ±6%) The WarmUps have… Agreed or Strongly Agreed …helped me to be more prepared for class than I would otherwise be. 70% …helped me to be more engaged in class than I would otherwise be. 80% …helped me to learn the material better than I otherwise would 64% …been worth the time they required to complete 57%
    36. 36. 43 WHAT MIGHT STOP YOU? In terms of the technique: Time, coverage, not doing your part, pushback… In terms of the technology: Learning curve, tech. failures, perfectionism… In any reform of your teaching: Reinventing, no support, too much at once…
    37. 37. 44 A POSSIBLE PLAN Choose one course you will teach next term. 1. Write two questions for each lecture 2. One lower-level, one higher. 3. Give yourself 10 minutes to write each question 4. Write a standard (1st) metacognitive question 5. Discuss one question at the top of class, and one in the middle. Use the metacognitive responses as break points or highlights. 6. Find yourself wishing you had implemented Just in Time Teaching in all your courses.
    38. 38. 45 MY SUMMARY JiTT may be among the easiest research-based instructional strategies that you can consistently integrate into your teaching. From an evidence-based perspective, JiTT addresses often-neglected areas. Be prepared to find that students know less than we might hope. (Perhaps freeing?)
    39. 39. 46 YOUR SUMMARY For yourself… or to share? What part of JiTT concept/process is the fuzziest for you after this talk? What is the biggest reason you might not give JiTT a try in one course next term? Contact Jeff: Slides: I love talking and working with faculty, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
    40. 40. 47 JITT REFERENCES & RESOURCES Simkins, Scott and Maier, Mark (Eds.) (2010) Just in Time Teaching: Across the Disciplines, Across the Academy, Stylus Publishing. Gregor M. Novak, Andrew Gavrini, Wolfgang Christian, Evelyn Patterson (1999) Just-in-Time Teaching: Blending Active Learning with Web Technology. Prentice Hall. Upper Saddle River NJ. K. A. Marrs, and G. Novak. (2004). Just-in-Time Teaching in Biology: Creating an Active Learner Classroom Using the Internet. Cell Biology Education, v. 3, p. 49-61. Jay R. Howard (2004). Just-in-Time Teaching in Sociology or How I Convinced My Students to Actually Read the Assignment. Teaching Sociology, Vol. 32 (No. 4 ). pp. 385-390. Published by: American Sociological Association Stable URL: S. Linneman, T. Plake (2006). Searching for the Difference: A Controlled Test of Just-in-Time Teaching for Large-Enrollment Introductory Geology Courses. Journal of Geoscience Education, Vol. 54 (No. 1) Stable URL:
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