CoADE Conference - Just-in-Time Teaching - Oct 2013 - Jeff Loats


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Short session on Just-in-Time Teaching at the CoADE conference, held at CCD on the Auraria Campus. October 18, 2013.

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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
  • 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?
  • CoADE Conference - Just-in-Time Teaching - Oct 2013 - Jeff Loats

    2. 2. 2 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
    3. 3. 3 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…
    4. 4. 4 In your teaching do you have a method for holding students accountable for preparing for class? 24% A) I don’t, but I ask/threaten really well. 49% B) I use a paper method (quiz, journal, others?) 11% C) I use a digital method (clickers, others?) 4% D) I use Just in Time Teaching. 13% E) I have some other method. (others)
    5. 5. 5 OVERVIEW 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Motivation for change Basics of Just in Time Teaching Quick example Evidence for effectiveness Summaries
    6. 6. 6 PHYSICS EDUCATION REVOLUTION Eric Mazur, Physicist at Harvard:
    8. 8. 8 University of Washington University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Colorado
    9. 9. 9 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)
    10. 10. 10 TECHNIQUE & TECHNOLOGY Technique: Just in Time Teaching Learner Technology: Online question & response tools Teacher
    11. 11. 11 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.
    12. 12. 12 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
    13. 13. 13 Consider a typical day in your class. What fraction of students did their preparatory work before coming to class? 25% 43% 29% 11% 7% (others) A) 0% - 20% B) 20% - 40% C) 40% - 60% D) 60% - 80% E) 80% - 100%
    14. 14. 14 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
    15. 15. 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
    16. 16. 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.”
    17. 17. 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”
    18. 18. 18 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.
    19. 19. 19 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?” Connections to evidence: – Forced practice at metacognition: Students regularly evaluate their own interaction with the material.
    20. 20. 20 THE FEEDBACK LOOP Student responses: • Graded on thoughtful effort • Sampled and categorized for display • Quoted anonymously Closing the loop: • Respond to some students digitally • Class time shifts to active engagement.
    21. 21. 21 EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK Faulkenberg’s criteria for feedback: • Feedback doesn’t work if students don’t correctly perceive the performance standards. • Feedback doesn’t work if students cannot correctly evaluate their own performance. JiTT feedback loop: Clarify standards in low-stakes situations. Allows students to judge whether they have correctly evaluated their own performance.
    22. 22. 22 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
    23. 23. 23 MAZUR AFTER 1 YEAR
    24. 24. 24 ELSEWHERE?
    25. 25. 25 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
    26. 26. 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%
    27. 27. 27 WHAT TOOLS TO USE? • CMS/LMS (Blackboard, D2L, Moodle, etc.) Ready to use, tools range from ok to awful • Free service from Designed just for JiTT, but extra login, and the site has not been improved in ~5 years • Students email responses Easy! Usually overwhelming and awful • Blogging tools (WordPress)? • New tools (TopHat, Learning Catalytics)?
    28. 28. 28 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…
    29. 29. 29 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?)
    30. 30. 30 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.
    31. 31. 31 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: