Just in time teaching a 21st century brain-based technique - jeff loats - lilly west 2012


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Slides from Jeff Loats' plenary talk on Just in Time Teaching at the Lilly West 2012 conference.

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  • 5-minutes
  • <g> tells us the % of what they could have learned that they did learn.
  • Incorrect or incomplete responses are often particularly useful for classroom discussion.
  • Just in time teaching a 21st century brain-based technique - jeff loats - lilly west 2012

    1. 1. Just in Time TeachingA 21st Century Brain-Based Technique Jeff LoatsMetropolitan State College of Denver Department of Physics Lilly West 2012 “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
    2. 2. Big Ideas in Brain-Based Learning 2Many myths out there… what actually works?From Linda Nilson, we have four categories where wehave useful, evidence-based information: • Focus and attention • Using emotions appropriately • Repetition and practice • Feedback As in all things, evidence rules.
    3. 3. Big Ideas in Brain-Based Learning 3• Focus and attention –No such thing as multitasking, etc.• Using emotions appropriately –A little anxiety is good, a bit more is bad, etc.• Repetition and practice• Feedback Just in Time Teaching plays a role here
    4. 4. Feedback That Works 4“Improvement of performance is actually a function oftwo perceptual processes. The individual’s perceptionof the standards of performance, and her/hisperception of his/her own performance.” The Feedback Fallacy – Steve Falkenberg (via Linda Nilson)
    5. 5. Workshop Overview 51. The motivation for change2. Just in Time Teaching and Brain-Based Learning3. Try it as students and then as instructors4. Evidence for effectiveness, feedback from students5. Roadblocks and bottlenecks6. My summary
    6. 6. 6 The Physics Education Revolution• About ~20 years ago, physics teachers began treating education as a research topic!• Their findings were grim: From Mazur, New Faculty Workshop presentation, 2004• Eric Mazur (at Harvard!) found this:"But the students dofine on my exams!"
    7. 7. How Do Others Do? 7Conclusion: Traditional physics lectures are all similarly (in)effective for improving conceptual understanding.
    8. 8. 8 Enter Physics Education Research (PER): An effort to find empirically tested ways to improve the situation. Many top university physics departments now have a PER research group.University of Washington University of Colorado
    9. 9. 9 Technique & Technology Technique: Just in Time Teaching (JiTT) Technology:Web based question & response tools
    10. 10. Just in Time Teaching 10“Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT for short) is a teachingand learning strategy based on the interaction betweenweb-based study assignments and an active learnerclassroom.” ~ Gregor Novak, Co-Author of the JiTT book• Online assignments (“WarmUps”), completed before class to promote preparation and thought.• Responses are read “just in time”.• Instructor modifies that day’s plan accordingly.• Aggregate and individual (anonymous) responses are displayed in class.
    11. 11. What JiTT is Not 11JiTT techniques rely heavily on web-based tools. JiTT is not about … online courses or distance learning. … computer-graded homework. … delivering content via the web.The goals of JiTT:• Student preparation.• Obvious communication loop.• Improve student ownership and buy-in of class.• Establish a community effort towards learning.
    12. 12. Questions – Practice & Repetition 12• WarmUp questions about (new) material: – Every-day language. – Some simple comprehension questions . – Mostly higher level questions (a la Bloom). – Perhaps any question is better than none.• Brain-based connections: – Pre-class work reduces the working memory load during class, a factor experts easily neglect. – Multimodal practice (not learning styles): Reading, writing and discussion are modes of practice that JiTT brings to the classroom daily.
    13. 13. Questions – Deliberate Practice 13• “What aspect of the material did you find the most difficult or interesting. Give this a bit of thought and be specific in your answer.”• “How much time did you spend on the pre-class work for tomorrow?” [Results: A pretty steady average of ~40 minutes across many courses/levels/cohorts.]• Brain-based connection: – Forced practice at metacognition: Students regularly evaluate their own interaction with the material.
    14. 14. Closing The Loop 14• Student responses are: – Graded on thoughtful effort that demonstrates they did the reading. – Sampled and categorized by the instructor in some way to create a class response profile. – Quoted anonymously in class to demonstrate a variety of aspects: Misconceptions, good efforts, superior explanations, metacognition, etc.• Closing the loop: – Instructor responds to some students digitally. – Class time emphasizes interactive engagement.
    15. 15. Effective Feedback 15Brain-based connection (from Falkenberg): – 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 offers chances to clarify standards in low- stakes situations. Allows us to show model responses that we did not generate.• Closing the loop allows students to judge whether they have correctly evaluated their own performance.
    16. 16. JiTT Web Tools 16• JiTT can be done using many different online tools: – Course management systems (Blackboard). – Free service from the JiTT Digital Library. – Email (hard to manage). – Blogging tools (WordPress).Best features to have:• All student responses on one webpage• Auto-grading: 2/2 for anything by default.• Click to email students from the response page.• “Frequently sent responses” somewhat automated.
    17. 17. Mock WarmUp Question 17Students have developed a robot dogand a robot cat, both of which canrun at 8 mph and walk at 4 mph.A the end of the term, there is a race!The robot cat is programmed to runfor exactly half of its racing time.The robot dog is programmed to run forexactly half the racing distance.Which one wins the race? Explain your reasoning.
    18. 18. Some Brainstorming 18• Imagine an introductory course in your discipline.• Imagine a topic you discuss early in that course.• On the white card, write down one question, of either of the two following types: – A “low level” question (remember, understand): Terms: “Define, repeat” or “describe, explain” – A “higher level” question (apply, analyze, evaluate) Terms: “Sketch, use” or “compare, estimate”• Take 4-5 minutes, then I will ask you to trade your question with a neighbor. Answer each other’s questions as if you were a student who didn’t read.
    19. 19. Generating Questions 19• Higher-level questions (3rd or 4th on Bloom’s Taxonomy) seem like better JiTT questions.• But class discussion is stimulated by both types.
    20. 20. Does It Work? 20Mazur: After 1 year of using active engagement methods:• This is a big jump in conceptual understanding.• Is this just about new energy being put into an old class? (Always a tough confounding factor in assessing new teaching techniques.)
    21. 21. Does It Work Outside Harvard? 21• This method was then used in classes all over the country with impressive results all around.• A conceptually focused class with responsibility placed on students creates improved conceptual gains.• The evidence indicates that problem solving skills are improved when time is devoted to concepts.
    22. 22. Effectiveness of JiTT 22• Back in 2004 JiTT was used by hundreds of faculty, in more than 25 disciplines at over 100 institutions. Yeah, sure… but does it work?• Dozens of publications in different fields indicate concrete differences in JiTT driven classes: – Improved student preparation for class – Improved use of out-of-class time and… – Increased attendance & engagement in class – Improvement in affective measures
    23. 23. Does It Work In Biology? 23• Marrs, K., 2005, Assessment of JiTT on Student Learning In several biology courses the author documents: Improved study habits & preparation before class From “References for Just in Time Teaching”: http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/pkal/justintime/references.html#pedagogy
    24. 24. Does It Work In Biology? 24• Marrs, K., 2005, Assessment of JiTT on Student Learning ‘Crammed’ in ‘Crammed’ in Biology N100 other courses A students 16% 44% B students 34% 63% C students 41% 65% D students 64% 71% F students 68% 69% From “References for Just in Time Teaching”: http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/pkal/justintime/references.html#pedagogy
    25. 25. Does It Work In Biology? 25• Marrs, K., 2005, Assessment of JiTT on Student Learning In several biology courses the author documents: Improved study habits & preparation before class Increased retention rates (DFW from 29% to 21%) Increased cognitive gains on conceptual knowledge… AND increased content knowledge! From “References for Just in Time Teaching”: http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/pkal/justintime/references.html#pedagogy
    26. 26. Does It Work In Art History? 26• Cookman, 2009 Using JiTT to Foster Active Learning in a Humanities Course This chapter (available online) describes Thinking About Reading questions (TARs). His methods, student reactions and lessons learned are all included. The course is History of 20th Century Photography. Part of “Just in Time Teaching Across the Disciplines and Across the Academy” Book Google this title.
    27. 27. Does It Work In Art History? 27• Cookman, 2009 Using JiTT to Foster Active Learning in a Humanities Course Sample: “Summarize in your own words Knightley’s argument that Capa staged this photograph. Summarize in your own words Whelan’s argument that the photograph is authentic. Whose argument do you find more convincing? Why?” Part of “Just in Time Teaching Across the Disciplines and Across the Academy” Book Google this title.
    28. 28. Does It Work In Sociology? 30• Howard, J. R., 2004 Just-in-Time Teaching in Sociology or How I Convinced My Students to Actually Read the Assignment Example question used to force synthesis (2 of 2):What evidence suggests that perhaps we dont value ourchildren as much as we say we do?“One quarter of the homeless population is children.One third of college freshman [sic] are enrolled inremedial classes. Seven million children areassaulted each year. What evidence suggests thatperhaps we DO value children?”
    29. 29. Student Feedback 31• From College Physics II, Fall 2010 (N = 75): Agreed orThe WarmUps have… Strongly Agreed…helped me to be more prepared forclass than I would otherwise be. 80%…helped me to be more engaged inclass than I would otherwise be. 75%…helped me to learn the material betterthan I otherwise would 64%…been worth the time they required tocomplete 64%
    30. 30. Student Feedback 32• From College Physics II, Fall 2010 (N = 75):“These warmups helped me stay caught up with thematerial because sometimes in other classes, since weare not required to read, I end up cramming thematerial at the last minute. So these helped to read alittle bit everyday.”“I appreciate that the questions require thought. It isbeneficial to read the material and really have to usethe ideas, yet not be afraid to make mistakes orincorrect assumptions”
    31. 31. Student Feedback 33• From College Physics II, Fall 2010 (N = 75):“Though I sometimes grumble and groan aboutcompleting them, they have helped me stay on top ofthe coursework. Additionally, my wrong answers havebeen just as instructive in my learning as the rightones. Introducing a problem, requiring mythought, before coming to lecture, then covering theanswer, has given me a greater sense of relevance ofthe material in several instances.”
    32. 32. Integrated “Lecture” Cycle 5-10• Discussion of WarmUp minutes Overall results each Student responses with discussion Questions/extensions from anyone• Traditional “lecture” on topic (motivated by WarmUp)• Learner-centered pedagogy (I use Peer Instruction with clickers)
    33. 33. 35 What Might Stop You?In terms of the technique?In terms of the technology?
    34. 34. What Might Stop You: Techniques 36• The time investment for instructor is large the first time, falling to an extra ~30 minutes after that.• As with nearly any learner-centered technique, the amount of material “covered” will likely shrink. – To “cover” more or have the students learn more… not a questions I can answer for you.• Your actions must reflect the value you place on their efforts on the WarmUps. Do your part.• JiTT (used well) places more responsibility for learning on the students. Students may balk.
    35. 35. What Might Stop You: Technology 37• All technology has both a learning curve and flaws. – Practice with your technology beforehand. – Give yourself “outs” so that if it goes badly it doesn’t cause a stampede. – Find a community of instructors to help you through rough patches (Local? Online?).• Visit a class that uses these techniques.• Don’t reinvent the wheel!• Don’t do it all at once. (“10% rule”, or 5 min a day)
    36. 36. My Summary 38• In terms of content and changes to the classroom, Just in Time Teaching may be among the easiest research-based instructional strategies that you can consistently integrate into your teaching.• From a brain-based learning perspective, JiTT addresses areas that are often neglected by traditional techniques.• Student report that WarmUps make them better prepared for class and help them learn the material.• As with all reforms, we should be prepared to find that students know less than we might hope.
    37. 37. Works Cited• Falkenberg, S. (1996). “The Fedback Fallacy”. Retrieved March, 2012 from http://people.eku.edu/falkenbergs/feedback.htm• Nilson, L. (20011) ”The Mind Has a Mind of Its Own”, teleseminar recorded by Emphasis on Excellence, Jun 2011• Mazur, E. 2004 ”Introduction to Peer Instruction” talk presented at New Physics & Astronomy Faculty Workshop, 2004, UMD.• Hake, R.R. 1998a. “Interactive-engagement vs traditional methods: A six thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses,” Am. J. Phys. 66(1): 64-74; online at <http://www.physics.indiana.edu/~sdi/ajpv3i.pdf> (84 kB). Jeff Loats jloats1@mscd.edu 303-900-2175 (please take a card)