The physics education research (PER) community is a rich source of knowledge for teachers. One of the developments from it that has been helpful for me in my (very short) faculty career is the idea of “just-in-time” teaching, or JiTT for short. JiTT is a method by which an instructor engages students before a class period with material for that upcoming class. It gets the students thinking ahead of time about concepts and principles that will be discussed, and allows the instructor to customize the class session according to the information gathered in the pre-class work. This collection of responses is easily facilitated through the use of email or online programs, such as blog comments or postings to a learning management system.
JiTT is fairly well known in PER circles (and there’s even a couple of books about it, such as here and here.) But my guess is that variations of it are known in other fields. As is true for so many methods of teaching, sometimes we do similar things across the disciplines but call it different names. And JiTT might be an example of that.
So I’m wondering: do you implement JiTT techniques in your teaching? If so, how do you use web tools to facilitate it? Let us know in the comments.
[Image by Flickr user horiavarlan / Creative Commons licensed]