2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 2:45 PM


GUERTIN, Laura A.1, ZAPPE, Sarah2 and KIM, Heeyoung2, (1)Earth Science, Penn State Delaware County, 25 Yearsley Mill Road, Media, PA 19063, (2)Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, uxg3@psu.edu

Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) is a pedagogical technique that engages students in course content outside the classroom through weekly responses to questions posted online. After the online responses are gathered, the students have a lecture period where the instructor clarifies any misconceptions about the course material and guides the students through follow-up in-class activities. JiTT allows students to bring in perceptions and ideas based on previous experiences and backgrounds.

The effectiveness of the JiTT method was assessed using a variety of techniques over two semesters. To measure student learning from the start to the end of the semester, a diagnostic test was administered as a pre/post test. This diagnostic test consisted of multiple-choice and true-false questions targeting popular misconceptions about course content. The Group Test of Logical Thinking (GALT) was administered to determine if students improved on critical thinking and logic skills from the start to the end of the semester. Finally, JiTT scores, which were assigned using a standard rubric, were collected.

Student perception was measured using three online surveys. A background knowledge probe was administered at the start of the semester to gather students' preconceptions and concerns about JiTT exercises, then one survey at midsemester and one at the end of the term. An incentive of extra credit was given to students who chose to complete the surveys. Each survey included both Likert-type and open-ended questions. The open-ended questions were analyzed using content analysis to identify salient themes.

Preliminary assessment data suggest that students are reflecting on the material more and also report greater learning. In both semesters, a salient theme in the content analysis was that students felt the exercises provide an opportunity to voice opinions and to hear the thoughts and perceptions of others.