The use of web-based resources in teaching holds promise for increasing the level of communication between students and instructors and for allowing instructors to focus class time on topics where students need the most help. Recently, several instructors in our department have adopted web-based “just-in-time teaching” (JITT) tools for use in chemical engineering courses. This presentation will describe three key elements of our application of JITT: online quizzes on assigned reading material prior to the start of class, active learning exercises that frequently employ “concept tests” during class, and “screencasts” of problem solutions as a classroom supplement. Content to implement these elements in core chemical engineering classes has been developed and made available by a team at the University of Colorado, as will be described in the presentation.
The online quizzes include a relatively difficult multiple choice portion aimed at ensuring that students read the assigned text and consider it critically. The quizzes also include an open-ended question aimed at promoting discussion and creativity. The instructor is able to review the results of the quiz while designing each classroom meeting, so that activities are planned in part based on the preliminary assessment. Concept tests are generally multiple-choice questions that emphasize a conceptual understanding of course material rather than a detailed derivation or the presentation of a problem solution. Instead, such derivations and problem solutions are provided in online screencasts, which allow students to work along with a narrated problem solution at their own speed. In this presentation, we will illustrate our use of JITT techniques with several examples, and will also discuss student feedback on use of the technique.
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