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Jitt In An Engineering Technology Class

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

New ET Curriculum and Teaching Methods

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.849.1 - 11.849.8



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Paper Authors


Nancy Denton Purdue University

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Nancy L. Denton is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University and associate department head. She teaches courses in basic mechanics, controls, and machinery diagnostics. She has held a number of positions within ASEE. She is also active in the Vibration Institute, serving on its certification examination committee and corresponding ISO standards group.

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Heather Cooper Purdue University

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Heather L. Cooper is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Purdue University. She teaches courses in thermal science and machinery diagnostics, with applied research interests in alternative energy education. She has seven years of product engineering experience at General Motors Corporation, and is a member of ASEE, SAE, and ASME, now serving as the ECCD Program Chair.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

JiTT in an Engineering Technology Class


Just in Time Teaching (JiTT) is an instructional approach developed initially to engage nontraditional and non-major students in their introductory physics courses. Some level of control of the learning process shifts to the students. The approach promotes interaction between students and faculty, and facilitates a number of desirable learner traits. Typically, JiTT emphasizes preparation before class, communication skills, and conceptual understanding. Support for JiTT is widespread by instructors of concept-based courses in the sciences, and the literature indicates very positive student response. Adopters of JiTT within the engineering education community are very few, however, with no engineering technology instructors registered as JiTT practitioners as of June 20041,2.

The authors chose to implement JiTT practices in a heavily applications-oriented upper division elective mechanical engineering technology (MET) course, beginning in Fall 2005. Their JiTT implementation and subsequent assessment of student learning are detailed in this paper. Anticipated areas of improvement were student preparation for class, class participation, and number of students successfully meeting course learning objectives. Assessment and evaluation of the results of the JiTT implementation include ongoing tracking of student learning objective success rates, a survey of student views of JiTT, and faculty reflections.


The recent rapid advances in web accessibility, coupled with the identification of active learning as a key to student understanding, provide the framework for a new instructional approach called Just in Time Teaching (JiTT). Beginning in the mid 1990’s, physics educators were searching for a teaching technique to motivate and hold the interest of two disparate but equally challenging groups of introductory physics students; nontraditional part-time students in multi-hour evening class sessions at IUPUI’s commuter campus and Air Force Academy cadets focused wholeheartedly on their future military careers. Their solution was to follow and adapt Toyota’s Just in Time production model to the classroom, resulting in JiTT.3 JiTT involves maintaining frequent student/faculty communication to deliver small amounts of material for nearly immediate use4. In the case of JiTT, the material being delivered is “packets” of course content, and the primary communication mechanism is electronic, typically based upon course management software such as WebCTTM or BlackboardTM. The fundamental premise of the JiTT approach to course delivery is that class instruction should be based on student need and involvement, with frequent student-instructor interaction. Through well-planned pre-class assignments, the instructor gauges student learning need and modifies each class appropriately to address student inputs and feedback.

From its introduction in physics, the JiTT approach has spread throughout many disciplines such as the sciences and liberal arts2. JiTT appears to be most commonly practiced in fields where conceptual understanding and/or formulation of viewpoint based upon that understanding form the core course objectives. Adoption in more application-focused engineering and technology

Denton, N., & Cooper, H. (2006, June), Jitt In An Engineering Technology Class Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--789

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