The first step in choosing or constructing questions to use in a Just-in-Time Teaching exercise is to choose learning objectives for the exercise. Once you know what you want students to get out of the exercise, you'll be able to decide on what format of question(s) will best support those goals. Then you can search for existing questions that meet your needs or write your own.
Decide on the objective(s) of your JiTT questions. What do you want your students to practice doing? For example, do you want to use the exercises to
- develop students' critical thinking skills?
- further develop students' quantitative skills?
- give students additional practice reading graphs?
- have students practice some other skill?
- Remember that the JiTT questions should take students only 15-30 minutes to answer.
- The more involved the problems, the fewer questions should be given to the students. Three to four questions is a typical number, and they are usually a mixture of multiple choice and short responses.
- If the objective of the JiTT questions is to get students to read the text and respond to questions involving less analysis and critical thinking, it is suggested that no more than five questions be asked.
- You can also ask students what was most important, interesting, or confusing about the reading. These student questions can jump-start engaging classroom discussions.
Sources of existing JiTT questions:
- The JiTT Digital Library ( This site may be offline. ) page includes an extensive collection of examples.
- Our examples page.
- ConcepTest questions can also be used as JiTT questions.
- Karen Grove at San Francisco State University uses "Virtual Voyages" in her Introduction to Oceanography class. Her content pages and Voyage questions can be viewed at The Ocean That Surrounds Us (more info) .
Writing Your Own Questions
If you don't find existing questions that fit your needs, try writing your own. Your first draft questions may not be perfect, but they'll get you and your students started. And when you have refined them into a form you find useful, please send them to us to add to our collection.