How to evaluate students’ effort on out-of-class work in a flipped class


Flipped classrooms require students to take responsibility for their own learning outside of class.  Our favorite method for motivating students to engage in out-of-class work is Just-in-Time Teaching. The method is remarkably flexible: We implement JiTT as follows, but you can hack our approach–that is make it your own–in a number of ways.

4 Steps to Implementing JiTT 

1. Select an out of class coverage assignment for students – The assignment can be reading text, watching a video of your lectures or someone else’s, or both through a pdf with an instructional video embedded (click here to watch our 3 min video on how to create pdf lessons with embedded video.)

2. Embed Assessment – Pose 3 questions to students about the coverage assignment- 2 questions specific to the content and one feedback question. For each question, students must include a rationale or delineate the reasoning for their responses.

3. Review feedback before class –  Spend time reviewing student responses to the three questions

4. Address themes in student difficulty or misunderstanding during class time  – We do this using Peer Instruction but you can use any activity to do this, really.

Tips on out-of-class question design 

We are always careful to design the first two JiTT questions in a way that goes beyond fact recognition or recall. Here’s a 2:40 minute video we made that begins with a 40 second overview of JiTT and then provides a simple example of the types of questions we like to use in our JiTT exercises.

Video credits: Embedded from

Two ways to evaluate students’ out-of-class work  

One of the most frequently asked questions we get about JiTT is how we score students’ assignments. We always give students credit (points) for doing their assignments and we base the scoring on effort not on correctness.  For JiTT, we want to emphasize student effort and reward development of reasoning, not just getting the right answer. We provide feedback on the “correct answer” in JiTT and we do grade homework on correctness. Here is our rubric for evaluating their effort on JiTT exercises.

JiTT Rubric

Mazur Group JiTT Rubric

Many instructors do grade JiTT exercises on correctness – Peer Instruction Network member and Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning  at North Carolina A & T,  Scott Simkins recently pointed me to a set of fantastic resources on Just-in-Time teaching here. I pulled out the below rubric by Kathy Marrs (which appears to be adapted from de Caprariss et al., 2001)

JiTT experts recommend sharing the rubrics you will use to evaluate work with students at the beginning of the semester. If you have a hack that you like to use for JiTT, include it in the comment section.


Comments RSS
  1. Bill Goffe

    I’ve been using JiTTs this semester. I tend to use them every 2 weeks or when we start a new chapter. Thus, several classes are devoted to one set of answers. Also, my last question is a bit different (maybe got from Mark and Scott’s book?). I ask, “What did you find surprising, interesting, or confusing about the readings?” If I get a many “confused” it gives me a sense that many, are, well, confused, but it there are only a few, I’ll often mention in class the surprising or interesting parts that students found. I’d like to think that this reinforces the point that I take them seriously. As Mark suggests, I put some of the typical ones on several slides that I show to the class to give students a sense of where their peers are.

  2. Scott Simkins

    Thanks for sharing these resources with the rest of the TTYN readers. The JiTT resources we collaboratively re-developed and expanded (with assistance from Gregor Novak, Marcelo Clerici-Arias, and Rae Jean Goodman; originally developed by by Laura Guertin, Carol Ormand, Gregor Novak, and Andy Gavrin) are part of a National Science Foundation funded project (DUE 0817382) we (Scott Simkins, Mark Maier, KimMarie McGoldrick, and Cathy Manduca) are leading in collaboration with the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College (MN). See:

    The Pedagogy in Action site includes modules on a wide variety of teaching practices, including JiTT. Each module explains what the pedagogy is, how to use it, why use it, and additional examples and resources. See:

    – Scott Simkins (

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