Archived — Just-in-Time Teaching

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What better way to teach the "just-in-time" system of efficient inventory control than to use it in the classroom? Instead of supplying manufacturing materials as needed, though, Doug MacCorkindale supplies his technology students at Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute in Toronto with the skills and knowledge they need just in time to complete a new task.

MacCorkindale's classroom teaching is based on practical hands-on exercises and teamwork to foster and develop the self-efficacy of his students. When a team of students is assigned a task, to design or build a piece of machinery, for example, MacCorkindale allows them to work as long as they can without assistance, practising and perfecting the skills and knowledge they already have. Eventually and inevitably, though, the team will meet a challenge it cannot solve on its own. It is time for some "just-in-time" teaching. This self-directed learning technique creates interest and focus in the students because, faced with an immediate puzzle, they are highly motivated to learn the relevant skill or fact, MacCorkindale explains.