CETL—For Faculty

The Learning Library @ CETL

There are three VERY useful books in the Rush Rhees Library that are a good start:

Anderson, L.W. and Krathwohl, D. (eds) (2001) A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessment: A revision of Bloom's taxonomy of educational objectives. Longman: New York.

Edwards, H, Smith, B. and Webb, G. (eds) (2001) Lecturing: Case studies, experience and practice. Kogan Page: London.

Ramsden, P. (1996) Learning to Teach in Higher Education. Routledge: London.

John Biggs' seminal work, Teaching for Quality Learning: What the Student Does, is also available as an electronic resource.

In the CETL Library (2-143 Dewey Hall):

Ambrose, S.A., Bridges, M.W., DiPietro, M., Lovett, M.C. and Norman, M.K. (2010) How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Any conversation about effective teaching must begin with a consideration of how students learn. However, instructors may find a gap between resources that focus on the technical research on learning and those that provide practical classroom strategies. This book provides the bridge for such a gap. In this volume, the authors present seven general principles of learning, distilled from the research literature as well as from twenty-seven years of experience working one-on-one with college faculty. They have drawn on research from a breadth of perspectives (cognitive, developmental, and social psychology; educational research; anthropology; demographics; and organizational behavior) to identify a set of key principles underlying learning—from how effective organization enhances retrieval and use of information to what impacts motivation. These principles provide instructors with an understanding of student learning that can help them see why certain teaching approaches are or are not supporting student learning, generate or refine teaching approaches and strategies that more effectively foster student learning in specific contexts, and transfer and apply these principles to new courses. For anyone who wants to improve his or her students' learning, it is crucial to understand how that learning works and how to best foster it. This vital resource is grounded in learning theory and based on research evidence, while being easy to understand and apply to college teaching.

Badenhorst, C. (2007) Research Writing: Breaking the Barriers. van Schaik: Pretoria.

This is a book for those who regularly write documents based on research. If you find your writing is stale and you are unable to improve it, or you are trying to understand why you cannot finish a paper, or perhaps you are feeling jaded and disillusioned with the environment of 'publish or perish' and would like to gain a sense of control, enjoyment, and inspiration from doing research and publishing, then this is the book for you. While it is conceptualised around qualitative research writing in an academic context, the book focuses on generating quality ideas, demystifying the writing process, and breaking the barriers of real and imagined writing restrictions. Any researcher can benefit from this creative adventure.

The book links theory and practice through sets of practical activities. Each of these is designed to take you through the entire process of writing a research paper. Activities for postgraduate dissertation writers are also included. Topics covered include writing in an academic discourse, developing a writer's identity, finding time to write, conceptualizing research, creativity and research, and writing with energy and style.

Barkley, E.F. (2010) Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Keeping students involved, motivated, and actively learning is challenging educators across the country, yet good advice on how to accomplish this has not been readily available. This book is a comprehensive resource that offers college teachers a dynamic model for engaging students and includes over one hundred tips, strategies, and techniques that have been proven to help teachers from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions motivate and connect with their students. The ready-to-use format shows how to apply each of the book's techniques in the classroom and includes purpose, preparation, procedures, examples, online implementation, variations and extensions, observations and advice, and key resources.

Bean, J.C. (2011) Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking and Active Learning in the Classroom. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Teaching for critical thinking, especially in a way that fosters student engagement and active learning, is even more important today than ever. In this revised and updated edition, John Bean offers a practical guide for designing writing and critical thinking activities and incorporating them into courses across all disciplines in ways that stimulate inquiry, exploration, discussion, and debate. In this book, he integrates recent pedagogical research, brings rhetorical theory to bear on writing in the disciplines, addresses quantitative and scientific literacy, advocates a new approach to the research paper, includes activities for online and blended learning environments, and offers new ideas for transformative assessment of student learning.

Becher, T. and Trowler, P.R (2001) Academic Tribes and Territories: Intellectual Enquiry and the Culture of Disciplines. The Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press: Buckingham.

How do academics perceive themselves and colleagues in their own disciplines, and how do they rate those in other subjects? How closely related are their intellectual tasks and their ways of organizing their professional lives? What are the interconnections between academic cultures and the nature of disciplines? This book maps academic knowledge and explores the diverse characteristics of those who inhabit and cultivate it.

 Berk, R.A. (2006) Thirteen Strategies to Measure College Teaching. Stylus: Virginia.

To many college professors, the words student evaluations trigger mental images of the shower scene from Psycho, with those bloodcurdling screams. They're thinking 'Why not just whack me now, rather than wait to see those ratings again?' This book takes off from the premise that student ratings are a necessary, but not sufficient, source of evidence for measuring teaching effectiveness. It is a fun-filled—but solidly evidence-based—romp through more than a dozen other methods that include measurement by self, peers, outside experts, alumni, administrators, employers, and even extraterrestrials. As the major stakeholders in this process, both faculty AND administrators, plus clinicians who teach in schools of medicine, and the allied health fields, need to be informed about the strengths and weaknesses of the various scales used to measure teaching performance. This is the first basic introduction in the faculty evaluation literature to take you step-by-step through the 'Top Secret' process to develop these tools, interpret their scores, and make decisions about teaching improvement, annual contract renewal/dismissal, merit pay, promotion, and tenure. 

Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2009) Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Third Edition. Society for Research into Higher Education & Open University Press: Berkshire.

The book focuses on implementing a constructively aligned outcomes-based model at both classroom and institutional level. The theory, which is now used worldwide as a framework for good teaching and assessment, is shown to:

  • Assist university teachers who wish to improve the quality of their own teaching, their students' learning, and their assessment of learning outcomes;
  • Aid staff developers in providing support for teachers;
  • Provide a framework for administrators interested in quality assurance and enhancement of teaching across the whole university.

The book's 'how to' approach addresses several important issues: designing high level outcomes, the learning activities most likely to achieve them in small and large classes, and appropriate assessment and grading procedures. It is an accessible, jargon-free guide for all university teachers interested in enhancing their teaching and their students' learning, and for administrators and teaching developers who are involved in teaching-related decisions on an institution-wide basis.

Brophy, J. (2010) Motivating Students to Learn. Routledge: New York.

Written specifically for teachers, this book offers a wealth of research-based principles for motivation students to learn. Its focus on motivational principles rather than motivation theorists or theories leads naturally into discussion of specific classroom strategies. Throughout the book, these principles and strategies are tied to the realities of contemporary schools (e.g. curriculum goals) and classrooms (e.g. student differences, classroom dynamics). The author employs an eclectic approach to motivation that shows how to effectively integrate the use of extrinsic and intrinsic strategies. Guidelines are provided for adapting motivational principles to group and individual differences and for doing 'repair work' with students who have become discouraged or disaffected learners.

Burgstahler, S.E. and Cory, R.C. (2010) Universal Design in Higher Education: From Principles to Practice. Harvard Education Press: Cambridge.

This is a comprehensive guide for researchers and practitioners on creating fully accessible college and university programs. As greater numbers of students with disabilities attend postsecondary institutions, administrators have expressed increased interest in making their programs accessible to all students. This book provides both the theoretical and practical guidance for schools as they work to turn this admirable goal into a reality, thereby making a crucial contribution to the growing body of literature on special education and universal design. It looks at the design of physical and technological environments of institutions of higher education, at issues pertaining to curriculum and instruction, and at the full array of student services. It concludes with a thorough consideration of how to institutionalize universal design at higher education institutions.

Entwistle, N. (2009) Teaching for Understanding at University: Deep Approaches and Distinctive Ways of Thinking. Palgrave Macmillan: Hampshire.

The nature of teaching at university is changing rapidly. As a result, university teachers are constantly called upon to re-evaluate the most efficient, effective, and appropriate ways of teaching their subject areas. This book explores, through research findings and professional experience, how university teaching influences student learning. Instead of focusing simply on teaching methods, it provides a critical consideration of why certain approaches are more likely than others to lead students towards more personally satisfying and academically acceptable understandings of the subject.

Drawing on a wide range of research, the book presents a new way of thinking about university teaching that takes serious account of the differences between subject areas in higher education. It argues that there is an inner logic of the subject and its pedagogy linking specific disciplinary aims with the teaching most likely to support them, and shows how students' experiences can be used to guide effective teaching.

Fink, L.D. (2003) Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses. Josset-Bass: San Francisco.

Dee Fink poses a fundamental question for all teachers: "How can I create courses that will provide significant learning experiences for my students?" In the process of addressing this question, he urges teachers to shift from a content-centered approach to a learning-centered approach that asks "What kinds of learning will be significant for students, and how can I create a course that will result in that kind of learning?" Fink provides several conceptual and procedural tools that will be invaluable for all teachers when designing instruction. He takes important existing ideas in the literature on college teaching (active learning, educative assessment), adds some new ideas (a taxonomy of significant learning, the concept of a teaching strategy), and shows how to systematically combine these in a way that results in powerful learning experiences for students. Acquiring a deeper understanding of the design process will empower teachers to creative design courses for significant learning in a variety of situations. The book also offers valuable recommendations on what various organizations in higher education can do to more effectively support better teaching. Based on the six key needs of faculty interested in changing the way they teach, Fink identifies several specific actions for decision makers in colleges and universities, accrediting agencies, funding agencies, journals on teaching and disciplinary associations.

Grunert O'Brein, J., Millis, B.J. and Cohen, M.W. (2008) The Course Syllabus: A Learning-Centred Approach. Jossey Bass: San Francisco.

Creating a well-crafted syllabus is the first step in helping students to understand the goals of a course, their responsibilities and the criteria that will be used to evaluate their performance. This book covers all of these issues within the context of (1) today's students, including 'millenials' and nontraditionals; (2) current and emerging campus technologies which offer, among other innovations, course management systems for online and hybrid delivery; and (3) contemporary faculty goals to nurture lifelong learners, teach students how to learn, assess learning outcomes, and prepare students for a changing workplace.

National Research Council (2000) How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. National Academy Press: Washington DC.

When do infants begin to learn? How do experts learn and how is this different from nonexperts? What can teachers and schools do—with curricula, classroom settings, and teaching methods—to help children learn most effectively? This book offers exciting new research about the mind, the brain, and the process of learning that provides answers to these and other questions. New information from many branches of science has significantly added to our understanding of what it means to know, from the neural processes that occur during learning to the influence of culture on what people see and absorb.

The book examines these findings and their implications for what we teach, how we teach it, and how we assess what our children—and adults—learn. Newly expanded to show how theories and insights can translate into actions and practice, How People Learn makes a real connection between classroom activities and learning behavior.

Newkirk, T. (ed) (1993) Nuts & Bolts: A practical guide to teaching college composition. Boynton/Cook Publishers Inc: New Hampshire.

"Teaching is a strange profession," Thomas Newkirk writes in the introduction to this book, "because even as a beginner you are often expected to do everything—plan the syllabus, develop daily plans, confer with students, and grade their work." It is no wonder, then, that teachers 'steal' from each other all the time, swapping ideas around the water cooler between classes. Often, this oral culture is the primary form of instruction for new teachers. In this book, Newkirk details the evolution of one college writing program, the University of New Hampshire's. He draws heavily from the oral culture—or 'lore'—of the program. Then seven experienced practitioners (the ones who were stolen from most often) contribute chapters addressing issues with which beginning writing teachers often struggle: How can I sequence a writing course? How can in-class writing exercises develop writing skills? What is the place of reading in a writing course? What is my role in writing conferences? How can I help students self-evaluate? How can I teach editing? How should I grade? This book deals with these questions in a lucid, jargon-free and specific way. While filled with examples of student work and classroom exercises, it is more than a sampler of 'things that work'. Each contributor shows how classroom assignments come out of careful thinking about course objectives; readers are invited to eavesdrop on this decision-making process.

Race, P. (2010) Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education. Sage: London.

This second edition of the popular text provides and accessible and practical discussion of teaching and learning for the post-compulsory sector of higher and further education. Central to the book is the author's well-known 'ripples on a pond' module of learning, which identifies seven fundamental factors underpinning successful learning: wanting to learn; taking ownership of the need to learn; learning by doing; learning through feedback; making sense of what is being learned; deepening earning through explaining, coaching and teaching; further deepening learning through assessing—making informed judgments.

The book encourages teachers and students to address these factors head-on in a wide range of contexts, including large-group teaching, the design of assessment, small-group work, reflection, and in making good use of formative feedback.

Tokuhama-Espinosa, T. (2011) Mind, Brain, and Education Science: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Brain-Based Teaching. W.W. Norton & Company: New York.

The trend in 'brain-based education' has been growing of late, yet much debate exists about what characterizes its parameters, goals and standards. Based on an exhaustive review of the literature, as well as interviews with more than twenty leaders in the field from six different countries, this book sets out to define the field as well as offer teachers models for interpreting new data and implementing effective classroom strategies.


Resources on postgraduate research supervision/advising are also available.

We will add more to this list as the resources become available.