In addition to CITL’s library of teaching and learning “standards,” this page provides an ongoing list of what CITL staff members are currently reading—a "staff picks" of interesting books, articles, and websites.
Teaching Sociology: The Graduate Student Experience
Since the 1980s, research on preparing graduate students to teach has documented descriptions of training programs, assessments of their effects on teaching behaviors, and the experiences of graduate students as developing teachers. In the January 2014 special issue of Teaching Sociology, graduate students in IUB’s Department of Sociology, in collaboration with co-authors at other institutions, communicated results of their investigations about the teaching experiences and concerns of graduate teaching assistants in sociology. The graduate students’ studies were completed as part of S706 Research in Higher Education, the third course in the Preparing Future Faculty Program sequence that leads to the department’s Certificate in College Pedagogy.
What Our Stories Teach Us: A Guide to Critical Reflection for College Faculty
Relevant to the current scholarly debate regarding the use of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary methods in SOTL, Linda Shadiow’s book offers a fascinating process to mine personal teaching and learning stories for the valuable lessons they contain. In her plenary SOTL presentation and book group, she will show first person narrative as an entry to SOTL, an exploration of one’s teaching, and method for student reflection on their learning.
A Deliberate Practice Approach to Teaching Phylogenetic Analysis
Former IU biology graduate students Collin Hobbs and Dan Johnson, in collaboration with CITL senior instructional consultant Katie Kearns, have published results of their teaching intervention in an upper-level plant biology course. As part of their participation in the Teagle Foundation-funded “Collegium on Inquiry in Action,” the authors implemented a deliberate practice approach to engage students over the course of a semester in a series of increasingly complex hands-on tasks related to phylogenetic tree construction. Final exam scores, pre- and post concept surveys, and student feedback support that the approach improved student comprehension of this difficult subject.
Engaging Ideas: The Professor's Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking, and Active Learning in the Classroom
John Bean’s foundational book, augmented and revised in 2011, is an invaluable resource for faculty interested in encouraging critical thinking, writing skills, and active engagement in students. Engaging Ideas provides practical advice rooted in current scholarship that is appropriate and applicable throughout the disciplines. Bean is a professor of English at Seattle University; his textbooks on argumentative writing have been used widely in university classes.
Social Media for Educators: Strategies and Best Practices
By Tanya Joosten. One of the goals of implementing social networking in a class is to increase student engagement and success through frequent communication between students and between the instructor and students. This book outlines the research behind emerging best practices and describes practical tips for using various social media tools in courses.
- Kate Ellis
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in and across the Disciplines
McKinney’s edited volume explores the current state of the scholarship of teaching and learning with particular attention to the influence of interdisciplinarity. Using case studies from a variety of disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary SOTL investigations, McKinney demonstrates how faculty and graduate students in different fields have drawn upon, benefitted from, and shared with SOTL colleagues. Two chapters in the volume were co-authored by IUB faculty, graduate students, and instructional consultants.
- Katie Kearns
Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
Chip and Dan Heath argue that successful change involves satisfying both the rational and emotional sides of the mind and laying out a clear path for it to follow. Weaving together real-world examples with findings from research in human behavior, the authors show how to apply a simple framework to effect significant and lasting change—be it a personal change like losing weight, or a broader change such as improving your students' learning. You can download and read the first chapter.
- Susan Hathaway
The NMC Horizon Report: 2013 Higher Education Edition
This year's Horizon Report for higher education identifies six emerging technologies to watch: Massively Open Online Courses, Tablet Computing, Games and Gamification, Learning Analytics, 3D Printing, and Wearable Technology. The information in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the New Media Consortium that engages an international body of experts in education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges and to identify emerging technologies with a strong likelihood of adoption in higher education.
- Kate Ellis
What the Best College Students Do
As teachers, is our job to discover intelligence or to cultivate it? In his new book, What the Best College Students Do, Ken Bain explores the aspects of their college educations that helped many highly successful people learn how to learn. While the book revolves around students, there is plenty to explore about learning and the role that teachers play in it. Author Ken Bain will be visiting the IU Bloomington campus in early April. Watch our site for more information.
- Maggie Ricci
What Video Games Have To Teach Us about Learning and Literacy
The second edition of James Paul Gee’s groundbreaking book elucidates how good video games demonstrate good learning design. Gee, a linguist by training, argues that through situated and embodied experiences, good games, in stark contrast to typical schools, allow players to learn in ways that are similar to the “reflective practice” often employed by expert practitioners in a field. Using more than 30 video games as examples, Gee examines embodiment, semiotic domains, transfer, identity, and the surprising things that make video games fun, all through the lens of a university educator.
- Maggie Ricci
Horizon Report 2012
The Horizon Report is an annual publication that examines trends in technology and forecasts how these trends may impact higher education in the medium term—from one to five years. The report—a collaboration between Educause and the New Media Consortium—considers the relevance of each trend for teaching, learning, or creative enquiry. It also provides examples and readings about each highlighted topic, to show practical models and to give access to more detailed information.
- Roger Henry
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
This book by Chip and Dan Heath explores why some ideas have the power to stick in people's minds, while others fade away. The strategies for stickiness—Simple, Unexpected, Concrete, Credible, Emotional, Stories—find their basis in examples beyond higher education, but they hold some truths for how best to make ideas meaningful and memorable for our students. Also available (for free) is "Teaching that Sticks," a useful document about using these approaches to connect to our students.
- Greg Siering
ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology
The 2011 ECAR Study of Undergraduate Students and Information Technology takes a look at student perspectives about their use of IT for course work, communication and administrative tasks. Some interesting facts emerge from the annual surveys; for example, 67% of students believe they learn better in a course with an online component. Knowing more about student perceptions on learning can help instructors rethink their teaching practice for the digital age. Also see their accompanying infographic—a visual overview of some of the key points.
- Kate Ellis
Horizon Report 2011
The Horizon Report—a collaboration of Educause and the New Media Consortium—is an annual publication that looks at technology trends and makes predictions on how those technologies will impact higher education over the next 1, 2-3, and 4-5 year periods. This is an interesting read, not only to see what may lie ahead of us in terms of specific technologies, but also to provide some thinking on the ways communication and learning are changing the way we work in higher education. Download publication (pdf)
- Kate Ellis
The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning
James Zull is a teacher's dream come true. A neurobiologist, Zull also serves as the director of the teaching center at Case Western Reserve University. His quest to understand learning from the standpoint of the brain's physiology culminated in this book—rigorous enough to get the brain science across but written for people who teach, specifically in higher education. Using stories and examples from his own teaching and learning experience, Zull discusses the physical process of learning, the importance of emotion, and the absolute necessity of connecting learning to students’ knowledge and experience.
- Maggie Ricci
Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation
This book is not specifically about education, but Steven Johnson does a nice job of showcasing key intellectual discoveries and other innovations, demonstrating how the biggest impacts come not from individual efforts, but from the convergence of ideas and people. “Chance favors the connected mind,” Johnson writes, making the case for building networks of people and ideas to foster innovative thinking. A video summary of his concepts can be found on YouTube.
- Greg Siering
This blog, sponsored by The Chronicle of Higher Education, is a lively collection of ideas about innovative technologies that can impact teaching, as well as about teaching in general. The subtitle, “Tips about teaching, technology, and productivity” captures the content, but certainly not the accessible, chat-over-coffee feel of this blog. Skim it regularly and you will certainly pick up some interesting ideas.
- Greg Siering