Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

For Graduate Students

Home | Classroom TAs | Laboratory TAs | Instructors | News & Events | FAQ | Resources for TAs | Resources for Graduate Students Who Teach | Disability Support | CIRTL | Questions TAs Ask… | Teaching Recognition | Study Skills

Resources for graduate students who teach

Some resources that you may find useful are listed and described below. The books are available from Jenny Hadingham (2-143 Dewey Hall) should you wish to peruse them. I am happy to loan them out on a week-by-week basis.

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.

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.

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

This 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:

This 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. The authors have also included useful web links to further material.

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 universities 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 provides a new way of thinking about university teaching that takes account of the differences between subject areas within 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. Jossey-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.

Fry, H., Ketteridge, S. and Marshal, S. (Eds) (2010) A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice. Routledge: New York.

The book is sensitive to the competing demands of teaching, research and scholarship, and academic management. Against these contexts, the book focuses on developing professional academic skills for teaching. Dealing with the rapid expansion of the use of technology in higher education and widening student diversity, this fully updated and expanded edition includes new material on, for example, e-learning, lecturing to large groups, formative and summative assessment, and supervising research students.

Written to support the excellence in teaching required to bring about learning of the highest quality, this will be essential reading for all new lecturers, particularly anyone taking an accredited course in teaching and learning in higher education, as well as all those experienced lecturers who wish to improve their teaching.

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.

Haines, C. (2004) Assessing Students' Written Work: Marking Essays and Reports. RoutledgeFalmer: Abingdon.

Assessment is one of the most powerful tools in teaching yet it is rarely measured in effort, time and effectiveness, and it is usually done alone and against the clock. This book aims to clarify the concepts and issues that may make assessment difficult for teachers and students. It is designed to help practitioners who wish to improve their effectiveness in assessing a large and diverse range of students. It will help them to:

This book is an invaluable resource for both newly appointed and more experienced lecturers in further and higher education, post-graduate students, part-time staff and graduate teaching assistants.

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

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 processes 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.

How People Learn 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, this book 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. (2007) The Lecturer's Toolkit: A practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching. Routledge: London.

This is a wide-ranging, down-to-earth practical resource for lecturers and teachers in higher education. Jargon-free and written with authority, clarity, and candor, this book addresses a broad range of aspects of assessment, learning, and teaching, and helps develop many facets of professional practice.

Built around a central agenda of improving the quality of student learning, the book is outcomes-focused. This edition includes new information on inclusive teaching practice, working with international students and evidencing reflections. Coverage includes:

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

The book provides an accessible and practical discussion of teaching and learning for the post-compulsory sector oh higher and further education. Central to the book is the 'ripples on a pond' model of learning which identifies seven fundamental factors underpinning successful learning:

It 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. Updated chapters include:

Resources on postgraduate research supervision/advising are also available.

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