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Active Learning & Pedagogy Annotated Bibliography - Part 2

Heffernan, Kerrissa (2001). Fundamentals of Service-Learning Course Construction. Providence, Rhode Island: Campus Compact.

This book is designed to assist faculty in constructing a comprehensive service learning syllabus.  It contains descriptions of the different models of service learning, as well as information about formulating a new service-learning course and about modifying an existing syllabus to have a service-learning component.  With a wide variety of sample service learning syllabi and individual assignments, this volume outlines the steps from course organization to implementation to give faculty an in-depth understanding of the mechanics of a service-learning course, as well as the philosophy behind this pedagogy. 

Light, Richard; Making the Most out of College; Harvard University Press, Boston 2001. 214 pp ISBN 0-674-00478-7

Starting with the question “What can an individual student do, and what can any college do, to improve the chances that on graduation day that student will say, “I really got what I came here for”?  Light addresses that question after interviewing four hundred Harvard students over a ten year period and leading assessment seminars with colleagues representing twenty-five different colleges and universities.  

The good news is that students have thought a lot about what works well for them.  The book details their insights such as: reminding faculty that learning outside of classes, especially in residential settings and extracurricular activities such as the arts, is vital to their learning experience, or that students deeply care about learning how to write well. A few of the strategies offered by Light include ways to have a most effective classroom, offer good mentoring and advising, that takes into account the diverse nature of the student body and how we can learn from our differences. He concludes with recommendations for college leaders, believing that shaping the campus culture may be the biggest contribution campus leaders can make.

McKeachie, W.J. (1994).  Teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers. Lexington, MA: D.C. Heath.

Teaching Tips was written to answer the questions posed by new college teachers, to place them at ease in the their jobs and to get them started effectively in the classroom.  Because of this intended audience, the book emphasizes "tips."  However, these practical tips are accompanied by a discussion of relevant research and theory.  The fact that the book is in its ninth printing speaks well for is usefulness to teachers at all career levels.  The book is broken down into 7 parts: Getting Started, Basic Skills for Facilitating Student Learning, Understanding Students, Adding to Your Repertoire of Skills and Strategies for Facilitating Active Learning, Skills for use in Other Teaching Situations, Teaching for Higher-Level Goals, and Lifelong Learning for the Teacher.

Menges, Robert, Maryellen Weimer & Associates.  (1996). Teaching on Solid Ground: Using Scholarship to Improve Practice.  Jossey-Boss Publishers: San Francisco.  ISBN 1787901334

An excellent book for faculty who regard teaching as more than a set of techniques. Menges and Weimer focus on connecting teaching with student learning, and they help faculty develop a systematic inquiry into teaching strategies, as well as showing them how to better utilize students assessment in the classroom. (Larry Braskamp, dean of the College of Education, University of Illinois, Chicago) 

"This book will be particularly useful to graduate students preparing for teaching careers in higher education, to anyone seeking examples of writing that explicitly links research and practice, and to faculty development leaders interested in offering useful reading to busy colleagues committed to improving their teaching practice." (Ann E. Austin, associate professor, Program in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, J. Staff, Program, & Organization Development) 

Sample chapters include:  Using Scholarship to Improve Practice; Making the Transition to College; Assessing Student Involvement in Learning; Teaching Today's Students Requires a New Role for Faculty; Assignments That Promote and Integrate Learning; What College Teachers Need to Know; Diversity in Academe: Cultural Strategies for Change       

Meyers, C. & Jones, T.B. (1993).  Promoting active learning: Strategies for the college classroom.  San Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Meyers & Jones provide much practical advice on the implementation of active learning techniques in the classroom.  Included in the book are real life examples of the use of such activities as small group exercises, simulations, case studies, and problem solving activities.  Chapters include: The Case for Active Learning, What Active Learning Is and How It Works, Creating an Active-Learning Environment, Informal Small Groups, Cooperative Student Projects, Simulations, Case Studies, Integrating Reading Materials and Guest Speakers, Using Technology Effectively, and Developing and Assessing Instructional Expertise. 

Palmer, Parker J. (1983). To Know as We Are Known/ A Spirituality of Education, Harper Collins Publishers, ISBN: 0060664568

Palmer seeks to expand the narrow contemporary view of education in which knowledge is seen as commodity for which students compete.  The heart, in addition to the mind, is a part of learning.  Truth is the basis of learning and education is a spiritual endeavor.  The first chapters reflect on and critique modern educational systems and their effects on students.  Then Palmer focuses on the essence and originator of truth in all fields of study and shares practical ways educators can allow their students to learn within this framework and disciple themselves to maintain the “wholesight” of learning. 

Educators at a Christian university will find this book useful for understanding the basis for integrating faith and learning.  The author sees education through a spiritual lens, showing the advantages of and means to making learning about God’s truth rather than an empty exchange of facts. 

Palmer, Parker J. (November 1997). The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life,  Jossey-Bass Publishers, ISBN: 0787910589

In this sequel to To Know As We Are Known: Education as a Spiritual Journey, Palmer claims we need to learn to do so, for such a gathering is one of the few means we have to become better teachers. In the first half of this book, Palmer guides readers through the inner work of cultivating the ground from which "communities of learning" grow. In the last half he turns to growing community from that inner ground into the classroom and the larger world.

From the first chapter, in which Palmer examines identity and integrity in teaching, to the last, in which he walks the reader through the process of becoming part of an authentic movement in education, this book will give careful readers the opportunity to go beyond themselves and find the courage to live out of the most truthful places within, and the courage to invite their students to come alongside them and do the same.  

Pregent, R. (1994). Charting your course: how to prepare to teach more effectively. Madison: Magna Publications.

Good teaching begins with good preparation. But many instructors and teaching assistants are unsure about how to plan their courses in order to teach more effectively. Charting Your Course is a systematic approach to course planning that applies to all disciplines and course types. Prégent stresses analysis, planning, critical thinking, and careful evaluation and provides step-by-step examples of how actual new courses were designed and prepared. Whatever type of course you teach, use Charting Your Course to complement your current planning.  

Seldin, P. (1991). The teaching portfolio: A practical guide to improved performance and promotion/tenure decisions. Third Edition. Bolton, MA: Anker.

Since the publication of the first edition of this best-selling guide, tens of thousands of faculty have used it to prepare teaching portfolios. This third edition continues its focus on self-reflection and documenting teaching performance, and has also been significantly revised and expanded. Its straightforward approach, practical suggestions, step-by-step instructions, and field-tested recommendations will prove invaluable to those involved in evaluating and improving teaching.

Now organized into five parts, this edition includes new information on web-based electronic teaching portfolios, descriptions of how seven colleges and universities have actually implemented portfolios, and 22 new sample teaching portfolios from an array of disciplines and institutions. All were developed under the guidance of a skilled portfolio mentor.

Seldin, Peter Associates (1995).
Improving College Teaching. Anker Publishing Company. ISBN 1882982088

This book provides practical, ready-to-use, research-based information about specific strategies and state-of-the-art techniques to improve college teaching. Through its nineteen chapters written by renowned faculty developers, the book offers a wide range of topics and ideas for thought and implementation. The chapters present programs that develop such necessary new skills as different teaching approaches needed for different kinds of students; use of current educational technology; evaluating one's own teaching and helping others to evaluate theirs; and providing feedback on teaching.
This is an ideal resource for presidents, provost, academic vice presidents, deans, department chairs, instructional development specialists, and faculty—the essential partners in evaluating and improving college teaching. It will also be helpful to students of higher education, whether they are planning careers as academic administrators or faculty.

Stanley, Christine A., Porter, M. Erin, eds. (2002). Engaging Large Classes. Anker Publishing Company, ISBN: 1882982517

Experienced teachers of large classes across a wide range of disciplines and institutions offer instructional strategies and advice for both new and experienced faculty members. What many of the contributors have learned is that large classes can be just as stimulating and rewarding as small ones, and that the large size can yield surprisingly positive opportunities.

Engaging Large Classes addresses these and many other questions:  With 100 or more students in fixed seating, how does a faculty member structure the class to promote student learning? How does one manage the logistics of such a class? Are there alternatives to the lecture format? Are there actually advantages to the large class?

Contents include:  Part I: Twelve chapters that identify and discuss major issues in the teaching of large classes such as course design, planning and assessment, promoting civility, active and collaborative learning, classroom technology, working with TAs, and a review of research. Part II: Seventeen essays—written by teachers of large classes from various institutions—that describe strategies and techniques they have used to successfully promote learning in large classes. Disciplines include agriculture, business, clinical sciences, education, engineering, English, law, math, sciences, and social sciences.

Weimer, M. (1991). Improving College Teaching. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. 

In this much needed resource, Maryellen Weimer-one of the nation's most highly regarded authorities on effective college teaching-offers a comprehensive work on the topic of learner-centered teaching in the college and university classroom. As the author explains, learner-centered teaching focuses attention on what the student is learning, how the student is learning, the conditions under which the student is learning, whether the student is retaining and applying the learning, and how current learning positions the student for future learning. To help educators accomplish the goals of learner-centered teaching, this important book presents the meaning, practice, and ramifications of the learner-centered approach, and how this approach transforms the college classroom environment. Learner-Centered Teaching shows how to tie teaching and curriculum to the process and objectives of learning rather than to the content delivery alone.
Learner-Centered Teaching also offers well researched advice for educators who want to transition to a learner-centered approach in their classrooms and

·         Identifies the steps to take to put into place learner-centered policies and practices

·         Provides a theoretical foundation for the learner-centered approach

·         Outlines a positive way to improve teaching

Throughout the book, Weimer clearly illustrates the difference between teacher-centered and learner-centered instruction and offers practical strategies for creating learner-centered courses. 

Wright, Alan. (1995). Teaching Improvement Practices.  Anker Publishing Company, Inc. ISBN 1-882982-06-1

This review of current international teaching improvement practices is immediately useful to anyone who teaches or evaluates teaching performance in higher education. The book contains fifteen original essays written by internationally known experts on faculty development and teaching practices. Offering information and advice, the authors bridge the gap between theory and practice. The teaching improvement practices presented are research-based, field-tested methods to improve teaching quality and faculty morale, as well as learner motivation and performance.

Topics include:

  • international perspectives on improving teaching
  • increasing faculty understanding of learning and teaching
  • the impact of mentoring and peer consultation
  • cooperative/collaborative learning, laboratory teaching
  • inclusiveness in the classroom
  • new and junior faculty development
  • administrator and faculty developer partnerships
  • instructional development strategies
  • national teaching improvement programs and policies.

Zlotkowski, Edward, series ed. (2000). AAHE’s Series on Service-Learning in the Disciplines. Washington, DC: American Association of Higher Education.

·         Adler-Kassner, Linda, Robert Crooks, and Ann Watters, Eds. Writing the Community: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Composition.

·         Balliet, Barbara J. and Kerrissa Heffernan, Eds. The Practice of Change: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Women’s Studies.

·         Battistoni, Richard M. and William E. Hudson, Eds. Experiencing Citizenship: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Political Science.

·         Brubaker, David C. and Joel H. Ostroff, Eds. Life, Learning, and Community: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Biology.

·         Erickson, Joseph A. and Jeffrey B. Anderson, Eds. Learning with the Community: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Teacher Education.

·         Harkavy, Ira and Bill M. Donovan, Eds. Connecting Past and Present: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in History.

·         Ostrow, James Garry Hesser, and Sandra Enos, Eds. Cultivating the Sociological Imagination: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Sociology.

·         Ward, Harold. Acting Locally: Concepts and Models for Service-Learning in Environmental Studies.


"The way to be confortable is not by having our barns filled, but our minds quiet."
-Thomas Watson, 17th century English, non-conformist, Puritan preacher