Teaching at Its Best

A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors

Teaching at Its Best

The classic teaching toolbox, updated with new research and ideas Teaching at Its Best is the bestselling, research-based toolbox for college instructors at any level, in any higher education setting. Packed with practical guidance, proven techniques, and expert perspectives, this book helps instructors improve student learning both face-to-face and online. This new fourth edition features five new chapters on building critical thinking into course design, creating a welcoming classroom environment, helping students learn how to learn, giving and receiving feedback, and teaching in multiple modes, along with the latest research and new questions to facilitate faculty discussion. Topics include new coverage of the flipped classroom, cutting-edge technologies, self-regulated learning, the mental processes involved in learning and memory, and more, in the accessible format and easy-to-understand style that has made this book a much-valued resource among college faculty. Good instructors are always looking for ways to improve student learning. With college classrooms becoming increasingly varied by age, ability, and experience, the need for fresh ideas and techniques has never been greater. This book provides a wealth of research-backed practices that apply across the board. Teach students practical, real-world problem solving Interpret student ratings accurately Boost motivation and help students understand how they learn Explore alternative techniques, formats, activities, and exercises Given the ever-growing body of research on student learning, faculty now have many more choices of effective teaching strategies than they used to have, along with many more ways to achieve excellence in the classroom. Teaching at Its Best is an invaluable toolbox for refreshing your approach, and providing the exceptional education your students deserve.

Teaching at Its Best

A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors

Teaching at Its Best

Teaching at Its Best This third edition of the best-selling handbook offers faculty at all levels an essential toolbox of hundreds of practical teaching techniques, formats, classroom activities, and exercises, all of which can be implemented immediately. This thoroughly revised edition includes the newest portrait of the Millennial student; current research from cognitive psychology; a focus on outcomes maps; the latest legal options on copyright issues; and how to best use new technology including wikis, blogs, podcasts, vodcasts, and clickers. Entirely new chapters include subjects such as matching teaching methods with learning outcomes, inquiry-guided learning, and using visuals to teach, and new sections address Felder and Silverman's Index of Learning Styles, SCALE-UP classrooms, multiple true-false test items, and much more. Praise for the Third Edition of Teaching at Its BestEveryone—veterans as well as novices—will profit from reading Teaching at Its Best, for it provides both theory and practical suggestions for handling all of the problems one encounters in teaching classes varying in size, ability, and motivation."—Wilbert McKeachie, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, and coauthor, McKeachie's Teaching TipsThis new edition of Dr. Nilson's book, with its completely updated material and several new topics, is an even more powerful collection of ideas and tools than the last. What a great resource, especially for beginning teachers but also for us veterans!"—L. Dee Fink, author, Creating Significant Learning ExperiencesThis third edition of Teaching at Its Best is successful at weaving the latest research on teaching and learning into what was already a thorough exploration of each topic. New information on how we learn, how students develop, and innovations in instructional strategies complement the solid foundation established in the first two editions."—Marilla D. Svinicki, Department of Psychology, The University of Texas, Austin, and coauthor, McKeachie's Teaching Tips

Teaching at Its Best

A Research-based Resource for College Instructors

Teaching at Its Best

New college instructors often complain they are handed their working papers and office keys shortly after their appointments and then set adrift. Nilson (teaching effectiveness and innovation, Clemson U.) gives practical advice on preparing for classes, including ways to develop ironclad syllabi; setting expectations of and for students, including managing incivility; preserving academic honesty amongst a student population which is simply not interested in it; identifying varieties of learning and developing teaching strategies; teaching problem solving; and assessing outcomes. In this new edition Nilson includes information on the Internet and other technologies, course portfolios, and ways to get students to do readings. Annotation : 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com).

Online Teaching at Its Best

Merging Instructional Design with Teaching and Learning Research

Online Teaching at Its Best

Bring pedagogy and cognitive science to online learning environments Online Teaching at Its Best: A Merger of Instructional Design with Teaching and Learning Research is the scholarly resource for online learning that faculty, instructional designers, and administrators have long been awaiting. Over 70 percent of degree-granting institutions offer online classes, and while technical resources abound, the courses often fall short of integrating the best practices in online pedagogy, even if they comply with online course design standards. Typically these standards omit the best practices in teaching and learning and the principles from cognitive science, leaving students struggling to keep the pace, understand the material, and fulfill their true potential as learners. This book fills the gap, providing evidence-based practices for online teaching, online course design, and online student motivation integrated with pedagogical and cognitive science to help you build the distance learning courses and programs your students deserve. As more and more students opt for distance learning, it's up to designers and instructors to rethink traditional methods and learn to work more effectively within the online learning environment, and up to administrators to provide the needed leadership. Online Teaching at Its Best provides practical, real-world advice grounded in educational science to help online instructors, instructional designers, and administrators deliver an exceptional learning experience. Adopt new pedagogical techniques designed specifically for online learning environments Ensure strong course alignment and effective student learning for online classes Increase student retention, build necessary support structures, and train faculty more effectively Integrate research-based course design and cognitive psychology into graduate or undergraduate programs Distance is no barrier to a great education; what do stand in the way are inadequate online course design and implementation and deficient faculty training and support—all of which administrators can mitigate. Online Teaching at Its Best will help you ensure that your online classes measure up to the rigor and quality of excellence in teaching and assessment, build in the personal touch for developing a learning community and equip your students to succeed in the next challenge.

Creating Engaging Discussions

Strategies for Avoiding Crickets in Any Size Classroom and Online

Creating Engaging Discussions

If you have ever been apprehensive about initiating classroom discussion, fearing silences, the domination of a couple of speakers, superficial contributions, or off-topic remarks, this book provides strategies for creating a positive learning experience. Jennifer H. Herman and Linda B. Nilson demonstrate how to create the conditions to facilitate deep and meaningful learning as well as to assess the effectiveness of discussions. They identify, analyze, and solve common problems in both classroom and online discussions and in both small and large classes. They take a direct, practice-oriented approach that--in acknowledging common challenges--provides principles, guidance on design, examples of activities and techniques, and eight detailed case studies. These cases demonstrate successful approaches that faculty across disciplines and from a variety of institutions have adopted in their face-to-face, blended, or online courses at the undergraduate or graduate level. The case authors begin by describing the original pedagogical challenge they faced and explain how they addressed it and assessed the results of their innovation. They also offer practical recommendations to readers who may want to try their strategies. Intended for faculty, this book will be equally valuable for educational developers who can use this resource in their programs and private consultations. At the graduate level, this book can serve as a text or workshop resource in college teaching courses and teaching assistant development programs. The final chapter provides a set of resources and activities - including discussion questions on the case studies, writing prompts, and jigsaw formats - that are equally appropriate for individual study or for use in workshop environments. You'll never again have to suffer such a profound silence that, as described by a contributor to the book, she could hear the crickets chirping outside.

To Improve the Academy

Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development

To Improve the Academy

The development of students is a fundamental purpose of higher education and requires for its success effective advising, teaching, leadership, and management. Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD) fosters human development in higher education through faculty, instructional, and organizational development. A smart mix of big-picture themes, national developments, and examples of effective faculty development initiatives from a variety of schools, To Improve the Academy offers examples and resources for the enrichment of all educational developers. This annual volume incorporates all the latest need-to-know information for faculty developers and administrators.

Specifications Grading

Restoring Rigor, Motivating Students, and Saving Faculty Time

Specifications Grading

In her latest book Linda Nilson puts forward an innovative but practical and tested approach to grading that can demonstrably raise academic standards, motivate students, tie their achievement of learning outcomes to their course grades, save faculty time and stress, and provide the reliable gauge of student learning that the public and employers are looking for. She argues that the grading system most commonly in use now is unwieldy, imprecise and unnecessarily complex, involving too many rating levels for too many individual assignments and tests, and based on a hairsplitting point structure that obscures the underlying criteria and encourages students to challenge their grades. This new specifications grading paradigm restructures assessments to streamline the grading process and greatly reduce grading time, empower students to choose the level of attainment they want to achieve, reduce antagonism between the evaluator and the evaluated, and increase student receptivity to meaningful feedback, thus facilitating the learning process – all while upholding rigor. In addition, specs grading increases students’ motivation to do well by making expectations clear, lowering their stress and giving them agency in determining their course goals. Among the unique characteristics of the schema, all of which simplify faculty decision making, are the elimination of partial credit, the reliance on a one-level grading rubric and the “bundling” of assignments and tests around learning outcomes. Successfully completing more challenging bundles (or modules) earns a student a higher course grade. Specs grading works equally well in small and large class settings and encourages “authentic assessment.” Used consistently over time, it can restore credibility to grades by demonstrating and making transparent to all stakeholders the learning outcomes that students achieve. This book features many examples of courses that faculty have adapted to spec grading and lays out the surprisingly simple transition process. It is intended for all members of higher education who teach, whatever the discipline and regardless of rank, as well as those who oversee, train, and advise those who teach. Specification grading promotes the following values and outcomes. It: 1. Upholds High Academic Standards 2. Reflects Student Attainment of Skills and Knowledge 3. Motivates Students to Learn and to Excel 4. Fosters Higher-Order Cognitive Development and Creativity 5. Discourages Cheating 6. Reduces Student Stress 7. Makes Students Feel Responsible for Their Grades 8. Minimizes Conflict Between Faculty and Students 9. Saves Faculty Time and Is Simple to Administer 10. Makes Expectations Clear and Simplifies Feedback for Improvement 11. Assesses Authentically 12. Achieves High Inter-Rater Agreement

To Improve the Academy

Resources for Faculty, Instructional, and Organizational Development

To Improve the Academy

An annual publication of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD), To Improve the Academy offers a resource for improvement in higher education to faculty and instructional development staff, department chairs, faculty, deans, student services staff, chief academic officers, and educational consultants.

Creating Self-Regulated Learners

Strategies to Strengthen Students’ Self-Awareness and Learning Skills

Creating Self-Regulated Learners

Most of our students neither know how learning works nor what they have to do to ensure it, to the detriment both of their studies and their development as lifelong learners. The point of departure for this book is the literature on self-regulated learning that tells us that deep, lasting, independent learning requires learners to bring into play a range of cognitive skills, affective attitudes, and even physical activities – about which most students are wholly unaware; and that self-regulation, which has little to do with measured intelligence, can be developed by just about anyone and is a fundamental prerequisite of academic success. Linda Nilson provides the theoretical background to student self-regulation,the evidence that it enhances achievement, and the strategies to help students develop it. She presents an array of tested activities and assignments through which students can progressively reflect on, monitor and improve their learning skills; describes how they can be integrated with different course components and on various schedules; and elucidates how to intentionally and seamlessly incorporate them into course design to effectively meet disciplinary and student development objectives. Recognizing that most faculty are unfamiliar with these strategies, she also recommends how to prepare for introducing them into the classroom and adding more as instructors become more confident using them. The book concludes with descriptions of courses from different fields to offer models and ideas for implementation. At a time of so much concern about what our students are learning in college and how well prepared they are for the challenges of tomorrow’s economy and society, self-regulated learning provides a reassuring solution, particularly as studies indicate that struggling students benefit the most from practicing it.

Teaching in Social Work

An Educators' Guide to Theory and Practice

Teaching in Social Work

Drawing from her extensive classroom and field experience, Jeane W. Anastas merges the "practice wisdom" of today's social work educators with contemporary theories on instruction and learning. Built around a teacher- and student-in-situation framework, Teaching in Social Work examines the effect of social issues, professional norms and needs, and various educational settings on the interactions among educators, students, and the subjects they learn. The result is a singular volume that focuses specifically on teaching within the field of social work, identifying the factors that result in effective educational outcomes. Anastas draws on the theories and selected research findings of higher education and social work education literature. She illuminates the critical aspects of teaching and learning as an adult, the best uses of different modalities of instruction, and the issues of diversity that influence all aspects of teaching and learning. Her book includes guest-authored chapters on field learning and the latest advances in teaching technology. It also engages with ethics, teaching and learning assessments, and faculty work in full-time social work education.