What's New in Faculty Professional Learning

Book Recommendations

Tools for Teaching by Barbara Gross Davis
This is the long-awaited update on the bestselling book that offers a practical, accessible reference manual for faculty in any discipline. This new edition contains up-to-date information on technology as well as expanding on the ideas and strategies presented in the first edition. It includes more than 61 chapters designed to improve the teaching of beginning, mid-career, or senior faculty members. The topics cover both traditional tasks of teaching as well as broader concerns, such as diversity and inclusion in the classroom and technology in educational settings.

What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain
What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.

The short answer is--it's not what teachers do, it's what they understand. Lesson plans and lecture notes matter less than the special way teachers comprehend the subject and value human learning. Whether historians or physicists, in El Paso or St. Paul, the best teachers know their subjects inside and out--but they also know how to engage and challenge students and to provoke impassioned responses. Most of all, they believe two things fervently: that teaching matters and that students can learn.

Student Engagement Techniques by Elizabeth F. Barkley
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. Student Engagement Techniques 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. 

Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty by Elizabeth F. Barkley and Clair Howell Major
A guide to thirty-five creative assignments for pairs and groups. Collaborative Learning Techniques is the bestseller that college and university faculty around the world have used to help them make the most of small group learning. A mountain of evidence shows that students who learn in small groups together exhibit higher academic achievement, motivation, and satisfaction than those who don't. Collaborative learning puts into practice the major conclusion from learning theory: that students must be actively engaged in building their own minds. In this book, the authors synthesize the relevant research and theory to support thirty-five collaborative learning activities for use in both traditional and online classrooms.

Classroom Assessment Techniques by Thomas A. Angelo
This revised and greatly expanded edition of the 1988 handbook offers teachers at all levels how-to advise on classroom assessment, including:

  • What classroom assessment entails and how it works.
  • How to plan, implement, and analyze assessment projects.Twelve case studies that detail the real-life classroom experiences of teachers carrying out successful classroom assessment projects.
  • Fifty classroom assessment techniques
  • Step-by-step procedures for administering the techniques
  • Practical advice on how to analyze your data

How Learning Works by Ambrose et. Al
Distilling the research literature and translating the scientific approach into language relevant to a college or university teacher, this book introduces seven general principles of how students learn. The authors have drawn on research from a breadth of perspectives (cognitive, developmental, and social psychology; educational research; anthropology; demographics; 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. Integrating theory with real-classroom examples in practice, this book helps faculty to apply cognitive science advances to improve their own teaching.

Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors by Linda B. Nilson
This expanded and updated edition of the best-selling handbook is an essential toolbox, full of hundreds of practical teaching techniques, classroom activities and exercises, for the new or experienced college instructor. This new edition includes updated information on the Millennial student, more research from cognitive psychology, a focus on outcomes maps, the latest legal options on copyright issues, and more. It will also include entirely new chapters on matching teaching methods with learning outcomes, inquiry-guide learning, and using visuals to teach, as well as section on the Socratic method, SCALE-UP classrooms, and more.

Make It Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter Brown
To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier. Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.

Best Practices Conferences

Assessment, Teaching and Learning Conference (ATL) April 29 - May 1, 2015
Hosted by the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, this annual conference showcases effective methods, practices, and strategies.

NW eLearning Conference October 20-23, 2015
Tenth annual Northwest eLearning Conference - two full days of sessions on eLearning including lightning round presentations, roundtable discussions, and an insightful keynote address (or two). The NW eLearning Conference is a unique, cost-effective opportunity for faculty, administrators, instructional designers, graduate students and technologists to come together to discuss best practices, collaborations, and ideas in integrating technology into learning.