Increasingly, conversations around campus and Zoom have included some sort of reference to fatigue. It seems to be an amorphous discussion that circles the shared feeling rather than an explicit discussion of the current situation and strategies to address the fatigue. In one of these recent conversations with a colleague, he stated that he was focusing his time over the summer on “professional recuperation.” For me, this phrase nailed where I am at and what I need next. Assuming we are not the only two academics in need of recuperation, I have decided to focus this year’s summer reading list on audio books. It is my hope that you will find some sort of professional stimulation from listening while walking the dog, washing dishes, completing handi-crafts, biking, or some other hobby.
If you are new to audiobooks, check your local library for access to Hoopla or Libby; two platforms that allow you to download your borrowed selection right to your device.
Brown and colleagues offer listeners concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners by helping us understand recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other learning science disciplines. Concepts such as retrieval practice, interleaving, desirable difficulties, learning styles (or not), and illusions of knowing are discussed. Examples are not limited to academia, making this an accessible read for multiple learning environments.
Trained by Roediger (author of the above Make it Stick), Agarwal shares findings with large effects to improve learning. However, she specifically focuses the application of these findings on the classroom, providing both the science and suggestions for implementation in both the higher education and K-12 classroom across disciplines. In this highly accessible step-by-step guide, instructors will learn how to implement retrieval practice, spacing, interleaving, and feedback-driven metacognition to transform their classroom.
In this edited volume, 15 instructors with a desire to focus on learning, rather than sorting or judging, share their experiences going gradeless. Experiences are organized into three sections: foundations and models, practice, and reflection. Disciplines reflect humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields within higher education and K-12 learning environments. Authors share not only what worked about ungrading, but what made it challenging as well.
In this incredibly useful book, James Lang presents a collection of small classroom activities and teaching strategies that are soundly grounded in research about how students learn. More than just a collection of teaching tips, this book provides a framework by which instructors can start making significant improvements to their teaching through relatively small steps that impact student knowledge, understanding, and motivation. The book is an engaging read and provides a balance of use-it-on-Monday teaching strategies and the deeper lessons about learning that underlie them.
*This book was first featured on the 2018 summer reading list blog.
Inspired by James Lang’s (2016) Small Teaching, Flower Darby provides listeners with small, strategic changes that can make a large impact on student learning in the online space. Listeners will learn about applying the backward design process to online courses, how to build community within the course, and strategies for motivating students in this space.
*This book was first featured on the 2020 summer reading list blog.
Neuhaus invites listeners to embrace their identity, employment status, and other teaching contexts in order to become an effective instructor. She begins by sharing the following comment from an early course evaluation: Just because you know a lot about something doesn’t mean you can teach it, and continues to share pedagogical principles in an accessible and personal way.
Improving our teaching necessitates a better understanding of learning. Ambrose and colleagues provide listeners an overview of seven key principles of learning from a breadth of learning sciences in a very approachable way. Listeners will learn more about the importance of prior knowledge, organization of knowledge, motivation, mastery, practice & feedback, course climate, and self-directed learning in the learning process. Personally, this is one of my favorite pedagogy books because even as an expert I find something new each time I return to it.
If you’ve missed the previous reading lists, you can find them by searching “reading list” in the search bar on the CITL blog page or by clicking on the links below: