Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors / Edition 3

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470401040
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/17/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 113,329
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

The Author

Linda B. Nilson is the founding director of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation at Clemson University. She is the author of The Graphic Syllabus and the Outcomes Map: Communicating Your Course from Jossey-Bass.

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Table of Contents

The Author


Part One Laying The Groundwork For Student Learning 1

1 Understanding Your Students and How They Learn 3

Your Undergraduate Student Body Profile How People Learn How Structure Increases Learning

The Cognitive Development of Undergraduates

Encouraging Cognitive Growth Teaching the Millennial Generation

The Adult Learner Inclusive Instructing

The Challenge

2 Outcomes-Centered Course Design 17

Why Outcomes-Centered Course Design?

Writing Outcomes

Types of Learning Outcomes

Types of Cognitive Outcomes

Designing the Learning Process

Helpful Frameworks for Designing a Course

Showing Students Their Learning Process

Outcomes-Centered Course Development

3 The Complete Syllabus 33

Appropriate Syllabus Items

The Graphic Syllabus

The Online "Living Syllabus"

Getting Students to Read Your Syllabus

The Evolving Syllabus

4 Your First Day of Class 43

Before the First Class

First Impressions

Exchanging Information

Social Icebreakers: Getting to Know You

Subject Matter Icebreakers

Drawing Class to a Close

5 Motivating Your Students 51

What We Know About Motivation in Learning

Credible Theories of Motivation

Strategies for Motivating Students

Equity in the Classroom

Part Two Managing Your Courses 61

6 Copyright Guidelines for Instructors 63

Where Copyright Does and Does Not Apply Common Copyright Misconceptions

Free Use: Fair Use, Facts, and Public Domain

Printed Text

Visual Materials

In-Class Performances

Recording Broadcast Programming

Online/Electronic Materials and Distance

Learning Obtaining Permission or a License

How Copyright Violations Are Actually Handled

For Further and Future Reference

7 Preventing and Responding to Classroom Incivility 71

What Is Incivility?

Why the Increase?

Preventing Incivility: Your Classroom


Responding to Incivility

Seeking Assistance

8 Preserving Academic Integrity 83

How Prevalent Is Cheating?

Who Cheats, and Why?

Detecting Cheating

Preventing Cheating

Honor Codes

Changing Student Values

9 Making the Most of Office Hours 89

Getting Students to See You

Making the Time Productive

Student-Active Tutoring

Students in Academic or Emotional Trouble

10 Course Coordination Between Faculty and Teaching Assistants 95

Before the Term: Course Review and Role Specifications

During the Term: Regular Meetings and Teaching Feedback

Extending Managing to Mentoring

Part Three Choosing and Using The Right Tools for Teahcing and Learning 101

11 Matching Teaching Methods with Learning Outcomes 103

Types of Tools

Dangerous Knowledge?

12 Making the Lecture a Learning Experience 113

Purpose: To Lecture or Not to Lecture?

Preparing an Effective Lecture

Delivering an Effective Lecture

Incorporating Student-Active Breaks: The Interactive Lecture

Teaching Students to Take Good Notes

Making the Lecture Effective for Everyone

13 Leading Effective Discussions 127

When to Choose Discussion

How to Set the Stage for Discussion

How to Maximize Participation Through Skillful Discussion Management

14 Questioning Techniques for Discussion and Assessment 137

Questioning as a Process of Inquiry

Typologies of Good Discussion Questions

Poor Questions for Discussion Purposes

Turning the Tables

15 Experiential Learning Activities 145

Student Presentation Formats Role Playing

Simulations and Games

Service-Learning: The Real Thing

16 Learning in Groups 155

A Group by Any Other Name...

The Case for Group Work

Changing Methods, Changing Roles

The Setup and Management of Student Groups

Management Tips

Tried-and-True Group Learning Strategies

Preparing Students for Life

17 Writing-to-Learn Activities and Assignments 167


The One-Minute Paper


One-Sentence Summaries

Learning Logs

Dialectical Notes

Directed Paraphrasing

Letters, Memos, Notes, and Electronic Posts

Mock Tests

Drafts for Peer Feedback

Multiple Purposes

Part Four More Tools: Teaching Real World Problem Solving 173

18 Inquiry-Guided Learning 175

Definitions of Inquiry-Guided Learning

The Effectiveness of Inquiry-Guided

Learning Objects and Modes of Inquiry

Variations of Inquiry-Based Learning

19 The Case Method 181

The Effectiveness of the Case Method

The Appropriate Subject Matter

What Makes a Good Case

Types of Cases

Debriefing Cases

A Postscript for Pioneers

20 Problem-Based Learning 187

How PBL Works

Good PBL Problems and Where to Find Them

The Effectiveness of PBL

What Students Think Kudos for Creativity

21 Quantitative Reasoning and Problem Solving 193

Understanding Students' Problems with Problems

Modeling Expert Reasoning

Teaching the Steps of Problem Solving

Tutoring Students out of Bad Habits Routinizing Peer Feedback Making Problems More Real and Challenging

Using the Power of Group Learning

Accommodating New Methods to Traditional Settings

22 Problem Solving in the Sciences 199

Where Science Education Falls Short

How to Help Students Learn Science: General Advice How the Lecture Can Be Made into a Meaningful Learning Experience

How the Lab Can Be Made into a Meaningful Learning Experience The Essentials of Lab Safety and Management Why Science Education Is So Important

Part Five Making Learning Easier 209

23 Getting Students to Do the Readings 211

Why Students Don't Do the Readings

How We Can Equip and Induce Students to Do the Readings

Specific Tools for Holding Students Accountable Managing Your Workload

24 Teaching Your Students to Think and Write in Your Discipline 223

Cross-Disciplinary Commonalities

Teaching Critical Thinking Through the Discipline's Metacognitive Model

Metacognitive Differences Among Disciplines

Making Students Better Thinkers and Writers

Teaching Students to Write for Their Futures

The Many Worlds of Writing

25 Accommodating Different Learning Styles 229

Kolb's Learning Styles Model and Experiential Learning Theory

Fleming and Mills's Sensory-Based

Learning Style Typology

Felder and Silverman's Index of Learning Styles

Parallels Across Learning Style Models

Multisensory, Multimethod Teaching: Most Effective for All

26 Using Visuals to Teach 239

Ways That Visuals Enhance Learning

Types of Visuals for Learning

The Future of Visuals in Teaching and Learning

27 Using Instructional Technology Wisely 253

Reliable Low-Tech Tools for the Classroom

The Choice of High-Tech Alternatives

Learning Management Systems

Lecture-Related Software

Web Resources

Laptops in the Wireless Classroom Web 2.0 Tools Looking Ahead

Part Six Assessing Learning Outcomes 271

28 Assessing Student Learning in Progress 273

Classroom Assessment Techniques

Formative Feedback

Student Portfolios

Extending Classroom Assessment to Classroom Research and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

29 Constructing Summative Assessments 281

General Testing Guidelines

Objective Test Items

Constructed Response Instruments: Essay Questions and Writing Assignments

Tests and Assignments: The Ultimate

Teaching Evaluations

30 Preparing Students for Tests 295

Test Preparation Measures

Anxiety-Reduction Measures

What the Effort Is Worth

31 Grading Summative Assessments 301

The Meaning of Grades

Summative Assessments and Grading Systems

The Qualities of a Sound Grading System Grading Constructed Responses and Papers

Grading Lab Reports

How to Grade Mechanics Quickly While Ensuring Students Learn Them Outcome-Based Grading

Returning Students' Work

Helping Students Use Your Feedback to Improve

The Real Meaning and Limits of Grades

32 Evaluating and Documenting Teaching Effectiveness 315

Defining and Measuring Teaching Effectiveness

Student Evaluations

Peer, Administrative, and Self-Evaluations

Documenting Your Effectiveness

Comprehensive Approaches to Faculty Evaluation

Complex Beyond Measure

Appendix: Instructional Support and Resources at Your Institution 329

References 335

Index 367

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