Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors / Edition 2

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This best-selling handbook is an essential toolbox—a compilation of hundreds of practical teaching techniques, formats, classroom activities, and exercises—meant to give classroom instructors a go-to guide for help teaching any subject matter. It is for those who teach in traditional contexts as well as those who teach adult and diverse student populations; it is for those who use considerable technology and multimedia resources as well as those who rely on conventional classroom methods.

Newly revised and expanded, this edition covers more on the topics relevant to today's classroom such as technology and the Internet, simulations and games, diversity, service learning, and faculty evaluation systems. It also includes entirely new sections on teaching with laptops, course portfolios, three new sections on teaching problem solving, and a new chapter on getting your students to do readings. Other new sections include adult learning, the learning-centered syllabus, the cognitive profile learning styles model, and newly written chapters on classroom management, academic honesty, and grading.

Rich with quick tips on a wide range of current issues, this is a guide that all teachers will continuously refer to for development and support of their teaching.

Contents include 31 chapters on relevant topics such as

  • Understanding your students
  • The complete syllabus
  • Your first day of class
  • Making the most of office hours
  • Motivating your students
  • Teaching to different learning styles
  • Getting your students to do the readings
  • Writing-to-learn activities and assignments
  • Teaching students to think and write in the disciplines
  • Science in the laboratory
  • Assessing students’ learning in progress
  • Test construction/preparing students for tests
  • Evaluating and documenting teaching effectiveness
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781882982646
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/28/2007
  • Series: JB - Anker Series, #39
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 264
  • Product dimensions: 8.58 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.54 (d)

Meet the Author

LINDA B. NILSON has been the founding Director of Clemson University’s Office of Teaching Effectiveness and Innovation since 1998. She came to Clemson from Vanderbilt University, where she directed the Center for Teaching for five and half years. In addition to managing OTEI and its staff, she holds individual consultations with faculty, consult on instructional and assessment issues on grants and to committees and departments, and designs and conducts faculty development workshops at Clemson and other universities across the country.
Dr. Nilson’s workshop repertoire includes comprehensive course design by student-learning objectives, interpreting student evaluations, peer assessment of teaching for promotion and tenure, interactive lecturing, learning styles, getting students to do the readings, case study design and debriefing, problem-based learning, cooperative learning, discussion management, questioning techniques, student-peer feedback instruments, developing a graphic syllabus, techniques for grading writing, and designing tests and assignments. In 1998, Anker Publishing released the first edition of Teaching at Its best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors and has just released the second. It is the most up-to-date and comprehensive teaching methods book on the market.
In addition to Teaching at its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors. Dr. Nilson has written three book-length instructional handbooks for her employing universities. She has also published articles and book chapters on the graphic syllabus, improving student-peer feedback, teaching large social science courses, mentoring graduate students. TA training, critical thinking, and designing and publishing research on teaching. As a sociologist, she conducted research in the area of occupations and work, social stratification, political sociology, and disaster behavior.
Dr. Nilson’s career also included several years in the business world as a technical and commercial writer, a training workshop facilitator, and business editor of a Southern California magazine.
A native of Chicago, Dr. Nilson was a national Science Foundation Fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she received her Ph.D. and M.S degrees in sociology. She completed her undergraduate work in three years at the University of California, Berkeley, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.
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Table of Contents


Part I. Sound Preparations.

1. Instructional Support Services and Resources.

2. Understanding Your Students.

3. In the Beginning: Course design by Objectives.

4. The Complete Syllabus.

5. Course Coordination between Faculty and TAs.

6. Copyright Guidelines for Instructors.

Part II. Good Beginnings.

7. Your First Day of Class.

8. Preventing and Responding to Classroom Incivility.

9. Preserving Academic Honesty.

10. Making the Most of Office Hours.

11. Motivating Your Students.

Part III. Varieties of Learning and Teaching Strategies.

12. Teaching to Different Learning Styles.

13. An Introduction to Student-Active Teaching: The Discovery Method.

14. Making the Lecture a Learning Experience.

15. Leading Effective Discussions.

16. Questioning Techniques for Discussion and Assessment.

17. Experimental learning Activities.

18. Learning in Groups.

19. Getting Your Students to do the Readings.

20. Writing-to-Learn Activities and Assignments.

21. Teaching Your Students to Think and Write in the Disciplines.

22. Tools of the Trade: making the Most of Instructional Aids and Technology.

Part IV: Teaching Problem Solving for Today’s World.

23. Teaching Problem Solving I: The Case Method.

24. Teaching Problem Solving II: Problem-Based Learning.

25. Teaching Problem Solving III: Quantitative Reasoning.

26. Teaching Problem Solving IV: Science in the Laboratory.

Part V. Assessment/Measuring Outcomes.

27. Assessing Students’ Learning in Progress.

28. Test Construction.

29. Preparing Students for Tests.

30. Grading: Tests, Assignments, and Course Performance.

31. Evaluating and Documenting Teaching Effectiveness.



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