- What the Best College Teachers Do, by Ken Bain
- Learner-Centered Assessment, by Mary Huba and Jan Freed
- Becoming a Reflective Critically Reflective Teacher, by Stephen Brookfield
- Teaching at Its Best, by Linda Nilson
- Creating Significant Learning Experiences, by Dee Fink.
I have been privileged to hear the last two authors speak, and I would recommend them as well. For more information on resources in college teaching, go to: http://www.daltonstate.edu/teachinglearning/titles_in_dsc_roberts_library_co.htm
I would like to develop a "workshop" of my own; I have a lot of wisdom about teaching although my own performance sometimes doesn't show it. My most recent epiphanies follow.
1. The affective domain matters more than the cognitive. Ten years ago, I wouldn't have said that. The way this generation has been raised makes it true. We must, at the least, use the affective domain to get to the cognitive. We can't ignore it.
2. Less is more.
3. The students do not read the textbook. My approach has been, "here's a study guide, this is what you need to know from the book, I'm going to spend class time with other material and experiences." It doesn't work with freshmen, and maybe not with older students. So, either don't use a textbook (not usually a bad idea) or use it in the class.
4. Anything students can do by themselves can be done collaboratively.
5. Less is more.
6. If they do something collaboratively, assign the groups, no matter how much they complain. Letting them pick their groups is a disaster.
7. Students need structure.
8. I used to say, "don't smile until Thanksgiving." I looked young and unimposing, so I took on a persona of intimidation. It really makes more sense to smile and act as pleasantly as possible, but make no exceptions for the con artists, of which there are many. As a former colleague says, "I will smile at you and be nice to you, but I will fail you."
9. Online education is great. I started teaching online and designing online courses ten years ago. I love it. The students love it. The administrators love it. But many teachers are reluctant to do it, and that's understandable, as it's an incredible amount of work for the first two semesters, and even after that.
10. Less is more. What is that about? The less you try to teach students in a class, a unit, or semester, the more likely they will truly learn it, deeply learn it, learn it to the point where it will change their paradigms and atitudes, which is really what we want to do, even though many would deny it. I don't want to teach people a lot of facts about public speaking. I want them to grasp opportunities to speak out when needed, to be engaged in civil civic discourse, because they are not scared to death by it and have the tools. So I have to find the minimal amount of learning necessary for them to really learn that. I used to be all about rigor. Now I'm all about effectiveness.