Linda B. Nilson presents six recently published books (2010-2014) that capture what she considers the latest and most important developments and trends in college teaching and learning, relating to technology, the science of learning, and the lives of today’s college students.
Laura L. Runge shares practical advice on writing pedagogical articles on teaching literature, based on her experience editing the pedagogy section of a scholarly journal on literature. In some ways, pedagogical articles are similar to other scholarly articles on literature. In other ways, they differ.
Students write. We comment. Nancy Sommers can help us do so more thoughtfully and skillfully. Her new book continues the work of her landmark essay on responding to student writing. Her new rule? When we comment, we should focus on the students, not just the writing, and we should only try to “teach one lesson” at a time.
We often hear only the pro- and anti- positions in debates about lecturing. I want to advocate a more nuanced perspective: There is no such thing as lecturing. There are many different things that get lumped together under that one term.
If anyone tells you exactly how to teach based on research, they’re misusing the research. The research does not offer blueprints for how to teach, detailed instructions on what to do and how to do it. But it does offer maps. Using these maps requires certain skills.
Lecturing came first. It has always been with us. Active learning came later. It has been on the scene for a relatively short time. Right? To the contrary, while lecturing has a medieval history, active learning has an ancient one.
Research suggest that students are not learning nearly as well as they should or could. Three books on the learning crisis stand out: Derek Bok’s Our Underachieving Colleges (2007), Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’s Academically Adrift (2010), and Rebekah Nathan’s My Freshman Year (2005).