Excellence in College Teaching and Learning: Classroom and Online Instruction
This book will improve the quality of instruction that college students need. It makes numerous suggestions that must be tended to when teachers instruct students. For example, the authors speculate about ways teachers can present what may at times seem to be a mountain of information without burying students under it; why teachers must continually update their Internet skills; and whether courses are taught on campus or online, they should not be academic fluff or pedagogical gimmicks. Throughout the book the authors punctuate sentences and paragraphs with metaphors, similes, hyperboles, and ironies in order to adequately capture a panoramic view of the consonance and dissonance that characterizes effective and ineffective teaching. Scattered throughout the book are suggestions about ways teachers can become more responsive to students. For example, it provides suggestions on how classroom and online teachers can consciously manage sounds, movements, colors, and the other aspects of teaching as though they were like drama, music, ballet, or literature in order to keep students attentive. This is one of the few books that give equal attention to teaching classroom and online courses. Face-to-face teaching is more art than science, so the first part of the book is interpersonally expansive. Online teaching is more technology and science than art. Therefore, the second part of the book is more straightforward, less interpersonal. By reading this book, teachers will find out what will work for him or her, and it provides a lot of interesting information about other teachers, including the authors. Also provided are succinct overviews of several instructional methods, including their theoretical foundations, that can be used independently or together to enhance the education of college students. Many of the topics discussed in one chapter are revisited in later ones. This spiral approach to learning is actually repetition and supplementation for knowledge transfer. The exercises at the end of each chapter serve dual purposes: they are both self-assessments and summaries of selected data. The book will serve as an excellent resource for would-be, new, and experienced teachers as well as professional development staff and librarians.
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