Book Club

Summer 2020 Reading List

As we prepare for the summer, the SCTL wanted to curate a list of accessible books on contemporary issues in teaching and learning. We encourage faculty to engage with the material and feel free to suggest more resources as we build a list for our teaching/learning community.

Small Teaching Online : Applying Learning Science in Online Classes

Flower Darby & James M. Lang

"Find out how to apply learning science in online classes The concept of small teaching is simple: small and strategic changes have enormous power to improve student learning. Instructors face unique and specific challenges when teaching an online course. This book offers small teaching strategies that will positively impact the online classroom. This book outlines practical and feasible applications of theoretical principles to help your online students learn. It includes current best practices around educational technologies, strategies to build community and collaboration, and minor changes you can make in your online teaching practice, small but impactful adjustments that result in significant learning gains.

  • Explains how you can support your online students

  • Helps your students find success in this non-traditional learning environment

  • Covers online and blended learning

  • Addresses specific challenges that online instructors face in higher education

Small Teaching Online presents research-based teaching techniques from an online instructional design expert and the bestselling author of Small Teaching. "

Teaching in a Digital Age

Dr. Tony Bates

"The book examines the underlying principles that guide effective teaching in an age when all of us, and in particular the students we are teaching, are using technology. A framework for making decisions about your teaching is provided, while understanding that every subject is different, and every instructor has something unique and special to bring to their teaching.

The book enables teachers and instructors to help students develop the knowledge and skills they will need in a digital age: not so much the IT skills, but the thinking and attitudes to learning that will bring them success."

Small teaching : everyday lessons from the science of learning

James M. Lang

"Employ cognitive theory in the classroom every day

Research into how we learn has opened the door for utilizing cognitive theory to facilitate better student learning. But that's easier said than done. Many books about cognitive theory introduce radical but impractical theories, failing to make the connection to the classroom. In Small Teaching, James Lang presents a strategy for improving student learning with a series of modest but powerful changes that make a big difference—many of which can be put into practice in a single class period. These strategies are designed to bridge the chasm between primary research and the classroom environment in a way that can be implemented by any faculty in any discipline, and even integrated into pre-existing teaching techniques. Learn, for example:

  • How does one become good at retrieving knowledge from memory?

  • How does making predictions now help us learn in the future?

  • How do instructors instill fixed or growth mindsets in their students?

Each chapter introduces a basic concept in cognitive theory, explains when and how it should be employed, and provides firm examples of how the intervention has been or could be used in a variety of disciplines. Small teaching techniques include brief classroom or online learning activities, one-time interventions, and small modifications in course design or communication with students."

Teaching in Blended Learning Environments

Norman D. Vaughan, Martha Cleveland-Innes, and D. Randy Garrison

Teaching in Blended Learning Environments provides a coherent framework in which to explore the transformative concept of blended learning. Blended learning can be defined as the organic integration of thoughtfully selected and complementary face-to-face and online approaches and technologies. A direct result of the transformative innovation of virtual communication and online learning communities, blended learning environments have created new ways for teachers and students to engage, interact, and collaborate. The authors argue that this new learning environment necessitates significant role adjustments for instructors and generates a need to understand the aspects of teaching presence required of deep and meaningful learning outcomes.

Built upon the theoretical framework of the Community of Inquiry – the premise that higher education is both a collaborative and individually constructivist learning experience – the authors present seven principles that provide a valuable set of tools for harnessing the opportunities for teaching and learning available through technology. Focusing on teaching practices related to the design, facilitation, direction and assessment of blended learning experiences, Teaching in Blended Learning Environments addresses the growing demand for improved teaching in higher education

Seven Fallen Feathers

Tanya Talaga

"In 1966, twelve-year-old Chanie Wenjack froze to death on the railway tracks after running away from residential school. An inquest was called and four recommendations were made to prevent another tragedy. None of those recommendations were applied.

More than a quarter of a century later, from 2000 to 2011, seven Indigenous high school students died in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The seven were hundreds of miles away from their families, forced to leave home and live in a foreign and unwelcoming city. Five were found dead in the rivers surrounding Lake Superior, below a sacred Indigenous site. Jordan Wabasse, a gentle boy and star hockey player, disappeared into the minus twenty degrees Celsius night. The body of celebrated artist Norval Morrisseau’s grandson, Kyle, was pulled from a river, as was Curran Strang’s. Robyn Harper died in her boarding-house hallway and Paul Panacheese inexplicably collapsed on his kitchen floor. Reggie Bushie’s death finally prompted an inquest, seven years after the discovery of Jethro Anderson, the first boy whose body was found in the water.

Using a sweeping narrative focusing on the lives of the students, award-winning investigative journalist Tanya Talaga delves into the history of this small northern city that has come to manifest Canada’s long struggle with human rights violations against Indigenous communities."

Make a Recommendation

If you have a suggestion, please contact us via SCTL@sl.on.ca