CTLT Dialogues

The Blog of the Center for Teaching & Learning with Technology

Article Alert: Free online book about teaching excellence

Posted by Cathy Kelley on October 1, 2007

President Adams sent me an e-mail this weekend with a link to an interesting online book about teaching. This book had been recommended to him by one of our members of faculty in the sciences. I promised to read it and review it on the CTLT blog.

I can highly recommend the following book to anybody who cares about teaching at the college or university level:

Hoyle, J. B. (2006) Tips and Thoughts on Improving the Teaching Process in College – A Personal Diary. Available at http://oncampus.richmond.edu/~jhoyle.

This short book (44 pages) is a series of essays, “created as a discussion of teaching, about the day-to-day challenges and rewards of walking into a college classroom to help increase student thinking, learning and understanding” (p. 4). The book contains many practical tips that are sure to help you become a better teacher. But even more importantly, it challenges the reader to explore his or her teaching at a very deep level.

Among other questions, Hoyle asks you to consider:

Is your teaching personality more like Attila the Hun, Mother Theresa, or Vince Lombardi?

If you were a fly on the wall on the last day of class, unobtrusively listening in on what your students said about your class, what would you hope they said?

If you asked the A students in your class how they got that grade, what would they be likely to say? What would their answers tell you about your class?

How can you motivate your students to come to class prepared for discussion?

If a visitor showed up to your class at some random point during your class period, who would be talking – you, or a student?

Would you ask your students to go to a performance of Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie if you taught an accounting class?

Hoyle has made this work available for free. He only asks that if the reader finds the book useful or interesting, that he or she pass it on. I found the book quite useful, so I pass it on to all of you.

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