Friends, food, and flourishing

Teaching references

Today I was talking with Chad Bousley, an instructional designer at Oakland University, about ID. Chad knows Many Things about ID and other stuff. It was a good conversation.

He asked about things I’d read that might help other faculty be more effective. I’m putting this list here, so I remember where it is, in case others ask. Yes, it doesn’t belong, but I don’t have a better place. If you’re here to learn about Unity, human flourishing, or CK, this is not the post you’re looking for.

My bias is towards cognitive aspects of skill learning. I’m not so good on emotion, or social learning.

The list is incomplete. My Kindle alone has 29 books in the learning collection.  My education notebook stack in Evernote has 352 entries. My hard drive has a bunch of research papers… you get the idea.

Here are a few faves, in roughly read-this-first order, for newcomers to the literature.

Kirschner and Hendrick, How Learning Happens, 2020

Start with this one. The first section is about how  brains work. Something every professional educator should know. Even just a little.

Disclosure: I’m a Kirschnerd. He’s my fave researcher and author in this space.

Weinstein and Summeracki, Understanding How We Learn, 2019

Another good place to start. Brain stuff, then applications to learning. Read it. You won’t be sorry.

van Merriënboer and Kirschner, Ten Steps to Complex Learning, 3rd ed, 2018

(Told you I’m a Kirschnerd.) Sounds like a rehab program, but it’s a research-based approach to skill learning. My courses more-or-less reflect their recommendations.

Neelen and Kirschner, Evidence-Informed Learning Design, 2020

OK, I know, another Kirschner, no need to point it out. Applications to ID, this time, research-based. Good book.

Dirksen, Design for How People Learn, 2016

A good collection of practical ID stuff. I prefer a more theory-based approach, but many people like Dirksen’s what-to-do style. Recommended.

Ambrose et al., How Learning Works, 2010

I read this one when it was hot off the press. It influenced my thinking a lot.

Caviglioli, Dual Coding with Teachers, 2019

About multiple coding, as you might guess. The whys and the hows. Much fun with graphics.

Lovell, Cognitive Load Theory in Action, 2020

Sweller and friend’s CLT is influential in learning research. I use CLT’s recommendations in my own work. Lovell summarizes it, and gives some good examples.

McGuire, Teach Students How to Learn, 2015

McGuire came to Oakland University to talk about this book, and her other work. I liked her a lot. Good on metacognition and motivation, in particular.

Mayer, Multimedia Learning, 2001

A classic, with solid guidelines on media use.

Bransford et al., How People Learn, 2000

One of the first books I read on learning. Brain learning basics, and the design of learning environments.

LeFever, The Art of Explanation, 2013

How CommonCraft makes explainer videos. Good reminders of some basics, like the expert’s blind spot.

Wiggins and McTighe, Understanding by Design, 2005

An approach to course design starting from goals, and working backwards. It makes sense to software geeks like me. How else would you do it?

Barrett, Seven And A Half Lessons About The Brain, 2020.

Not about learning, but an accessible presentation of brain stuff, especially emotion.

Eyler, How Humans Learn, 2018

Organized by human attributes, like curiosity and sociality. Research filtered through personal experience, and reasoned opinions. One recommendation I like: don’t be scary.

Pascarella and Terenzini, How College Affects Students, 1991, but there are newer editions

Addresses the bigger context college courses operate in.

Anyway, that’s a few. Read the first half-dozen or so, and you should be ready to make decent courses.

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