OTL Virtual Book Club

Fall 2021 Book Club - How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching

During the Fall 2021 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching (Eyler, 2018). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of How Humans Learn and discuss their thoughts or share experiences from their classes.

About How Humans Learn

Even on good days, teaching is a challenging profession. One way to make the job of college instructors easier, however, is to know more about the ways students learn. How Humans Learn aims to do just that by peering behind the curtain and surveying research in fields as diverse as developmental psychology, anthropology, and cognitive neuroscience for insight into the science behind learning.
 
The result is a story that ranges from investigations of the evolutionary record to studies of infants discovering the world for the first time, and from a look into how our brains respond to fear to a reckoning with the importance of gestures and language. Joshua R. Eyler identifies five broad themes running through recent scientific inquiry-curiosity, sociality, emotion, authenticity, and failure-devoting a chapter to each and providing practical takeaways for busy teachers. He also interviews and observes college instructors across the country, placing theoretical insight in dialogue with classroom experience.
 

 

Book Club Schedule

Date Time Chapters to Discuss
Sept. 15th 2:30 - 4:00 pm Introduction, 1 (Curiosity)
Oct. 6th 2:30 - 4:00 pm 2 (Sociality) 
Oct. 27th 2:30 - 4:00 pm 3 (Emotion)
Nov. 10 2:30 - 4:00 pm 4 (Authenticity)
Dec. 8th 2:30 - 4:00 pm 5 (Failure), Epilogue
Feel free to join us even if you can't make it to all the meetings or don't have a chance to read the chapters. All meetings will take place virtually over Microsoft Teams.

Register for the Book Club

Book club meetings will take place virtually over Microsoft Teams. Registration is limited to allow for effective discussions. Registrants will receive an invitation to the Teams meetings in advance of each meeting. Contact otl@uoguelph.ca to register for the How Humans Learn book club and receive the meeting links.

Accessing the Book

How Humans Learn: The Science and Stories behind Effective College Teaching is available as a paperback, audiobook, or e-book. The McLaughlin Library has purchased e-copies of the book that are available for Book Club members. Hard copies of the book are also available from Chapters Indigo, Amazon, and some independent bookstores.

Summer 2021 Book Club - Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto

During the Summer 2021 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto (Gannon, 2020). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of Radical Hope and discuss their thoughts or share experiences from their classes.
 

Image of The Spark of Learning Book CoverAbout Radical Hope

From the publisher: Higher education has seen better days. Harsh budget cuts, the precarious nature of employment in college teaching, and political hostility to the entire enterprise of education have made for an increasingly fraught landscape. Radical Hope is an ambitious response to this state of affairs, at once political and practical—the work of an activist, teacher, and public intellectual grappling with some of the most pressing topics at the intersection of higher education and social justice.
 
Kevin Gannon asks that the contemporary university’s manifold problems be approached as opportunities for critical engagement, arguing that, when done effectively, teaching is by definition emancipatory and hopeful. Considering individual pedagogical practice, the students who are the primary audience and beneficiaries of teaching, and the institutions and systems within which teaching occurs, Radical Hope surveys the field, tackling everything from impostor syndrome to cell phones in class to allegations of a campus “free speech crisis.” Throughout, Gannon translates ideals into tangible strategies and practices (including key takeaways at the conclusion of each chapter), with the goal of reclaiming teachers’ essential role in the discourse of higher education.

 

Book Club Schedule

Date Time Chapters to Discuss
May 25th 2:30 - 4:00 pm Introduction, 1, 2
June 15th 2:30 - 4:00 pm 3, 4
July 6th 2:30 - 4:00 pm 5, 6
July 27th 2:30 - 4:00 pm 7, 8
August 24th 2:30 - 4:00 pm 9, 10
 Feel free to join us even if you can't make it to all the meetings.
 

Register for the Book Club

Book club meetings will take place over Microsoft Teams. Registration is limited to allow for effective discussions. Registrants will receive an invitation to the Teams meetings in advance of each meeting. Contact otl@uoguelph.ca to register for the Radical Hope book club and receive the meeting links.
 

Accessing the Book

Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto is available as a paperback, hard cover or e-book. The McLaughlin Library has purchased e-copies of the book that are available for Book Club members. Hard copies of the book are also available from Chapters Indigo, Amazon, and some independent bookstores.

Winter 2021 Book Club - The Spark of Learning Book Club

During the Winter 2021 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (Cavanagh, S., 2016). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of one or two chapters of The Sparking of Learning and discuss your thoughts, questions or share experiences from their own classes.
 

Image of The Spark of Learning Book Cover

 

About The Spark of Learning

Historically we have constructed our classrooms with the assumption that learning is a dry, staid affair best conducted in quiet tones and ruled by an unemotional consideration of the facts. The field of education, however, is beginning to awaken to the potential power of emotions to fuel learning, informed by contributions from psychology and neuroscience. In friendly, readable prose, Sarah Rose Cavanagh argues that if you as an educator want to capture your students' attention, harness their working memory, bolster their long-term retention, and enhance their motivation, you should consider the emotional impact of your teaching style and course design. To make this argument, she brings to bear a wide range of evidence from the study of education, psychology, and neuroscience, and she provides practical examples of successful classroom activities from a variety of disciplines in secondary and higher education.

 

Fall 2020 Book Club – Small Teaching Online

During the Fall 2020 semester, the Office of Teaching and Learning will be hosting a virtual book club to discuss Small Teaching Online: Applying Learning Science in Online Classes (Darby & Lang, 2019). Book club discussions are open to all University of Guelph faculty and instructional staff (including sessionals). At each meeting, book club members will take part in a facilitated discussion of two chapters of Small Teaching Online and discuss approaches they might consider or share experiences from their own classes.

Image of Small Teaching Onine Book Cover

 

About Small Teaching Online

Small Teaching Online offers concrete strategies that instructors can implement in their classroom to improve student learning. The authors ground their suggestions in the learning sciences literature. The concept of “small teaching” encourages instructors to make small but effective changes to their courses that can improve student experience.