OTL Virtual Book Club

Summer 2021 Book Club – Help us choose the next book!

We are planning to host a Summer 2021 book club and we would like your help to choose the new book. We have narrowed down the book choices to the following 5 books. Short book descriptions are from the book jacket are found below.
 
To help us decide what to read, please vote in this one question poll by Friday April 16th.  
 
Drawing on an array of findings from cognitive theory, Lang analyzes the specific, often hidden features of course design and daily classroom practice that create opportunities for cheating. Courses that set the stakes of performance very high, that rely on single assessment mechanisms like multiple-choice tests, that have arbitrary grading criteria: these are the kinds of conditions that breed cheating. Lang seeks to empower teachers to create more effective learning environments that foster intrinsic motivation, promote mastery, and instill the sense of self-efficacy that students need for deep learning. 
 
Drawing on treaties, international law, the work of other Indigenous scholars, and especially personal experiences, Marie Battiste documents the nature of Eurocentric models of education, and their devastating impacts on Indigenous knowledge. Chronicling the negative consequences of forced assimilation, racism inherent to colonial systems of education, and the failure of current educational policies for Aboriginal populations, Battiste proposes a new model of education, arguing the preservation of Aboriginal knowledge is an Aboriginal right. Central to this process is the repositioning of Indigenous humanities, sciences, and languages as vital fields of knowledge, revitalizing a knowledge system which incorporates both Indigenous and Eurocentric thinking.
 
Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto, Kevin M. Gannon (2020) 
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.” 
 
Students say the best teachers get them excited about learning, stretch their thinking, and keep them actively involved in class. But with increasingly diverse classrooms and constantly changing technology, each semester throws up new challenges for engaging students.Discover how to keep your teaching, and your students, energized with The Skillful Teacher, a practical guide to effective techniques, approaches, and methods for today's college classrooms. Providing insights, reflections, and advice from his four decades of college teaching, Stephen Brookfield now adapts his successful methods to teaching online, working with diverse student populations, and making classrooms truly inclusive. As well as being completely revised, updated, and rewritten, this edition adds six brand new chapters.
 
This book uniquely offers the distilled wisdom of scores of instructors across ranks, disciplines and institution types, whose contributions are organized into a thematic framework that progressively introduces the reader to the key dispositions, principles and practices for creating the inclusive classroom environments (in person and online) that will help their students succeed.
 
To help us decide what to read, please vote in this one question poll by Friday April 16th.  

 

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.

 

 

Book Club Schedule

Date Time Chapters to Discuss
January 18 2:30 - 4:00 pm 1
February 22 2:30 - 4:00 pm 2 & 3 (to page 82)
March 15 2:30 - 4:00 pm 3 (p 82 to the end) & 4
April 12 2:30 - 4:00 pm 5
May 5 2:30 - 4:00 pm 6
 
Feel free to join us even if you are only able to join us for part of the time.
 

Accessing the Book

The Spark of Learning is available as a hard cover, paper back, Kindle edition or e-book. The McLaughlin Library has e-copies of the book available for Book Club members. Hard copies of the book are also available from Chapters Indigo, Amazon, and some independent bookstores.
 

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 The Spark of Learning Book Club and receive the meeting links.

 

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.