OIA Mini-Primer: Finding Teaching Resources on the Web

The following selection of a few, but diverse, types of resources might spark your interest and help you develop a habit of learning more about and improving your teaching.

Part 1: Types of Resources on the Internet

University teaching centers: Many teaching centers have excellent resource pages with materials, samples, and recommendations for course design, teaching strategies, IT tools, and many other aspects of teaching and learning. Here are a few examples:

Teaching databases:

  • The MERLOT II database contains thousands of discipline-specific learning materials, learning exercises, and content builder web pages, and the MERLOT ELIXR features digital case stories.
  • The ABLConnect website from Harvard University provides a large database for active and activity-based learning.

Journals: Professional development in teaching is research-based, and numerous journals provide discipline-specific scholarship on teaching and learning.

Teaching news, blogs, podcasts, and listservs: Here are some leading examples of blogs about teaching in general, but there are numerous more specific ones, especially for teaching and technology.

Twitter: Many scholars and teaching centers are on Twitter and you can follow them. Moreover, there are regular Tweetchats on topics in higher education, e.g. the #LTHEchat (Weekly Learning and Teaching in Higher Education).

Free whitepapers and reports:

Free webinars: These may be offered by specific providers or organizations. Here are a few examples.

Associations: Next to many disciplinary associations, here are examples for some that focus on teaching and learning in general.

Part 2: Manual-Style eBooks at the UALibraries

These books are designed as manuals that allow you quick searches for specific topics of interest. All of them are available as ebooks through the UALibraries. They are particularly helpful if you are looking for a learner-centered activity to include in your next lesson.

  • Barkley, E. F. (2010). Student engagement techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • In addition to tips and strategies for engaging and motivating students, Barkley's book includes 50 ready-to-teach activities to develop both students' content knowledge and attitudes towards learning.
  • Barkley, E., Major, C., H. (2018). Interactive lecturing: A handbook for college faculty (First ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Part 1 lays out the conceptual framework. Part 2 offers 53 tips for making presentations more engaging. Part 3 includes 32 active learning techniques to enhance the interactive component.
  • Barkley, E. F., & Major, C. H. (2016). Learning assessment techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Part 1 of this book provides an introduction to a learner-centered assessment cycle, while Part 2 offers 50 ready-to-use learning assessment techniques.
  • Barkley, E. F., Major, C. H., & Cross, K. P. (2014). Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • This book includes 30 ready-to-use activities that promote collaboration among students. Activities for discussion, peer-teaching, problem-solving, information organization, and writing can be adapted to any discipline or teaching context.
  • Brookfield, S., & Preskill, S. (2016). The discussion book: 50 great ways to get people talking.
    • The 110 techniques are grouped in The Top 10 Techniques... to get discussion going with new groups; to promote good questioning; to foster active listening; for holding discussions without speech; to get people out of their comfort zone; for text-based discussions; to democratize participation; to transition from small to large groups; for building group cohesion; for discussions requiring a decision; that best serve multiple discussion purposes.
    • If you would like to read more about the background for the selection of these type of discussion techniques, please have a look at the earlier publication Brookfield, S., & Preskill, S. (2005). Discussion as a way of teaching: Tools and techniques for democratic classrooms (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  • Davis, B. G. (2009). Tools for teaching (2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
    • Davis' comprehensive and easy-to-read reference book covers every teaching topic from first-day concerns to writing letters of recommendation. Highlights include tips and strategies for leading discussions, developing alternatives to lecture, enhancing motivation, testing and grading, and using classroom technology, among others.

You are welcome to contact one of our faculty developers to discuss your teaching ideas, concerns, or questions, related to this mini-primer, or any other topic related to teaching and learning. We are happy to work with you via email, phone, or Skype, or meet with you in your office or at the OIA.