Higher education is undergoing a reinvention. More and more instruction is moving beyond the traditional lecture to include active learning and engagement supported by technology. Without training, many instructors simply continue to lecture, but those wishing to develop their pedagogy can take action and move beyond passive methods of delivering content.
This book is essential reading for novice instructors, for those wishing to shift from lecturing to active learning, and for experienced educators wishing to examine their teaching practice.
A detailed discussion of academic research empowers instructors to examine, develop, and justify their approach to teaching. The focus across topics rests on effective interactions and the overall classroom dynamic, grounded in psychology, the science of learning, and perspectives on critical thinking.
Each chapter includes self-assessments and “things to try” in order to understand current practice and develop the ability to promote student engagement, foster critical thinking, manage challenging behaviors, and positively shape the classroom dynamic.
While the primary audience is the college or university instructor, the key concepts and suggestions in this book are also appropriate for pre-college teachers and for individuals interested in developing effective interpersonal interactions.
Katie A.L. McAllister completed her Ph.D. in neuroscience at The University of Cambridge, following an interdisciplinary B.Sc. in cognitive systems at The University of British Columbia. She developed a broad skill-set as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group before returning to academia as an associate professor of cognitive neuroscience and complex systems.
2. Beyond the Lecture
3. The Basics of Effective Communication
4. Tips for the Online Instructor
5. Four Key Concepts and the Classroom Dynamic
6. Quality Not Quantity: Defining effective engagement when promoting active learning
7. (Non)Evaluative Responses: Promoting Critical Thinking and Psychological Safety
8. Complex Questioning: Framing Questions to Promote Deep Thinking, Analysis, and Creativity
9. Silence is Golden: Keeping a Handle on “Prof Talk” in the Classroom
10. The Bomb Squad: Identifying and Managing Challenging Dynamics
Appendix 1: Example Discussion and Commentary
Appendix 2: Coding Thinking Skills in Classroom Interactions
Appendix 3: The Response Repertoire
Packed with practical ideas, this book translates evidence-based research into applicable teaching tools. Strategies for meaningful eye contact have already helped me improve my connection with online students! Guidance on creating psychological safety online is particularly relevant to those of us rapidly transitioning from in-person to virtual classrooms.
Katie McAllister has managed to pack a lot of practical suggestions into Beyond the Lecture. As a Professor with several years of teaching in an active learning environment, I read this book mainly looking to validate my approach, however I ended up taking lots of notes for new things to try.There is also a chapter dedicated to online learning, which is a completely different environment, but follows the same underlying principles. Make no mistake, when teaching online there are a multitude of distractions that will steal students' attention. Passive lecturing no longer works in this context. Instead one needs to use a broad array of different strategies to continually interact with the students. With some planning and thoughtfulness, technology can unlock a totally different classroom experience, where students actively grapple with the material in real time.Whether you're only able to add a few touches of interactivity, or if you're rewriting the entire syllabus into an active learning format, this book provides a framework for making the transition at any level. Some of the techniques work equally well in the classroom and online. Some of the techniques work well in small classes, and others in large classes. This book helps identify and categorize them all.I only wish that this book had existed when I had made the transition into teaching online!
I thought there wasn't much more left to write about college teaching... but Katie McAllister's focus on the instructor-student dynamic is fresh and unique and largely unexplored. It made me realize THIS is why I wanted to become a teacher! Not because I want to teach my student DNA--RNA--Protein .... okay, maybe little bit of that too.... but because of the relationships and interactions with students. There are several tools and resources for instructors to be systematic and thoughtful about their curriculum design. This book is a much needed tool for instructors who wish to (and need to!) be thoughtful about how they engage with their students.