Summer Reading: 5 Books to Move Your Mind

Looking for low threshold faculty development over the summer? Grab a good book and learn something new. The following are books on teaching and learning recommended by the Center for Innovative Learning staff that will keep you in a growth mindset for the summer.

Deep Work

1. Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

Cal Newport is a professor who loves to talk about productivity. Cal’s second book, Deep Work lays down the how and why of treating your time with respect. Building in more time for Deep Work in our schedules is a must if we want to create and contribute great ideas and work to share with others.


2. Human Learning

A super book that is easy read despite the topic by Jeanne Ellis Ormrod. Human Learning looks at a broad range of theoretical perspectives, including behaviorist, social cognitive, cognitive, constructivist, contextual, and developmental theories. It describes associationistic processes, such as classical and operant conditioning, as well as more complex and distinctly human processes such as metacognition, self-regulated learning, and critical thinking.


3. Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies

Best Practices for Teaching with Emerging Technologies by Michelle Pcansky-Brock provides new and experienced instructors with practical examples of how low-cost and free technologies can be used to support student learning as well as best practices for integrating web-based tools into a course management system and managing student privacy in a Web 2.0 environment.

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4. How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading

In this comprehensive guide, author Susan M. Brookhart identifies two essential components of effective rubrics: (1) criteria that relate to the learning (not the tasks ) that students are being asked to demonstrate and (2) clear descriptions of performance across a continuum of quality. She outlines the difference between various kinds of rubrics (for example, general versus task-specific, and analytic versus holistic), explains when using each type of rubric is appropriate, and highlights examples from all grade levels and assorted content areas.


5. eLearning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning

If you want to know why, when and how to use different types of media for teaching and learning, this book is the holy grail for media developers. Ruth Colin Clark and Richard Mayer have put together and easy to read book that gives research-based guidelines on how best to present content with text, graphics, and audio as well as the conditions under which those guidelines are most effective. This book describes the guidelines, psychology, and applications for ways to improve learning through personalization techniques, coherence, animations, and a new chapter on evidence-based game design. Note that this information is not just for eLearning, but any media you use for teaching.