Selected Resources on Teaching and Learning for Faculty

Under Construction

This is not intended to be a comprehensive listing, but rather a compilation of my favorite web sites, books, and videos to share with teachers, as well as learning materials to share with students. This is where I get some of my inspiration and ideas for active learning activities that I can adapt to my classroom. Please contact me with information about new good stuff!

  • Recent Reads

“Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions From Cognitive and Educational Psychology"

by John Dunlosky, Katherine A. Rawson, Elizabeth J. Marsh, Mitchell J. Nathan, and Daniel T. Willingham

"The Role of the Lecturer as Tutor: Doing What Effective Tutors Do in a Large Lecture Class"

by William B. Wood and Kimberly D. Tanner



Most instructors at one point or another in their careers—during office hours, in the laboratory setting, or as a tutor—have had the luxury of sitting down one-on-one with a student to help him or her learn. For many, the reward of watching the proverbial lightbulb go on over a student's head was a first, addictive step into a career that involved teaching. Now imagine—or for many of us, remember—standing in front of 30, 60, 100, 150, 200, 300, 700, or even 1000 students in a traditional college or university lecture setting. Did you sometimes wish you could just sit down and talk with students from your large lecture individually, and then they would finally get it? What is similar and different about your instructional choices in a large lecture versus a one-on-one situation? To what extent can we translate what is known about effective tutoring to a large lecture setting?

One-on-one human tutoring has been extensively studied. Insights into what makes it effective is of great interest in a variety of fields, including computer-based tutoring program development, general education research, and training of future teachers. It is well accepted that one-on-one tutoring promotes both greater student learning and increased student motivation to learn compared with traditional, formal classroom teaching and learning settings (Slavin, 1987). However, examination of the research literature on effective tutoring would suggest that this mode of instruction and our approaches to fostering student understanding in large biology lecture classrooms need not be as dramatically different as one might assume. In fact, the differences in what instructors choose to say and do, as well as what they choose not to say and do, in each of these settings may be more critical for learning than the setting itself or the numbers of students involved.

In this paper, we share insights into what is known about what effective tutors do and do not do, and we present specific approaches for adapting effective tutoring strategies and applying them to large biology lecture classes.

  • Web-Based Teaching Resources for General Active Learning

Collection of very readable papers with tips on all aspects of teaching and learning

Collaborative learning

Case method

Problem-based learning

Just in Time teaching

multimedia resources

group learning

Rubrics: Rubistar

Rubric Sampler-a thorough paper on rubric design

Scale-Up: Student-Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs

Team-Based Learning: Comprehensive site with links to all things TBL

  • Web-Based Resources for Specific Course Design and Topic/Teachable Unit Design

General Science

Understanding Science (from UC Berkley and NSF)

the skeptics guide to the universe

professional society resources

COPUS Network

General Science and Geosciences




Anatomy and Physiology

BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

BEN: BiosciEdNet

AIBS: American Institute of Biological Sciences


NESCent: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center

Instructional materials NABT

Instructional materials Bioliteracy

Intro biology at MIT

Federal teaching resources

  • Books

Science of Learning

Bransford, J.D. et al. Eds, (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School. National Research Council.

Willingham, D. T. (2009). Why Don’t Students Like School? Jossey-Bass.

Stanovich, K. E. (2009). What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought. Yale University Press. Medina, J. (2008).

Active Learning Types of Activities

Angelo, T. A. & Cross, K. P. (1993). Classroom Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Teachers. Jossey-Bass.

Michaelsen, L. K., et al (eds) (2008). Team-Based Learning: Small-Group Learning’s Next Big Step. New Directions for Teaching and Learning. Number 116, Winter.

Gross-Davin, B (2009). Tools for Teaching. Jossey-Bass.

Nilson, L. B. (2003). Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource fro College Instructors. Jossey-Bass.

General Teaching

Leamnson, R. (1999). Thinking About Teaching and Learning. Sterling, Viginia.

McKeachie, W. (2006). Teaching Tips. Houghton Mifflin.

Bain, K. (2004). What the Best College Teachers Do. Harvard University Press.

Nathan, R. (2005). My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student. Penguin Books.

Handelsman, J., et al. (2007). Scientific Teaching. W.H. Freeman and company.

  • Videos of Educational Value

Comedy and inspirational

Tim Minchin, "Tony the fish/If you open your mind too much your brain will fall out (take my wife)"

Seinfeld/SNL history lesson

Five Minute University

Benjamin Zander - On Music and Passion - Video on TED


coming soon

  • To Share with Students

“How to Get the Most out of Studying”- five parts, 30 minutes, available on YouTube here:

While sometimes humorously presented, the ideas are based on research on how the brain works and on learning and cognition. The strategies and information may be new and useful for incoming Freshmen AND Seniors.

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