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Center for Teaching and Learning

News & Views - CTL Library

Books Available for Loan

If you wish to borrow one of these books, please stop by the CTL office in 453S. (Descriptions from


  • Angelo and Cross, Classroom Assessment Techniques:  A Handbook for College Teachers, Jossey-Bass, 2nd edition, 1993.
    This revised and greatly expanded edition of the 1988 handbook offers teachers at all levels of experience detailed, how-to advice on classroom assessment--from what it is and how it works to planning, implementing, and analyzing assessment projects. The authors illustrate their approach through twelve case studies that detail the real-life classroom experiences of teachers carrying out successful classroom assessment projects. The book features fifty classroom assessment techniques, each including a concise description; step-by-step procedures for administering the technique; practical advice on how to analyze the data; pros, cons, and caveats; and more.

  • Bresciani and Wolf, Outcomes-Based Academic and Co-Curricular Program Review:  A Compilation of Institutional Good Practices, Stylus Publishing, 2006.
    This book is intended for faculty, administrators and staff responsible for implementing and sustaining outcomes-based assessment program review. It aims to help them understand the "what", "why" and "how" of outcomes-based assessment program review. Rather than adopting a prescriptive approach, it provides a rich array of case studies and ideas as a basis for reflection and discussion to help institutions develop solutions that are appropriate to their own missions and cultures.

  • Stevens and Levi, Introduction to Rubrics:  An Assessment Tool To Save Grading Time, Convey Effective Feedback and Promote Student Learning, Stylus Publishing, 2004.
    This compact introduction to rubrics is useful for higher education teachers in all disciplines and levels of instruction. Contains information on the process of constructing rubrics, varied forms of rubrics, and a multitude of ways to use rubrics and focuses on student-centered approaches to rubric development.

  • Suskie, Linda, Assessing Student Learning, second edition, Jossey-Bass, 2009. --Checked Out--
    The first edition of Assessing Student Learning has become the standard reference for college faculty and administrators who are charged with the task of assessing student learning within their institutions. The second edition of this landmark book offers the same practical guidance and is designed to meet ever-increasing demands for improvement and accountability. This edition includes expanded coverage of vital assessment topics such as promoting an assessment culture, characteristics of good assessment, audiences for assessment, organizing and coordinating assessment, assessing attitudes and values, setting benchmarks and standards, and using results to inform and improve teaching, learning, planning, and decision making.

Basic Skills

  • Gabriel and Flake, Teaching Unprepared Students: Strategies for Promoting Success and Retention in Higher Education, Stylus Publishing, 2008.
    The author shares proven practices that will not only engage all students in a class, but also create the conditions—while maintaining high standards and high expectations—to enable at-risk and under-prepared students to develop academically, and graduate with good grades. The author also explains how to work effectively with academic support units on campus.

  • Hopper, Carolyn, Practicing College Learning Strategies, 5th edition, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2010. --Checked Out--
    Combines practical application with learning strategies theory, and is an excellent motivational tool for teaching students how to learn. The textbook focuses on learning strategies that are supported by brain research and neuroscience, and helps instructors to instill confidence in students who may feel "stuck" in their academic progress. Included are ample exercises and the inclusion of a "Survival Kit" for helping students learn how to learn.

Cognition & Learning

  • Ambrose, Bridges, DePietro, Lovett, and Norman, How Learning Works:  7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching, Jossey-Bass, 2010.
    Any conversation about effective teaching must begin with a consideration of how students learn. However, instructors may find a gap between resources that focus on the technical research on learning and those that provide practical classroom strategies. How Learning Works provides the bridge for such a gap. In this volume, the authors introduce seven general principles of learning, distilled from the research literature as well as from twenty-seven years of experience working one-on-one with college faculty. They have drawn on research from a breadth of perspectives (cognitive, developmental, and social psychology; educational research; anthropology; demographics; and organizational behavior) to identify a set of key principles underlying learning-from how effective organization enhances retrieval and use of information to what impacts motivation. These principles provide instructors with an understanding of student learning that can help them see why certain teaching approaches are or are not supporting student learning, generate or refine teaching approaches and strategies that more effectively foster student learning in specific contexts, and transfer and apply these principles to new courses. For anyone who wants to improve his or her students' learning, it is crucial to understand how that learning works and how to best foster it. This vital resource is grounded in learning theory and based on research evidence, while being easy to understand and apply to college teaching.

  • Arnheim, Rudolf, Visual Thinking, University of California Press, 1969.
    For thirty-five years Visual Thinking has been the gold standard for art educators, psychologists, and general readers alike. In this seminal work, Arnheim asserts that all thinking (not just thinking related to art) is basically perceptual in nature, and that the ancient dichotomy between seeing and thinking, between perceiving and reasoning, is false and misleading. An indispensable tool for students and for those interested in the arts.

  • Eisner, Elliot, Cognition and Curriculum Reconsidered, Teachers College Press, 1994.
    Eisner starts out with an inclusive definition of literacy in its metaphorical sense: ‘the ability to encode and decode meaning in any of the forms of representation used in the culture to convey or express meaning.’ This implies a radically different approach to education, one that seeks to develop multiple literacies in the student, and does not value the understandings of the sciences and mathematics over those of the fine arts, humanities and other branches of human knowledge. Such an approach will both enhance efforts at achieving educational equity, and encourage individual differences. He brings together an impressive body of evidence to produce a thought-provoking discussion about the appropriate boundaries of school curriculum and educational evaluation.

  • Jensen, Eric, Brain-Based Learning:  The New Paradigm of Teaching, 2nd edition, Corwin Press, 2008.
    Discover a learning approach tuned to the brain’s natural way of learning. These strategies help reduce discipline problems, overcome learning difficulties, and increase graduation rates.

  • Jensen, Eric, Brain Compatible Strategies, 2nd edition, Corwin Press, 2004.
    Full of creative, ready-to-use ideas to motivate, inspire and encourage your students. If you are already hooked on brain-compatible learning and are the practical type, this book is for you. It is 90% action steps and 10% background and theory. With its plain-language instructions and easy-to-implement activities, this resource will be one of your most thumbed-through references.

  • Jensen, Eric, Teaching with the Brain in Mind, 2nd edition, ASCD, 2005.
    In easy to understand, engaging language, Jensen provides a basic orientation to the brain and its various systems and explains how they affect learning. After discussing what parents and educators can do to get children's brains in good shape for school, Jensen goes on to explore topics such as motivation, critical thinking skills, environmental factors, the "social brain," emotions, and memory and recall.

  • Johnson and Taylor (eds.), The Neuroscience of Adult Learning:  New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, Number 110, Jossey-Bass, Summer 2006.--Checked Out--
    This timely volume examines links between the emerging neurobiological research on adult learning and the adult educators' practice. Now that it is possible to trace the pathways of the brain involved in various learning tasks, we can also explore which learning environments are likely to be most effective. Topics explored in The Neuroscience of Adult Learning include:
    • basic brain architecture and "executive" functions of the brain
    • how learning can "repair" the effects of psychological trauma on the brain
    • effects of stress and emotions on learning
    • the centrality of experience to learning and construction of knowledge
    • the mentor-learner relationship
    • intersections between best practices in adult learning and current neurobiological discoveries
    Volume contributors include neurobiologists, educators, and clinical psychologists who have illuminated connections between how the brain functions and how to enhance learning. Although the immediate goal of this volume is to expand the discourse on adult teaching and learning practices, the overarching goal is to encourage adult learners toward more complex ways of knowing.

  • Leamnson, Robert, Thinking About Teaching and Learning: Developing Habits of Learning with First Year College and University Students, Stylus, 1999.
    Building on the insights offered by recent discoveries about the biological basis of learning, and on his own thought-provoking definitions of teaching, learning and education, the author proceeds to the practical details of instruction that teachers are most interested in--the things that make or break teaching. Practical and thoughtful, and based on forty years of teaching, wide reading and much reflection, Robert Leamnson provides teachers with a map to develop their own teaching philosophy, and effective nuts-and-bolts advice. His approach is particularly useful for those facing a cohort of first year students less prepared for college and university. He is concerned to develop in his students habits and skills that will equip them for a lifetime of learning.

  • Medina, John, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School, Pear Press, 2008.
    Multitasking is the great buzz word in business today, but as developmental molecular biologist Medina tells readers in a chapter on attention, the brain can really only focus on one thing at a time. This alone is the best argument for not talking on your cellphone while driving. Medina presents readers with a basket containing an even dozen good principles on how the brain works and how we can use them to our benefit at home and work. The author says our visual sense trumps all other senses, so pump up those PowerPoint presentations with graphics. The author says that we don't sleep to give our brain a rest—studies show our neurons firing furiously away while the rest of the body is catching a few z's. While our brain indeed loses cells as we age, it compensates so that we continue to be able to learn well into our golden years. Many of these findings and minutiae will be familiar to science buffs, but the author employs an appealing style, with suggestions on how to apply his principles, which should engage all readers.

  • National Research Council, How People Learn:  Brain, Mind, Experience, and School, Expanded Edition, National Academy Press, 2000.

  • Schwartz and Begley, The Mind & The Brain:  Neuroplasticity and the Power of Mental Force, Harper Perennial, 2002.
    Schwartz, a UCLA psychiatrist and expert on treating patients with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), teams up with Begley, a Wall Street Journal science columnist, to explore the mind/brain dichotomy and to discuss the science behind new treatments being developed for a host of brain dysfunctions. The authors begin by demonstrating that OCD patients are capable of rechanneling compulsive urges into more socially acceptable activities and that, by doing so, they actually alter their brains' neuronal circuitry. By presenting a wide array of animal and human experiments, Schwartz and Begley show that similar neuroplasticity is possible in stroke victims, often leading to a return of function previously thought impossible.

  • Sousa, David, How the Brain Learns, third edition, Corwin Press, 2006.
    Examines new research on brain functioning and translates this information into effective classroom strategies and activities.

  • Sousa, David, How the Brain Learns Mathematics, Corwin Press, 2008.
    Discusses cognitive mechanisms for learning mathematics and factors that contribute to mathematics difficulties, examines how the brain develops an understanding of number relationships, and connects to NCTM curriculum focal points.

  • Sousa, David, How the Brain Learns to Read, Corwin Press, 2005.
    Arm yourself with the most current neuroscientific information available on reading and effective learning and start your students down a lifelong path as successful readers.

  • Sousa, David, How the Special Needs Brain Learns, second edition, Corwin Press, 2007.
    This second edition helps you turn the latest special needs brain research into practical classroom activities for students and features a practical framework for identifying and motivating students with special needs.

  • The Jossey-Bass Reader on The Brain and Learning, Jossey-Bass, 2008.
    This comprehensive reader presents an accessible overview of recent?brain research and contains valuable insights into how students learn and how we should teach them.?It includes articles from the top thinkers in both the brain science and K-12 education fields, such as Joseph LeDoux, Howard Gardner, Sally Shaywitz, and John Bransford. This rich and varied volume offers myriad perspectives on the brain, mind, and education, and features twenty-six chapters in seven primary areas of interest:
    • An overview of the brain
    • The brain-based learning debate
    • Memory, cognition, and intelligence
    • Emotional and social foundations
    • The arts
    • When the brain works differently

  • Willingham, Daniel, Why Don't Student's Like School: A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom, Jossey-Bass, 2009.

  • Zull, James, The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning, Stylus, 2002.--Checked Out--
    Neuroscience tells us that the products of the mind -- thought, emotions, artistic creation -- are the result of the interactions of the biological brain with our senses and the physical world: in short, that thinking and learning are the products of a biological process. This realization, that learning actually alters the brain by changing the number and strength of synapses, offers a powerful foundation for rethinking teaching practice and one's philosophy of teaching. James Zull invites teachers in higher education or any other setting to accompany him in his exploration of what scientists can tell us about the brain and to discover how this knowledge can influence the practice of teaching. He describes the brain in clear non-technical language and an engaging conversational tone, highlighting its functions and parts and how they interact, and always relating them to the real world of the classroom and his own evolution as a teacher.

General Teaching

  • Bain, Ken, What the Best College Teachers Do, Harvard University Press, 2004.
    Bain’s sound and scholarly yet exuberant promotion of America’s "best college teachers" abounds with jaunty anecdotes and inspiring opinions that make student-centered instruction look not only infectious, but downright imperative. Teachers may enjoy the book’s plummy examples from their peers’ interdisciplinary curricula—such as the Harvard chemistry professor whose "lesson on polymers becomes the story of how the development of nylons influenced the outcome of World War II" or the U Penn art professor whose computer game allows students to determine the authenticity of a questionable Rembrandt. Bain’s most compelling arguments, however, concern the quirks and motivations of today’s college students. Though he acknowledges nationwide trends toward grade inflation, he invokes a 1990 study that suggests students are most driven by "high demands" and prefer "plentiful opportunities to revise and improve their work before it receives a grade." Likewise, the book argues that, even in the cutthroat climate of today’s competitive colleges, students thrive best in cooperative classrooms. The best teachers, Bain avers, understand and exceed such expectations, and use them to create "natural critical learning environments."

  • Davis, Barbara, Tools for Teaching, Jossey-Bass, 1993.
    A rich compendium of classroom-tested strategies and suggestions designed to improve the teaching practice of beginning, midcareer, and senior faculty members. Forty-nine teaching tools cover both traditional tasks--writing a course syllabus, delivering a lecture--and newer, broader concerns, such as responding to diversity and using technology.

  • O'Banion, Terry, A Learning College for the 21st Century, American Association of Community Colleges, 1997.
    Many earlier attempts at education reform have failed, causing some critics to call for a much more expansive wave of reform in which learning becomes a central focus. O'Banion presents an argument for the community college, with its strong penchant for innovation and risk-taking, as the ideal forum for creating this new learning paradigm. He proposes a provocative new concept called "the learning college," which is designed to help students make passionate connections to learning. The book describes in detail the six key principles that form the definition and character of a learning college. Emerging models of this concept are already in place at a handful of community colleges, and six of these pioneering institutions share their initial journeys in this book. O'Banion provides a practical guide for community college leaders who are preparing their institutions to enter the 21st century.

  • Landis, Kay (ed.), Start Talking:  A Handbook for Engaging Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education, University of Alaska, Anchorage & Alaska Pacific University, 2008.

  • Miller & Groccia (eds.), To Improve the Academy:  Resources for Facutly, Instructional, and Organizational Development, Volume 29, Jossey-Bass, 2011.
    An annual publication of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD), To Improve the Academy offers a resource for improvement in higher education to faculty and instructional development staff, department chairs, faculty, deans, student services staff, chief academic officers, and educational consultants.

  • Palmer, Parker, The Courage to Teach:  Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life, Jossey-Bass, 1998.
    This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique but is rooted in the identity and integrity of the teacher. Good teaching takes myriad forms but good teachers share one trait: they are authentically present in the classroom, in community with their students and their subject. They possess "a capacity for connectedness" and are able to weave a complex web of connections between themselves, their subjects, and their students, helping their students weave a world for themselves. The connections made by good teachers are held not in their methods but in their hearts — the place where intellect, emotion, spirit, and will converge in the human self — supported by the community that emerges among us when we choose to live authentic lives.


  • Ender & Newton,  Students Helping Students:  A Guide for Peer Educators on College Campuses, Jossey-Bass, 2000. --Checked Out--
    A practical training guide for college students who serve as leaders, tutors, counselors, or advisors for their peers.

  • Gordon, Edward, Peer Tutoring:  A Teacher's Resource Guide, Scarecrow Education, 2005. --Checked Out--
    This guide gives teachers specific instructional methods to help students raise their skills and critical thinking abilities and provides step-by-step guidance in designing a tutoring program, training the tutors, and conducting meaningful assessment and evaluation.

Currently Recommended Articles

Cognition & Learning


Basic Skills

  • "An Assessment Framework for the Community College:  Measuring Student Learning and Achievement as a Means of Demonstrating Institutional Effectiveness",  The League for Innovation in the Community College, .

  • Wiggins, G., "The Case for Authentic Assessment", Practical Assessment, Research and Evaluation, 2(2), 1990.

  • Shavelson, R.J. & Huang, L., "Responding Responsibly to the Frenzy to Assess  Learning in Higher Education", Change, 35(1), 2003.

Integrating Academic & Student Services

Engaged Learning


  • KQED Forum on First Generation College Students - part I; part II
    In California, more students are the first in their families to apply to college than ever before, but students whose parents don't have a four year college degree are dramatically less likely to earn a college degree themselves.  In a special live remote broadcast from San Jose's Downtown College Prep High School, we explore the challenges and strategies for success for first generation college students.

  • American RadioWorks - Tomorrow's College - Don't Lecture Me
    College students spend a lot of time listening to lectures. But research shows there are better ways to learn. And experts say students need to learn better because the 21st century economy demands more well-educated workers.

  • American RadioWorks - Tomorrow's College - Some College, No Degree
    More people are going to college than ever before. But in the United States, about half the people who start don't finish. There are 37 million Americans with some college credits but no degree - more than 20 percent of the working-age population. In an economy that increasingly demands workers with knowledge and skills, many college dropouts are being left behind.

  • American RadioWorks - Tomorrow's College - Who Needs an English Major?
    The most popular college major in America these days is business. Some students think it doesn't pay to study philosophy or history. But advocates of liberal arts programs say their graduates are still among the most likely to become leaders, and that a healthy democracy depends on citizens with a broad and deep education.

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