Book Recommendation: Intentional Tech

A tougher read from the usual pedagogy stuff I usually read. Derek Bruff organizes his book alongside strategies and principles derived from the scholarship of teaching and learning:

(1) Times for telling: giving students a hard problem or challenging experience can help them get ready for learning.

(2) Practice and feedback: to learn new skills, students need practice applying those skills and to receive feedback on that practice.

(3) Thin slices of learning: highlights the importance of formative assessment to figure out what and how our students are learning, even on a small scale.

(4) Knowledge organizations: helping students organize their knowledge in visual ways.

(5) Multimodal assignments: using different kinds of media to help students learn new materials.

(6) Learning communities: I don’t think this one needs explaining.

(7) Authentic audiences: getting to deeper learning by connecting students’ work to “real world” audiences (I’m putting the “” because an instructor is a real world audience, albeit of a different kind).

For each, he provides a principle and a series of example from a variety of disciplines, although there is an overrepresentation of Vanderbilt, where he works.

Each principle is also followed by specific technologies (for instance, social media, social bookmarking, instant-response systems, and yes, my beloved mind maps) along with practical advice at the end of each chapter.

I like some of these ideas. Nothing is really new to anyone familiar with the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL).

The big drawback was that (1) Vanderbilt students are not just any students, and (2) the ideas were often part of small seminars or advanced classes with lower enrollments (however, there are examples based on large-size classes).

I think a lot of CC faculty with 5/5 loads, might find some of these ideas difficult to adapt as they sometimes seem the opposite of small teaching, and do require time, resources, and well… more time.

Nevertheless, I recommend the book because it might be a source of ideas and tech tools for anyone in the field.

We don’t have this book in the Library but here’s I-Share link.