Facilitating Seven Ways of Learning
A Resource for More Purposeful, Effective, and Enjoyable College Teaching

Foreword by L. Dee Fink
Paper: 978 1 57922 841 5 / $29.95
Published: October 2012  

Cloth: 978 1 57922 840 8 / $95.00
Published: October 2012  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 57922 842 2 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: April 2013  

E-Book: 978 1 57922 843 9 / $22.99
Published: April 2013  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
326 pp., 6" x 9"
For teachers in higher education who haven’t been able to catch up with developments in teaching and learning, James Davis and Bridget Arend offer an introduction that focuses on seven coherent and proven evidence-based strategies. The underlying rationale is to provide a framework to match teaching goals to distinct ways of learning, based on well-established theories of learning. The authors present approaches that readers can readily and safely experiment with to achieve desired learning outcomes, and build confidence in changing their methods of teaching.

Research on learning clearly demonstrates that learning is not one thing, but many. The learning associated with developing a skill is different from the learning associated with understanding and remembering information, which in turn is different from thinking critically and creatively, solving problems, making decisions, or change paradigms in the light of evidence. Differing outcomes involve different ways of learning and teaching strategies.

The authors provide the reader with a conceptual approach for selecting appropriate teaching strategies for different types of content, and for achieving specific learning objectives. They demonstrate through examples how a focused and purposeful selection of activities improves student performance, and in the process makes for a more effective and satisfying teaching experience.

The core of the book presents a chapter on each of the seven ways of learning. Each chapter offers a full description of the process, illustrates its application with examples from different academic fields and types of institutions, clearly describes the teacher’s facilitation role, and covers assessment and online use.

The seven ways of learning are: Behavioral Learning; Cognitive Learning; Learning through Inquiry; Learning with Mental Models; Learning through Groups and Teams; Learning through Virtual Realities; and Experiential Learning.

Along the way, the authors provide the reader with a basis for evaluating other approaches to teaching and other learning methodologies so that she or he can confidently go beyond the “seven ways” to adapt or adopt further strategies.

This is the ideal companion for teachers who are beginning to explore new ways of teaching, and want to do some serious independent thinking about learning. The book can also be used to prepare graduate students for teaching, and will be welcomed by centers for teaching and learning to help continuing faculty re-examine a particular aspect of their teaching.

Table of Contents:
L. Dee Fink


Part One: Understanding Teaching and Learning
1) The Lecture Paradigm and the New Context of Teaching and Learning
2) Alternative Approaches to Teaching and Learning
3) Using the Seven Ways of Learning for Teaching

Part Two: Organizing Teaching and Learning
4) Building Skills: Behavioral Learning
5) Acquiring Knowledge: Cognitive Learning
6) Developing Critical, Creative, and Dialogical Thinking: Learning Through Inquiry
7) Cultivating Problem Solving and Decision Making: Learning With Mental Models
8) Exploring Attitudes, Feelings, and Perspectives: Learning Through Groups and Teams
9) Practicing Professional Judgment: Learning Through Virtual Realities
10) Reflecting on Experience: Experiential Learning

Part Three: Transforming College Teaching
11) More Purposeful, Effective, and Enjoyable Teaching

About the Authors

Chapter 3
Companion Site

Reviews & Endorsements:
"“Slam dunk, touchdown, goal, grand slam, ace!!! This book is fabulous. Davis and Arend have pulled together an exceptional resource for better understanding effective teaching strategies by demonstrating how to adjust teaching based on what students need to learn. As faculty, we expect students to learn a wide variety of concepts, processes, and applications. To accomplish this, research clearly suggests using a variety of strategies. This book not only explains that research, but also gives concrete examples and a solid rationale for each learning approach.

While the authors note this material is not intended for those brand new to teaching, and although I believe just about anyone teaching at the postsecondary level could learn from this book, the primary audience really is faculty who are looking to rethink what they are currently doing. This book will result in seriously reassessing how to best facilitate learning.

This is the perfect book for groups and reading circles of experienced teachers. I will certainly add to my faculty development collection.”
- Todd Zakrajsek, Associate Professor, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
"The seven ways of learning identified by Davis and Arend will add a great deal of precision to the task of selecting the right set of learning activities for a rich, or in my language, significant set of learning goals.

Another feature of this book that adds major value is the fact that the authors clearly understand the important relationships in learning-centered, integrated course design. Therefore for each of the seven ways of learning, i.e., the seven sets of learning activities, they comment on the learning goals and the assessment activities that are appropriate for that way of learning.

For those of us who care about our students’ learning – and I believe that is the attitude of the majority of teachers – this book offers valuable strategies for improving learning, and will be worth reading for years to come!"
- L. Dee Fink
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See Teaching & Learning ( Higher Education )