Rethinking Teaching in Higher Education
From a Course Design Workshop to a Faculty Development Framework

Paper: 978 1 57922 047 1 / $29.95
Published: March 2004  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 039 2 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: December 2011  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
256 pp., 6" x 9"
This book is intended for faculty and faculty developers, as well as for deans, chairs, and directors responsible for promoting teaching and learning in higher education. Intentionally non-technical, it engages readers reflectively with a process for developing teaching and details the planning necessary to apply this process to teaching within disciplines.

The book centers on McGill University’s week-long Course Design and Teaching Workshop that the contributors have offered together for more than ten years. It follows the five day format of the workshop–covering the analysis of course content, conceptions of learning, the selection of appropriate teaching strategies, the evaluation of student learning, and evaluation of teaching–in a way that reflects the spontaneity of the debates it has engendered and the workshop’s evolutionary changes.

The structure shows faculty members conceptualizing new courses or re-examining their teaching of existing courses, and translating the insights gained from the workshop to specific disciplinary content and learning outcomes. In addition four previous participants of the workshop write about its influence on their personal thinking about the practice of teaching.

The final two chapters describe the structure and evolving role of McGill’s Centre for University Teaching and Learning. The authors describe its objectives in fostering an evidence-based teaching culture and providing a practical support structure with limited resources. They highlight achievements in disseminating teaching expertise across their campus, and their vision for the future role of faculty development.

This book provides faculty developers and administrators with valuable non-prescriptive models and challenging ideas that promote faculty development in general and university teaching in particular. It engages faculty members in the process of course design in a way that is learning centered and can lead to deep student learning.

Reviews & Endorsements:
“If one could write the shortest review I would write: ‘read this book.’
It is well-designed and structured description of how to provide an environment conducive to reflection through meaningful dialogues and relevant and informative workshops [for faculty development]. The authors turn their attention to developing ways of teaching to support encourage and motivate student learning. This is done in the continued telling of the workshops’ progression through a number of activities that are structured in a cohesive and developmental manner – the facilitators model good practice in the development and delivery of the workshops. They note the usual issues that arise when lecturers are asked to change and adapt; such as the inevitable inflexible work spaces, large group sizes and lack of resources.
In conclusion, this book is highly readable, informative and engaging. It is a good text to have on the shelf, when pondering: what to do, why do I do this and what can I do to change others’ practice.”
- Quality Assurance in Education (Australia)
"Rethinking Teaching in Higher Education is directed at anyone in higher education charged with developing faculty: deans, department chairs, or other administrators with oversight of teaching and learning...You may find yourself wishing you were a participant in one of McGill University's workshops; perhaps one goal of this book is to encourage other schools to develop similar faculty development opportunities."
- Laura K. Simmons, George Fox Evangelical Seminary , Teaching Theology and Religion
Related Titles by Subject:
See Teaching & Learning ( Higher Education )