Hitting Pause
65 Lecture Breaks to Refresh and Reinforce Learning

Foreword by Kevin Barry
Paper: 978 1 62036 653 0 / $32.50
Published: December 2017  

Cloth: 978 1 62036 652 3 / $95.00
Published: January 2018  

Lib E-Book: 978 1 62036 654 7 / $95.00  
About Library E-Book

Published: December 2017  

E-Book: 978 1 62036 655 4 / $25.99
Published: December 2017  

Publisher: Stylus Publishing
266 pp., 6" x 9"
21 figures
Pauses constitute a simple technique for enlivening and enhancing the effectiveness of lectures, or indeed of any form of instruction, whether a presentation or in an experiential setting. This book presents the evidence and rationale for breaking up lectures into shorter segments by using pauses to focus attention, reinforce key points, and review learning. It also provides 65 adaptable pause ideas to use at the opening of class, mid-way through, or as closers.

Starting with brain science research on attention span and cognitive load, Rice bases her book on two fundamental principles: shorter segments of instruction are better than longer ones, and learners who actively participate in instruction learn better than those who don’t.

Pausing helps teachers apply these principles and create student engagement without requiring major changes in their lesson plans. With careful planning, they can integrate pauses into learning sessions with ease and significantly reinforce student learning. They will also gain feedback on students’ comprehension.

Rice sets out the characteristics of good pauses, gives advice on how to plan them and how to introduce them to maximum effect. She provides compelling examples and concludes with a repertory of pauses readers can easily modify and apply to any discipline.

This book contains a compendium of strategies that any teacher can fruitfully use to reinforce learning, as well as a stepping stone to those seeking to transition to more active learning methods. It:

• Makes the case for using pauses
• Identifies the primary functions of pauses: focusing, refocusing, enhancing retention, or closing off the learning experience
• Provides research evidence from cognitive science and educational psychology
• Provides practical guidance for creating quick active learning breaks
• Distinguishes between starting, middle, and closing pauses
• Includes descriptions, with suggested applications, of 65 pauses

Table of Contents:
Kevin Barry

Part One: Benefits of Pausing
Introduction Hitting Pause
1) Why We Need to Pause

Part Two: Brain Science Support for the Pause
2) Pausing Supports Ideal Learning
3) Starting Pauses Focus Attention
4) Midpauses Refocus Attention
5) Closing Pauses Capture Learning

Part 3 Reasons for Pausing
6) Why Start with a Pause
7) Why Close with a Pause

About the Author

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Reviews & Endorsements:
“The text is a rich collection of research, stories, and well-articulated activities that teachers in different roles will find indispensable. The book is both a review of research and an instructional guide suited for both audiences. Hitting Pause is a must for graduate students who will soon become higher education instructors as well as for experienced faculty looking for compelling and effective ways to expand their craft knowledge.”
- Teachers College Record
“In this extraordinarily helpful book, Gail Rice provides two tremendous services to college faculty. First, she draws together research and arguments from a wide range of fields in order to demonstrate that simple, brief activities in class—built around the idea of creating “pauses” for student learning—can have a major positive impact on student success. Second, she presents a wealth of thought-provoking activities that faculty could begin using in their classrooms tomorrow. No faculty member will be able to read this book and not want to get immediately back into the classroom and put some of these excellent ideas into practice. An outstanding resource for faculty and those who work in faculty development.”
- James M. Lang, Professor of English, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence , Assumption College
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