Book Takes Stock of Teaching
Active learning engages students, improves academic performance
BY REBECCA KENDALL
A new book co-edited by Prof. Julia Christensen Hughes, dean of the College of Management and Economics, argues that post-secondary institutions need to en- hance faculty teaching practices to improve student learning outcomes.
Taking Stock: Research on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education is a compilation of essays written by internationally renowned experts in teaching and learning, including president Alastair Summerlee. The book draws on evidence suggesting that common teaching practices do not adequately respond to the diverse learning needs of students.
“It is important for government and post-secondary institutions to create the context in which faculty are encouraged to use teaching methods that will lead to high-quality educational outcomes for more of their students,” says Christensen Hughes.
“Overwhelming evidence suggests that when faculty adopt active-learning pedagogies, students become more engaged in their learning and are better able to master skills and concepts.”
Commissioned by the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, the book identifies a number of strategies for improved teaching and learning. These include support for the scholarship of teaching and learning; providing grants and establishing teaching chairs; faculty recruitment, selection, promotion and tenure processes in which teaching and learning competence and scholarship are properly assessed and valued; and professional-development opportunities that are offered in collaboration with educational developers and local teaching centres.