Seven Ways of Learning: More Purposeful, Effective and Enjoyable College Teaching

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 focusses 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: Behavioural 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 centres for teaching and learning to help continuing faculty re-examine a particular aspect of their teaching.