Minds Online

Books & Coffee Reading Group

Spring 2016

Again this year, the Center for Teaching Excellence is hosting “Books & Coffee” reading and discussion groups for faculty.  Over the course of one semester, the group will meet multiple times to discuss the readings, with group members taking turns leading discussions. And yep, we’ll always have coffee.

Book:  Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology

Michelle D. Miller - Harvard University Press, 2014
From the publisher: “From wired campuses to smart classrooms to massive open online courses (MOOCs), digital technology is now firmly embedded in higher education. But the dizzying pace of innovation, combined with a dearth of evidence on the effectiveness of new tools and programs, challenges educators to articulate how technology can best fit into the learning experience. Minds Online is a concise, nontechnical guide for academic leaders and instructors who seek to advance learning in this changing environment, through a sound scientific understanding of how the human brain assimilates knowledge.
Drawing on the latest findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Michelle Miller explores how attention, memory, and higher thought processes such as critical thinking and analytical reasoning can be enhanced through technology-aided approaches. The techniques she describes promote retention of course material through frequent low‐stakes testing and practice, and help prevent counterproductive cramming by encouraging better spacing of study. Online activities also help students become more adept with cognitive aids, such as analogies, that allow them to apply learning across situations and disciplines. Miller guides instructors through the process of creating a syllabus for a cognitively optimized, fully online course. She presents innovative ideas for how to use multimedia effectively, how to take advantage of learners’ existing knowledge, and how to motivate students to do their best work and complete the course."

Meeting and Topic Schedule

We will meet four times across the semester on Thursday afternoons from 3:30 - 4:30 pm.   And we will always have coffee and snacks.  

Thursday, January 28, 3:30 - 4:30 pm | Ragsdale 301 (Lucas Room)
Ch. 1: Is Online Learning Here to Stay?
          Ch. 2: Online Learning: Does It Work?  

Thursday, February 25, 3:30 - 4:30 pm | Ragsdale 301 (Lucas Room)
          Ch. 3: The Psychology of Computing
          Ch. 4: Attention

Thursday, March 31, 3:30 - 4:30 pm | Ragsdale 301 (Lucas Room)
          Ch. 5: Memory
          Ch. 6: Thinking

Thursday, April 21, 3:30 - 4:30 pm | Ragsdale 301 (Lucas Room)
          Ch. 7: Incorporating Multimedia Effecitvely
          Ch. 8: Motivating Students

How to Sign Up

Please fill out this short registration form.  We will get in touch with you shortly about how to receive your copy of the book.


Previous Books & Coffee Topics

2015 - Fall - Discussion in the College Classroom: Getting Your Students Engaged and Participating in Person and Online - Wiley, 2015
2015 - Spring - Learner-Centered Teaching: Putting the Research on Learning into Practice - Doyle, 2011
2014 - Fall - Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning - Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel, 2014
2014 - Spring - Teaching for 21st-Century Literacies
2013 - Fall - Getting Culture, Incorporating Diversity across the Curriculum - Gurung & Prieto, 2009
2013 - Spring - Teaching, Technology, and Liberal Education in a Digital Age
2012 - Fall - Teaching What You Don't Know - Huston, 2009
2012 - Summer - A New Culture of Learning - Thomas & Brown, 2011
2012 - Spring & 2011 - Fall - How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching - Ambrose, Bridges, DiPietro, Lovett, & Norman, 2010
2011 - Summer - Current Debates about College Teaching and Higher Education
2011 - Spring - What the Best College Teachers Do - Bain, 2004