• 1

Are you looking for a relaxing way to recharge your teaching this summer? Are you looking for new ideas to bring to your classroom, but aren’t sure where to start? Do you struggle to find the time to think about pedagogy during the hustle and bustle of the regular semester? The Summer Faculty Book Club might be just the solution you’ve been searching for!


This popular Kossen Center program is back with two new books on different topics related to effective teaching practices to pique your interest. This year’s book selections are Flower Darby's Small Teaching Online and Kathleen F. Gabriel's Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom: Teaching to Close the Graduation Gap for Minority, First-Generation, and Academically Unprepared Students. Both have earned excellent reviews from faculty and CTLs across the country and are sure to stimulate discussion among the participants.

Participation in a Summer Faculty Book Club involves reading the book and taking part in at least one of two Zoom video-conference discussions about the book with other book club participants. Discussion dates will be selected once the groups have formed. Your physical presence on campus is not required- you can take part in the discussion from anywhere with a decent internet connection! While there is no registration limit for these book clubs, the first 20 registrants for each book club will receive a free copy of the book.

Read on for further details about the books and a link to both registration forms. If you have questions about the Summer Faculty Book Club or suggestions for future book club selections, please contact the Kossen Center for Teaching & Learning.

June 2020: Flower Darby's Small Teaching Online

Published just last summer, this is the online companion to James Lang's acclaimed Small Teaching which was a very popular Summer Faculty Book Club selection in 2018. 

The concept of small teaching is simple: small and strategic changes have enormous power to improve student learning. Instructors face unique and specific challenges when teaching an online course. This book offers small teaching strategies based on the science of learning that will positively impact the online classroom.

This book outlines practical and feasible applications of theoretical principles to help your online students learn. It includes current best practices around educational technologies, strategies to build community and collaboration, and minor changes you can make in your online teaching practice, small but impactful adjustments that result in significant learning gains.

  • Explains how you can support your online students
  • Helps your students find success in this non-traditional learning environment
  • Covers online and blended learning
  • Addresses specific challenges that online instructors face in higher education

Small Teaching Online presents research-based teaching techniques from an online instructional design expert and the bestselling author of Small Teaching.

Click here to register for the June 2020 Summer Faculty Book Club and to reserve your copy of Small Teaching Online.


July 2020: Kathleen F. Gabriel's Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom: Teaching to Close the Graduation Gap for Minority, First-Generation, and Academically Unprepared Students

This is a book for all faculty who are concerned with promoting the persistence of all students whom they teach.

Most recognize that faculty play a major role in student retention and success because they typically have more direct contact with students than others on campus. However, little attention has been paid to role of the faculty in this specific mission or to the corresponding characteristics of teaching, teacher-student interactions, and connection to student affairs activities that lead to students’ long-term engagement, to their academic success, and ultimately to graduation.

At a time when the numbers of underrepresented students – working adults, minority, first-generation, low-income, and international students – is increasing, this book, a companion to her earlier Teaching Underprepared Students, addresses that lack of specific guidance by providing faculty with additional evidence-based instructional practices geared toward reaching all the students in their classrooms, including those from groups that traditionally have been the least successful, while maintaining high standards and expectations.

Recognizing that there are no easy answers, Kathleen Gabriel offers faculty ideas that can be incorporated in, or modified to align with, faculty’s existing teaching methods. She covers topics such as creating a positive and inclusive course climate, fostering a community of learners, increasing engagement and students’ interactions, activating connections with culturally relevant material, reinforcing self-efficacy with growth mindset and mental toughness techniques, improving lectures by building in meaningful educational activities, designing reading and writing assignments for stimulating deep learning and critical thinking, and making grade and assessment choices that can promote learning. 

The book is arranged as a user-friendly resource, with an overview of traditional challenges, practical tips to address them, and suggested further reading for those who wish to delve deeper.

Click here to register for the July 2020 Summer Faculty Book Club and to reserve your copy of Creating the Path to Success in the Classroom.