I’ve been reading more than usual over the past few months, and I’m finding most of what I read online – news, articles, blogs, Twitter etc –  to be pretty much nothing but tragedy and impending doom. So much so that I’ve been increasingly turning with what feels a bit like relief, to my ‘professional reading’. This is basically any reading – mostly but not always in book-form – that directly or indirectly relates to my work or role, or that helps me do my job (better).

The fact that this is not mandatory ‘work reading’ means I feel no compunction about dipping in and out, and reading in spurts, rather than sitting for long periods, trying to absorb information to regurgitate integrate later. Most of my professional reading is via hard copy books, which get me away from the screen (and are good for spurt reading) but online resources also play a major role (as long as I remember to stop following links down various rabbit holes. Still working on this.)

I also love a Recommended Reading list so I thought I might highlight some of the ‘professional reading’ around Learning and Teaching I’ve discovered recently. All of which is available online or from the Striped Building (which is how I describe the University Library to visitors when giving directions) or can be made available through the Striped Building’s fantastic (no exaggeration here – it is OUTSTANDING) inter-library loan system.

An A-Z of Creative Teaching in Higher Education by Sylvia Ashton and Rachel Stone.

The authors state that they’ve “written the book for academics in higher education who want to develop their teaching in imaginative and creative ways in order to support all of their students to learn”. I would add ‘time-poor and weary’ between the words ‘for’ and ‘academics’ because this book is a pleasure to dip in and out of with bite-sized pieces of really useful academic-practical (‘pracademic’) advice.

Available from the Striped Building here.

Making Learning Happen – A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education by Phil Race

Phil Race is widely published in the field of higher education – you can access his other works such as Learning for the Future, in Blue Skies: new thinking about the future of higher education and In at the deep end – starting to teach in higher education (download FOR FREE here ). He states, though, that Making Learning Happen is his favourite, and you can see why because it’s here that he gets back, with rigour and depth, to the core business of higher education, which is, erm – making learning happen.

Also available from the Striped Building here

Cruelty-Free syllabus (Cruelty-Free in reference to humans btw)

Learning Theories dot com

Open-access resources provided by experienced (and generous) educators are one of my go-to ‘professional reading’ sources. The first of these is a presentation that provides food for thought in how easily we are ‘accidentally’ punitive in our attendance policies and unit guides.

The second will be useful as a quick reference throughout the year for a variety of projects here.

Do you also spurt-read for your work here? If you pass on any recommendations in the comments, we’ll feature them in a future post.

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Posted by Karina Luzia

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