The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction
Teaching for Engagement and Impact in Any Setting
- Douglas Fisher - San Diego State University, USA
- Nancy Frey - San Diego State University, USA
- John Almarode - James Madison University, USA
- John Hattie - The University of Melbourne, Australia
First, let’s commend ourselves: how in the midst of a pandemic we faculty stepped up at record speed to teach in such a foreign learning environment. Try we did, adapt we did, and learn we did. But to be clear, and we already recognize this, this past spring was less about distance learning and more about crisis teaching.
This time around we have the opportunity to be much more purposeful and intentional, and that’s where The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction will prove absolutely indispensable.
Much more than a collection of cool tools and apps, The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction mobilizes decades of Visible Learning® research to reveal those evidence-based strategies that work best in an online environment. Supplemented by video footage and opportunities to self-assess and reflect, the book addresses every dynamic that must be in place for students to learn, even at a distance:
- Faculty-student relationships from a distance
- Teacher credibility from a distance
- Teacher clarity from a distance
- Engaging tasks from a distance
- Planning learning experiences from a distance
- Feedback, assessment, and grading from a distance
- Keeping the focus on learning, from a distance or otherwise
What does our post-COVID future hold? “We suspect,” Fisher, Frey, Almarode, and Hattie write, “it will include increased amounts of distance learning. In the meantime, let’s seize on what we have learned to improve post-secondary education in any format, whether face-to-face or from a distance.”
“We are all still active faculty members, committed to teaching, scholarship, and service. The unexpected transition to remote learning doesn’t mean we no longer know how to teach. We can still impact the lives of our students and know that we made a difference. The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction will show you how.”
~Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Almarode, and John Hattie
This is an amazing book. While it is designed to build everyone’s capacity to teach in distance learning environments, it is truly a primer on effective teaching in postsecondary education. Educators who utilize these clear and practical suggestions will see their students achieve stronger learning outcomes. The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction should be a cornerstone of faculty professional development efforts.
The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction is a very useful guide to helping educators make the transition from onsite to online teaching. The highly respected authors skillfully demonstrate how teachers can apply evidence-based practices from more traditional learning environments to a rapidly evolving world of online learning. The result is a wonderful self-guided tour of extraordinary opportunities to close the distance for learners.
The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction offers an innovative learner-centered approach to student achievement where self-care, social emotional learning, instructional clarity, and responsive leadership strategies converge to support faculty in facilitating learner experiences that continue to transition students from ‘passenger to active driver’ in all learning environments, including distance education.
The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction by Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Almarode, and John Hattie is a timely and necessary addition to every faculty’s library. The authors’ considerate and experiential approach to distance learning provides a well-researched foundation, authentic vignettes of instructors’ experiences, easily accessible video and web links, and helpful techniques that can be used among most disciplines. Impressively, they envisage the distance learning environment beginning with the instructor and as an active, dynamic, and engaging space for learning and teaching.
These authors once again exceed expectations with this thought-provoking and very practical guide to distance learning. The timing could not be better. Higher education faculty and administrators will find it extremely useful–including a much-needed chapter on self-care, a topic often overlooked in the literature. The pointers on engaging and assessing students are particularly helpful, and the learning intentions and success criteria make this an indispensable resource for new and veteran online instructors alike.