2009-2010 Lunch Hour Reading/Discussion Club

Fall 2009

Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies For The Virtual Classroom

(Rena M. Palloff & Keith Pratt)

Building Online Learning Communities book cover

Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies For The Virtual Classroom

Building an online community is discussed at length in online learning research and practice. Yetscholars and instructors continue to debate if building an online community is really necessary or just nice? And how do you create a community online? This book club will discuss these questions and more as authors Palloff and Pratt explore the development of online classroom environments that encourage a sense of community and empower students to take charge of their own learning. The first part of the book provides advice on how to transition a course to the online environment and the strategies behind building an online learning community. The authors provide both empirical and anecdotal evidence to support their claim that community building is critical to student success online. Part two of the book is a practical guide to best practices for online learning. This practical – and sometimes controversial – guide provides many case studies, examples, and suggestions to discuss from a wide variety of successful online courses.


Facilitator: Karen Skibba, Learning Technology Center

Sessions Scheduled: Six Wednesdays from 12:00pm - 1:00pm: 9 & 23 September; 7 & 21 October; 11 November; 2 December.

Room: TBA

Tearing Down The Gates

(Peter Sacks)

Tearing Down The Gates book cover

Tearing Down the Gates is a powerful indictment of American education that shows how schools, colleges, and universities exacerbate inequality by providing ample opportunities for advantaged students while shutting the gates on the poor – and even the middle class. At the heart of this book is a question of justice, and Sacks demands that we take a hard look at what equal opportunity really means in the United States today.


Facilitator: George Savage, Languages & Literatures Department

Sessions Scheduled: Five Mondays from 8:00am - 9:00am: 21 & 28 September; 5, 12 & 19 October.

Room: TBA


What The Best College Teachers Do

(Ken Bain)

High-Impact Educational Practices

(George D. Kuh)

What The Best College Teachers Do book cover

What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book club will utilize two sources in an exploration and discussion of best practices in higher education and college teaching. Bain’s book offers valuable answers for all educators, while the AAC&U'sLEAP report defines a set of educational practices that research has demonstrated have a significant impact on student success.


Facilitator: Seth Meisel, Chair, History Department

Sessions Scheduled: Six Mondays from 12:30pm - 1:30pm: 14 & 28 September; 12 & 26 October; 9 & 23 November.

Room: TBA



Spring 2010

Sun, Stone, and Shadows: 20 Great Mexican Short Stories (Tezontle)

(Jorge F. Hernandez)

Sun Stone book

This anthology presents a collection of twenty stories of extraordinary quality, written by the finest Mexican authors born during the first half of the twentieth century. Through these pages, readers will tour the real and the unreal, the faithfully rendered and the fantastic, as well as the tangible past of Mexican history. They will also travel between urban reflections on everyday life and intimate inventions that set Mexico apart from landscapes, other cultures, and other literatures. Part of the Big Read Selection

Facilitator: Ben Strand, Young Auditorium

Sessions Scheduled: Six Wednesdays from 12:00pm - 1:00pm on February 3 and 17, March 3, 17, and 31, and April 7

Room: TBA



McKeachie's Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers

(Wilbert McKeachie and Marilla Svinicki)

Teaching Tips Book

This indispensable handbook provides helpful strategies for dealing with both the everyday challenges of university teaching and those that arise in efforts to maximize learning for every student. The suggested strategies are supported by research and adaptable to specific classroom situations. Rather than suggest a “set of recipes” to be followed mechanically, the book gives instructors the tools they need to deal with the ever-changing dynamics of teaching and learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to identify topics of interest to explore and receive resources beyond those discussed in the textbooks.

Facilitators: Simone DeVore, Department of Special Education, and Brenda O'Beirne, Department of Counselor Education

Sessions Included: Sic Thursdays from 12:30pm - 1:30pm on February 4 and 18, March 4 and 18, and April 1 and 15

Room: TBA

Earth in Mind: On Education, Environment, and the Human Prospect

(David W. Orr)

Earth Mind book

In Earth in Mind, noted environmental educator David W. Orr focuses not on problems in education, but on the problem of education.

Much of what has gone wrong with the world, he argues, is the result of inadequate and misdirected education that: alienates us from life in the name of human domination; causes students to worry about how to make a living before they know who they are; overemphasizes success and careers; separates feeling from intellect and the practical from the theoretical; deadens the sense of wonder for the created world.

The crisis we face, Orr explains, is one of mind, perception, and values. It is, first and foremost, an educational challenge.

Facilitator: Linda Reid, Chair of the Finance and Business Law Department

Sessions Scheduled: Six Tuesdays from 5:00pm - 6:00pm on February 2 and 16, March 16, 21, 30, and April 13

Room: TBA