Center for Teaching Excellence and Learning (C-TEL)

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Email:, location: Mabee Library 206A, phone: 785.670.2835 (CTEL), hours: 9-4 Mon-Fri

Student in sculpture class

Teaching Circles

Teaching Circles (TC) are short-term focused book clubs. Browse through the list below and choose a TC that interests you.  Once you have registered to participate in a TC, please, stop by the C-TEL Office (206A Mabee Library) to pick up your book.  Participants will meet over coffee and snacks three times during a one-month period to discuss insights or challenges that emerge from the work.  This is a great, low-key opportunity to meet new colleagues and share ideas.  Please join us!

Space is limited to 15 participants per Teaching Circle, so please REGISTER TODAY!


Teaching Circle 9 - Minds Online: Teaching Effectively With Technology

March 9, 23 & 30, 3:00-4:00 pm
Cottonwood Room
Register Here

Miller, Michelle D., 2014.  Minds Online: Teaching Effectively With Technology. Cambridge, Harvard University Press.

Drawing on the latest findings from neuroscience and cognitive psychology, Michelle Miller explores how attention, memory, and higher thought processes such as critical thinking an analytical reasoning can be enhanced through technology-aided approaches.  What sets Miller's approach apart is her emphasis on the ways that online teaching tools can actually improve learning for all students, not just those who have no access to face-to-face classrooms. The techniques she describes promote retention of course material through frequent low-stakes testing and practice, and help prevent counter-productive 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 learner's existing knowledge, and how to motivate students to do their best work and complete the course.


Teaching Circle 10 - Transformative Learning through Engagement Student Affairs Practice as Experiential Pedagogy

March 10, 24 & 31, 3:00-4:00 pm
Cottonwood Room
Register Here

Fried, J., 2012.  Transformative Learning through Engagement Student Affairs Practice as Experiential Pedagogy.  Stylus Publishing.

This book – intended primarily for student affairs professionals – presents what we now know about the learning process, particularly those elements that promote behavioral change and the ability to place information in a broader context of personal meaning and long term impact. Central to its argument is that learning must be experiential and engage students holistically; that it must be grounded in brain science and an understanding of the cultural drivers of knowledge construction; that academic faculty and student affairs professionals must cooperate to help students make connections and see the implications of their learning for their lives; and that the entire learning environment needs to be integrated to reflect the organic nature of the process.  A second purpose of this book is to enable student affairs professionals to articulate their own role in helping students learn.



Teaching Circle 11 - Student Engagement Techniques:  A Handbook for College Faculty

April 14, 21 & 28, 3:00-4:00 pm
Cottonwood Room
Register Here

Barkley, E. 2009.  Student Engagement Techniques:  A Handbook for College Faculty. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Keeping students involved, motivated, and actively learning is challenging educators across the country, yet good advice on how to accomplish this has not been readily available. Student Engagement Techniques is a comprehensive resource that offers college teachers a dynamic model for engaging students and includes over one hundred tips, strategies, and techniques that have been proven to help teachers from a wide variety of disciplines and institutions to motivate and connect with their students. The ready-to-use format shows how to apply each of the book's techniques in the classroom and includes purpose, preparation, procedures, examples, online implementation, variations and extensions, observations and advice, and key resources.


Teaching Circle 12 - What the Best College Teachers Do

April 13, 20 & 27, 3:00-4:00 pm
Cottonwood Room
Register Here

Bain, K. 2004.  What the Best College Teachers Do.  Jossey-Bass, San Francisco

What makes a great teacher great? Who are the professors students remember long after graduation? This book, the conclusion of a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers in a wide variety of fields and universities, offers valuable answers for all educators.


 If you have ideas or suggestions for next year please let us know.