Teaching Resources

This page provides resources to support excellent, innovative instruction in a variety of teaching settings. 

Active learning is a process whereby students engage in activities, such as reading, writing, discussion, or problem solving that promote analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of class content (Harvey & Kotting 2011).  Cooperative learning, problem-based learning, and the use of case methods and simulations are some approaches that promote active learning.  Active learning is, in short, anything that students do in a classroom other than merely passively listening to an instructor’s lecture. It includes everything from open discussions , to short writing exercises in which students reflect on lecture material, to complex group exercises in which student apply course material to “real life” situations and/or to new problems.  

What is Active Learning? (University of Minnesota, Center for Teaching and Learning)

This self paced tutorial on active learning presented by the University of Minnesota, Center for Teaching and Learning defines the basic elements of active learning, provides concrete examples of active learning strategies, and dispels some common misconceptions about adopting active learning strategies.
Active Learning for the College Classroom (Paulson and Faust, California State University, Los Angeles, 1998)
This article presents active learning techniques that can increase student learning in a lecture course. Activities include listening, group, and writing exercises that foster student engagement.

Does Active Learning Work?  A Review of the Research (Prince, 2004)

This study examines the evidence for the effectiveness of active learning.  It provides a definition of active learning and explores the different types of active learning most frequently discussed in engineering education literature.  Those outside of engineering will likewise find this source helpful in providing concise definitions, literature review, and valuable questions that will promote instructor’s understanding of active learning.       

Harvey, F., & Kotting, J.

2011    Teaching mapping for digital natives;. New Pedagogical Ideas For Undergraduate Cartography Education, 38(3), 269-277.

Flipped Learning (Literature Review) ( Hadman & McNight, Flipped Learning Network, 2013)

This brief literature review defines flipped learning, provides a conceptual framework and provides several case studies of flipped learning in both higher education and K-12.

7 Things You Should Know about Flipped Learning (Educause, 2012)

This resource is a pamphlet length discussion of what flipped classrooms are, the significance of flipped learning, who is doing it, why it is significant, and where the flipped classroom model is headed.   

With case-based teaching, students develop skills in analytical thinking and reflective judgment by reading and discussing complex, real-life scenarios. 

Teaching with Case Studies (Stanford University, 1994)

This article from the Stanford Center for Teaching and Learning describes the rationale for using case studies, the process for choosing appropriate cases, and tips for how to implement them in college courses.

National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (University of Buffalo)

This site offers resources and examples specific to teaching in the sciences. This includes the “UB Case Study Collection,” an extensive list of ready-to-use cases in a variety of science disciplines. Each case features a PDF handout describing the case, as well as teaching notes.

Problem based learning can be used in any discipline in which students need to explore how issues and principles learned in class interact in real world situations.  In problem based learning students engage complex, challenging problems and collaboratively work toward their resolution.  PBL is about students connecting disciplinary knowledge to real-world problems—the motivation to solve a problem becomes the motivation to learn.  

Problem-Based Learning (Stanford University, 2001)
This issue of Speaking of Teaching identifies the central features of PBL, provides some guidelines for planning a PBL course, and discusses the impact of PBL on student learning and motivation.

Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse (University of Delaware) (password protected)

Collection of peer reviewed problems and articles to assist educators in using problem-based learning. Teaching notes and supplemental materials accompany each problem, providing insights and strategies that are innovative and classroom-tested. Free registration is required to view and download the Clearinghouse’s resources.

See also:

Like Problem Based Learning (PBL), Team Based Learning (TBL) focuses on exposing student to and improving their ability to apply course content.  Team Based Learning differs from PBL in the intensity, duration, and amount of time spent on group assignments.  With TBL, the vast majority of class time is used for group work and courses taught with TBL typically involve multiple group assignments that are designed to improve learning and promote the development of self-managed learning teams (Michaelsen and Sweet 2008). 

Getting Started with Team Based Learning (Michaelson)

Michaelson describes the four key principles that govern the effective use of Learning Teams.

Student Learning Outside the Classroom (Kuh et al. 1994)

This digest reviews the literature on ways that institutions of higher education can enhance student learning outside the classroom. It considers research on the contributions of out-of-class experiences to valued outcomes of postsecondary education and identifies nine institutional conditions which appear to foster student learning outside the classroom.

Did you know that the average college student in this country pays around $1,200 year on textbooks?  65% of college students choose not to use their textbooks and 94% suffer because of it. This clearly impacts student success and the high cost of college impedes the ability of many students to complete their education.  

Many in higher education are moving toward the use of Open Access Educational Resources which are free and more flexible for both instructors and students.

Check out these links to completely Open (read free) Educational Resources. 

Mabee Library's LibGuide on Open Educational Resources

OER Commons​:  Open Educational Resources digital content hub.  Includes textbooks, activities, videos etc. (Higher Ed. and K-12)

OpenStax (free and peer reviewed textbooks)

MERLOT is a free and open peer reviewed collection of online teaching and learning materials and faculty-developed services contributed and used by an international education community.

Boundless.com (these actually have a minimal costs $19.99) and are marketed as generic versions of popular texts.

Professor Hacker (Chronicle of Higher Education)

This excellent blog focuses broadly on teaching in higher education with an emphasis on technology.  The blog has many contributors from across the country.

The Teaching Professor

The Teaching Professor blog features a weekly post from Maryellen Weimer, Professor emerita at Penn State.  Topics include: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, student engagement, classroom policies, active learning, assignment strategies, grading and feedback, and student performance.


Center for Teaching Excellence & Learning
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1700 SW College Ave.
Topeka, KS 66621

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