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How Learning Works (2011-2012)

How Learning Works
How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching 
by Susan Ambrose, Michael W. Bridges, Michele DiPietro, Marsha C. Lovett, and Marie K. Norman

Publisher's Description
Distilling the research literature and translating the scientific approach into language relevant to a college or university teacher, this book introduces seven general principles of how students learn. The authors have drawn on research from a breadth of perspectives (cognitive, developmental, and social psychology; educational research; anthropology; demographics; organizational behavior) to identify a set of key principles underlying learning, from how effective organization enhances retrieval and use of information to what impacts motivation. Integrating theory with real-classroom examples in practice, this book helps faculty to apply cognitive science advances to improve their own teaching.


Table of Contents
Publisher's Page
Google Preview
PDF of Chapter One
Also available onAmazon (including Kindle edition)


  • September 19, 2011: This year's book is announced.  VTLC Advisory Committee campus representativeswill invite participants. 
  • October 17: VTLC Advisory Committee campus representatives will distribute copies of the book to participants.
  • Participants will have from mid-October until the beginning of Spring semester to read the book. (If you finish it early, share it with someone else on your campus!)
  • Early Spring semester, 2012: VTLC Reading Circle activities online and on campuses.

How They Work

The geographical distribution of the campuses of the UW Colleges and the workloads of our faculty and IAS make traditional reading circles a challenge, so the VTLC offers three ways to participate:

1. Reading & Reflecting
Read the text, and on your own complete the simplereflection activites provided by the VTLC to consider the relevance and impact of the reading on your own teaching and your students' learning. This activity is part of "reflective practice" and is highly valued by the VTLC.

2. Online Interaction (Two Options)
Blog about it: Read the text, and comment on the ongoing series of blog posts (one per concept) posted on the UWC-VTLC blog.

Add your voice: Read the text, provide your perspective, and hear/read others' in an online environment (VoiceThread) on your own time.  Link to How Learning Works VoiceThread: http://voicethread.com/share/2698199/   (There is also a typing option if you do not have a microphone.)  

3. On-Campus Discussions
Read the text, and join interested campus colleagues in a discussion facilitated by your campus's VTLC Advisory Committee Representative or a designated facilitator. 

Reading Circle Archive