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Faculty Development

Faculty Reading Group - Pedagogy Focus

Faculty Reading Group—Pedagogy Focus

Butler faculty are invited to join the Butler University Faculty Reading Group. This group is an ongoing, informal, cross-disciplinary gathering of Butler teaching faculty who meet to discuss their subjective interpretations of a variety of books related to teaching and learning.

Each instance of the reading group will focus on one book and will typically last between 4-8 weeks (consisting of 3-5 discussion meetings). Due to budgetary restraints, participation is limited to 24 faculty participants. Registration will be conducted on a first-come-first-served basis. All Butler teaching faculty are welcome to participate; however, each group is limited to 6-10 participants and multiple groups may discuss the same book concurrently. Faculty who agree to participate by reading the book and attending the discussion meetings are provided with a complimentary copy of the book. The reading group will be self-directed and self-facilitated and no deliverable is expected.

Fall 2017

Ambrose, S. A., Bridges, M. W., Lovett, M. C., DiPietro, M., & Norman, M. K.  J. M. (2010). How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching.

Any conversation about effective teaching must begin with a consideration of how students learn. However, instructors may find a gap between resources that focus on the technical research on learning and those that provide practical classroom strategies. How Learning Works provides the bridge for such a gap. 

In this volume, the authors introduce seven general principles of learning, distilled from the research literature as well as from twenty-seven years of experience working one-on-one with college faculty. They have drawn on research from a breadth of perspectives (cognitive, developmental, and social psychology; educational research; anthropology; demographics; and 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. These principles provide instructors with an understanding of student learning that can help them see why certain teaching approaches are or are not supporting student learning, generate or refine teaching approaches and strategies that more effectively foster student learning in specific contexts, and transfer and apply these principles to new courses. 

For anyone who wants to improve his or her students' learning, it is crucial to understand how that learning works and how to best foster it. This vital resource is grounded in learning theory and based on research evidence, while being easy to understand and apply to college teaching. (description from book cover).


Participants are expected to hold approximately four discussion meetings by the end of the fall 2017 semester, which will be scheduled by the members of the reading group. Participants also may be asked to provide feedback on the structure and process of the reading group.

The fall 2017 reading group will begin on Friday, September 29, with a brief kick-off meeting at 1:00 PM in GH101. During this meeting, copies of the book will be distributed and participants will meet each other and schedule their first discussion meeting.

To register, complete the prompts below and send your responses in an email to The deadline for registering to participate is September 18th, 2017.


Faculty Reading Group—Pedagogy Focus



College/Department/Academic Division:

In order to ensure productive and fruitful discussions, participants should be committed to reading the book and attending all scheduled meetings. Do you agree to be an active participant in this reading group? _______

Are you able to attend the September 29, 2017 meeting at 1:00 p.m. in GH101?