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Welcome to my Research Blog. Here I will keep you informed about my progress in researching new teaching methods for Operating Systems classes.

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Hans-Georg Eßer

Literature: Learning to Teach in Higher Education (Paul Ramsden) (13.07.2008)


Last week I read a very interesting book about Teaching in Higher Education. The author Paul Ramsden focuses on approaches to learning and differentiates between "deep" and superficial approaches, where the former ones lead to a proper understanding of the topics of a course, while the latter ones only bring separate pieces of knowledge into (short term) memory and do not enable students to see the overall picture or apply those knowledge fragments to new problems in a meaningful way.

Examples in the book are drawn from several fields of academic teaching, including Physics, Statistics, Medicine and Animal Science. Ramsden supports his arguments with references to lots of research papers which have measured the results of using different teaching approaches. An interesting find was that the highest correlation was that of excellent grades and a full agreement with statements such as "The staff are highly concerned in making sure that we understand."

A summary of the book could be: Think what kind of abilities you want to see students develop, what kind of change in the student's understanding do you want to achieve? Then search for ways to help the student make this change. Good teaching is an enabling of good learning.

Paul Ramsden
Learning to Teach in Higher Education
Routledge Chapman & Hall; 2nd edition 2003, 288 pages
http://www.amazon.de/dp/0415303451/; http://www.amazon.com/dp/0415303451/

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