A practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching (4th edn)
2015 | 300pp | £29.99 (PB)
In the field of higher education staff and educational development, Phil Race is nothing less than a legend. There can be very few higher education institutes (HEIs) where he has not contributed to their continuing professional development (CPD) programmes. Have you ever been invited to scribble something on a Post-it note and pass it among your peers to anonymise? Phil was my source for that simple yet powerfully liberating pedagogy.
The title The lecturer’s toolkit refers not to a piece of chalk or perhaps a laser pointer but to the rich variety of proven approaches presented to those of us with the privilege to teach in HEIs. This text does not focus on chemistry, which is as irrelevant as the fact that Phil’s career actually began in chemistry, as the issues are common to almost all of higher education. The subtitle is more descriptive: this is truly A practical guide to assessment, learning and teaching.
It is significant that there is no chapter on lecturing, instead he discusses teaching large groups. Further chapters describe how students really learn, small group teaching, digital resources and strategies for effective assessment and feedback. Refreshingly, there is a chapter on looking after yourself with some sage advice on managing stress and advancing your career. If you want to take the fast-track to progress, do not just dip into the text as a manual but follow the challenges laid out in the final chapter.
Phil Race is refreshingly frank and, from my perspective, his suggestions almost always resonate. If you currently favour traditional lecturing and written examinations, The lecturer’s toolkit may contain a series of revelations. If instead you have a passion for active teaching and assessment and you are looking for a refined and highly readable compendium of wisdom and insight, this book comes highly recommended.
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