Since 1973, City University of Seattle has pioneered innovative teaching practices in higher education for the purpose of teaching anyone with the desire to learn. CityU was among the first to offer distance and online in the Pacific Northwest, and has consistently been ranked among the top providers of undergraduate and graduate online degrees by the U.S. News and World Report.
As a leader in higher education, CityU’s faculty decided to write a series of books addressing best practices for teaching adults within higher education. CityU’s Associate Provost and Dean of the School of Management, Dr. Kurt Kirstein led this effort and several faculty, staff, and students contributed content.
The fourth book in this series was recently published and authored by Dr. Kelly Flores, Dean of the School of Applied Leadership. It was edited by Dr. Kirstein; Dr. Craig Schieber, Dean of the Albright School of Education and the Division of Arts and Sciences; and Dr. Steven Olswang, City University of Seattle’s Provost.
We wanted to learn more about this series and the fourth title, so we checked in with Dr. Kirstein. Here is what we found out…
Q: This is the fourth book in a series. What were you hoping to do in this series and what does this book address specifically?
This series is subtitled: Proven Practices in Higher Education. The goal of the series has always been to be a vehicle for collaboration among CityU faculty. The idea originally came about when we recognized that most of our faculty teach their courses without really being able to share ideas with other faculty members. So, we decided to create an opportunity for faculty, staff, and even students to share best practices with each other and these four volumes are a way to do that.
The fourth volume focuses on exemplary instructional strategies and how they are used to support our CityU student population. Currently, there is a great deal of focus nationally on the best ways to teach, whether it be in-class, online, or hybrid. These are known as exemplary practices and that’s the topic of the fourth book.
Q: Looking back, what were the key lessons that volumes one, two and three addresses and taught readers?
Each volume focus on best practices for teaching adults within a specific area of higher education.
The first focused on authentic instruction through online delivery. The second focused on innovative teaching and the third focus on teaching leadership. In each case, the lesson learned has been that there are so many innovative ways that our faculty teach CityU students and that there is a great deal of value in sharing this information.
Q: Like the other editions, there are several contributors to this book. Who are they and what are some things that people can expect to read about?
This volume has a mix of faculty, partners, staff and even students. Each shares an exemplary or innovative teaching method that can be used by other university faculty members to support their students.
Q: This book focuses on instruction. What are some best practices that this book talks through and what are some best practices that you have applied in your classroom?
The book is divided into three parts:
- Student – to – student engagement
- Student – to – content engagement
- Student – to – self engagement
Perhaps the most common topic of the chapters is the use of technology in online learning. It is true that due to technology advances, we are increasingly able to engage students in a live manner and this will help us to begin to restore some of the personalization that has been lost through the current design of online learning. This is an area that is going to be ripe for information sharing as we find new ways to minimize the sense of isolation that is one of the leading causes of student attrition in online courses. It is good to see that this was a major focus for many authors that contributed to this book.
Q: Where can educators and folks interested in this topic buy this book?
It is for sale here on Amazon.