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Fall 2015 Book Group

Make it Stick

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III, and Mark A. McDaniel

To most of us, learning something "the hard way" implies wasted time and effort. Good teaching, we believe, should be creatively tailored to the different learning styles of students and should use strategies that make learning easier.  Make It Stick turns fashionable ideas like these on their head. Drawing on recent discoveries in cognitive psychology and other disciplines, the authors offer concrete techniques for becoming more productive learners.

Memory plays a central role in our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks, such as applying knowledge to problems never before encountered and drawing inferences from facts already known. New insights into how memory is encoded, consolidated, and later retrieved have led to a better understanding of how we learn. Grappling with the impediments that make learning challenging leads both to more complex mastery and better retention of what was learned.

Many common study habits and practice routines turn out to be counterproductive. Underlining and highlighting, rereading, cramming, and single-minded repetition of new skills create the illusion of mastery, but gains fade quickly. More complex and durable learning come from self-testing, introducing certain difficulties in practice, waiting to re-study new material until a little forgetting has set in, and interleaving the practice of one skill or topic with another. Speaking most urgently to students, teachers, trainers, and athletes, Make It Stick will appeal to all those interested in the challenge of lifelong learning and self-improvement.

Meeting Information:
Thursday, September 24: 9:30am-10:30am
Thursday, October 8: 9:30am-10:30am
Thursday, October 22: 9:30am-10:30am
Thursday, November 5: 9:30am-10:30am
Thursday, November 19: 9:30am-10:30am

All meetings will take place in CETL (OL1142)

Books will be provided.

Please register for this group by Friday, September 11th at 4:30pm by contacting CETL.

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Its Complicated

It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens by danah boyd

danah boyd's It's Complicated: the Social Lives of Networked Teens examines the role of social media in lives of young people.   Based on 116 interviews with teens, plus numerous discussions with parents and teachers, boyd offers a glimpse into how teens experience inequality, bullying, and expressing themselves in the public and sometimes dangerous space of the Internet.

boyd challenges the notion that teens are digital natives, arguing that they are instead digital naïves. She argues that universities "do not prioritize digital competency, in part because of the assumption that teens natively understand anything connected to technology." But incorporating digital literacy in our courses requires that first we understand where our students are coming from.

  • What are the risks our students face online?
  • What skills and experiences do they bring to college? What do they lack?
  • How does socioeconomic inequality affect our student's digital literacy?
Facilitated by Assistant Professors Robin Miller and Kate Hinnant, McIntyre Library

Book Information

A PDF of the book is available for free from the author's website:
To purchase the book in print, visit:

Read more about what Inside Higher Ed wrote about It's Complicated.

Meeting Information:
Wednesdays, 2:00-3:00pm, September 16 to November 4.
For the first meeting, please read the Introduction and Chapter 1.

All Meetings will take place in CETL (OL1142)

Please register for this group by Friday, September 11th at 4:30pm by contacting CETL.

Add to Calendar