Theory and Practice

The NDSU Library has recently acquired numerous books on teaching in higher education, many of these books focus specifically on the active learning theory and practice. Below is a list of subject areas and a link to the NDSU Library's list of book titles available to check-out. 

Resources for New Instructors - Includes topics like becoming a new teacher, teaching first year college students, and what the best college teachers do.
Good Books to Start With - Includes topics like learner-centered teaching, how learning works, and everyday lessons.
Problem-Based Learning - Includes topics like learning to solve problems and new approaches.
Critical Thinking - Includes topics like teaching critical thinking.
Inquiry-Based Learning - Includes topics like effective seminars and guidebooks.
Service Learning - Includes topics like civic engagement, case applications, and lessons learned.
Student Engagement and Inclusion - Includes topics like theoretical perspectives, techniques, and transforming classroom culture.
Course Design - Includes topics like designing capstone courses; designing and teaching online courses; and creating significant learning experiences.

View additional resources, below, on the theory and practice for teaching in higher education.




Academic Rigor

Wyse, S.A. & Soneral, P. A. G. (2018). "Is This Class Hard?" Defining and Analyzing Academic Rigor from A Learner's Perspective.CBE Life Sciences Education, 17(59) 1-14.



Active Learning Resources

A list of resources developed by NDSU faculty who use active learning in their classrooms. These articles are ones believed to provide evidence of the effectiveness of active learning.


Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: Creating excitement in the classroom. ERIC Digest, 1-6.

Braxton, J. M., Jones, W. A., Hirschy, A. S., & Hartley III, H. V. (2008). The role of active learning in college student persistence. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2008(115), 71-83.

Kuh, George D., Ty M. Cruce, Rick Shoup, Jillian Kinzie, Robert M. Gonyea. Unmasking the Effects of Student Engagement on First-Year College Grades and Persistence. The Journal of Higher Education 79.5, September/October 2008. 540-563. 

Prince, M. (2004). Does active learning work? A review of the research. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(3), 223-231.



Anti-Racist and Inclusive Teaching Resources

You will find a collection of reputable resources for inclusive and anti-racist teaching at the following links.

Tips and Techniques for Inclusive, Anti-Racist Teaching , NDSU Libraries, The NDSU Libraries have put together a collection of teaching resources for inclusive and anti-racist teaching. This list includes scholarly research, books, videos, podcasts, blogs, and more. 

Teachings of our Elders, North Dakota Department of Education, A set of resources for teaching students of the North Dakota Native American and Indigenous population. These resources are intended for K-12 teachers, though the information is a reputable source and may be useful to teaching at the university level. 

WoLakota Project, South Dakota Department of Education, A set of resources for teaching students of the South Dakota Native American and Indigenous population. These resources are intended for K-12 teachers, though the information is a reputable source and may be useful to teaching at the university level. 



Benefit of Authenticity in the Classroom

During your elementary years, you may have experienced shock when you saw your teacher outside of school for the first time. This common epiphany, that teachers are people who go to grocery stores, is an important realization, and one that should not be left behind when we advance to higher education. Large lecture classes present substantial obstacles for students to get to know their professors. However, research suggests that this connection is an important one. Specifically, instructors who are authentic or share their thoughts and experiences in the classroom may promote student engagement. Learn more about the benefits of authenticity in the classroom >>



Disability Accommodations

Disability accommodations are organized and regulated through the university Disability Services office. The mission of these offices is to ensure equal access to the learning environment for students with documented disabilities and to provide students with disabilities a safe space to discuss their disabilities and to express concerns regarding their education and the transition to college life. There are a multitude of services provided to assist students to give them equal opportunities to succeed in and out of the classroom. Learn more about disability accommodations >> 



Growth Mindset

Simply stated, someone with a “growth mindset” believes the brain is like a muscle. By challenging it, stretching it, and exercising it regularly, they believe their brain can become stronger and they can become smarter. Learn more about growth mindsets >>


Instructor Mindset and the Racial Achievement Gap

Examine the impact of instructor mindset on racial achievement gaps. In this session, we will examine the phenomenon through the lens of communication cues, stereotype threat, and trust.

Watch the Video >>



The Pygmalion Effect

The Pygmalion effect shows that teachers’ expectations of their students have a strong effect on student performance. Learn more about the pygmalion effect >>



Teacher Immediacy

What if your students’ college success depends on you? Not the collective “you”, but the specific, personal, individual you? Learn more about how teacher immediacy has an impact on your students' performance. >>

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