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Books

Multiple intelligences in the elementary classroom

Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load

The Performance Consultant’s Fieldbook

Distance Education: A Systems View

Handbook of Distance Education, Second Edition

Practical Research: Planning and Design

A Handbook of Job Aids

First Things Fast

Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations

Teaching for Understanding with Technology

Baum, Susan, Viens, Julie, & Slatin, Barbara. (2005). Multiple intelligences in the elementary classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.

Susan Baum is a professor of education at the College of New Rochelle. Julie Viens is the executive director at Cambridgeport Children’s Center and was a senior researcher at Project Zero when she wrote this book. Barbara Slatin is an elementary school principal in New York City. They began working together in 1992 to help a NYC school implement Multiple Intelligences Theory (MI) in classroom teaching. They summarize five approaches from the practices in this book.

Each of the five approaches or pathways -- Expo Exploration, Bridging, Understanding, Authentic Problems, and Talent Development – suggests a way, based on a particular teaching goal, of assembling series of activities that will, as the authors claim, inspire students’ multiple intelligences.

The case studies, worksheets, organizers, and resources attached to each approach make the book a practical guide for planning an MI related lesson. I adopted some of the ideas when designing online courses for the client during ED 795A.

Readers who look for MI theory in this book will be disappointed because it has only a brief introduction to the theory. Instead, the book is more about course design. It would be helpful if readers read the book accompanying with the Teaching for Understanding pedagogy that is derived from MI theory.

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Clark, R. C., Nguyen, F., & Sweller, J. (2005). Efficiency in Learning: Evidence-Based Guidelines to Manage Cognitive Load. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.  

The authors apply cognitive load theory to e-learning material design and provide 29 guidelines with real-world examples for designers. According to my experience in ED 795A, I would consider this book to be a reference book which you can check with particular purpose in mind rather than a book that you’ll read through from beginning to end. The authors claim that all guidelines in this book are evidence-based practices and are supported by “valid research”, and evaluated using experimental or quasi-experimental designs.

Readers might find some research summaries do not give out enough details about the research methodology to show the validity.

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Hale, J. (2007). The Performance Consultant’s Fieldbook, includes a Microsoft Word diskette: Tools and Techniques for Improving Organizations and People (Bk&Disk.). San Francisco: Pfeiffer.  

This is a step-by-step workbook for the performance improvement consultant. The author, a senior management consultant, discusses the process of becoming a professional performance consultant, including identifying barriers, diagnosing problems, recommending intervention, measuring results, as well as determining the price for services. I used the tables, charts, check lists, and templates contained in this book as tools to guide me through the project for ED 795A.

The methodologies recommended in this book are, in many ways, similar to the methodologies outlined in First Things Fast (Rossette, 1999) but there are differences, too. Reading these two books together might help to create one’s own agenda as a professional performance consultant.

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Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2004). Distance Education: A Systems View (2nd ed.).

Moore, professor of Education in the Department of Learning and Performance Systems at the Pennsylvania State University as well as editor or consultant of several national or international leading organizations in distance education, and Kearsley examine distance education from a historical view point covering the evolution of the transmission form, the theory, the technology and media, the principles of instructional design, and the structure, management and policy of the organizations. This book provides references to a variety of web sites and articles that are good sources for further study. In EDTEC 550, this book helps me gain a broad insight into distance education. A good complementary reading to this book would be Theory and Practice of Online Learning (Anderson, Eds., 2008. See http://www.aupress.ca/index.php/books/120146)

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Moore, M. G. (2007). Handbook of Distance Education, Second Edition (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

The six Parts of this Handbook cover these important aspects of distance education: Learning and Learners, Design and Instruction, Policies, Administration, and Management, Audiences and Providers, and Global Perspectives. This second edition, updated four years after initial writing, discusses history of distance education from past to present, as well as from theory to practice. In EDTEC 650, I chose to study the first part of the book and was able to have a clearer understanding on several perspectives that have great influence on the domain including the transactional distance from Michael G. Moore, the industrial form of education from Otto Petters, the empathic conversation from Borje Holmberg, and the community of inquiry from Randy D. Garrison. When reading these articles with earlier publications from the same authors, readers can examine how the perspectives have evolved over the past few decades.

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Leedy, P. D., & Ormrod, J. E. (2005). Practical Research: Planning and Design. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall.  

This book introduces fundamental structure and methodology of research for beginners of academic research. The book, using easy-to-read format starts from an overview of the complete methodological process follows by a discussion each step for conducting research: defining research problem, reviewing literature, planning the research project, writing the research proposal, and preparing the research report. The book also contains a brief introduction for both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

With the examples provided throughout the book, I was able to complete my first academic research paper independently at ED 690. 

Although readers might not learn every research methodology only by reading this book, they would surely perceive the scientific attitude from it.

When this book is read with its companion website, readers will find extended knowledge and skills.

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Rossett, A., & Gautier-Downes, J. (1991). A Handbook of Job Aids. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

The author, professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University, first gives job aids an operational definition that distinguishes job aids from other performance support interventions such as training. She claims that job aids provide just-in-time information, direct more immediate performance, and will save a huge amount of time and money. Furthermore, different kinds of problems should be addressed by different interventions. She further classifies job aids into seven formats and clearly instructs readers how to select and create the appropriate format for a job aid. I relied on this book while designing job aids for EDTEC 540 and 541.

This book uses lots of charts and diagrams that help readers to grasp the main points of the content in a short time.

Although I find a book on job aids design to be useful for performance improvement, the limited discussion on how computer technology could be utilized in job aids design reveals the major weakness of this book.

Rossette published a new book, Job Aids & Performance Supports, which provides updated information about job aids.

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Rossett, A. (1999). First Things Fast (1st ed., p. 241). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Pfeiffer. 

The author, professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University, tells readers that the first thing they should emphasize before solving problems is the performance analysis. Since performance analysis usually takes too long, the author suggests some fast methods such as data-based decision making, use technology, partnering with others, etc. I found Chapter Three and Four very helpful when I looked for quick fixes to problems in my EDTEC courses. The tables and templates contained in this book make it possible to find the answers fast.

This book can be read jointly with The Performance Consultant’s Fieldbook (Hale, 2007) to get more insight into performance technology.

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Stewart, T. A. (1998). Intellectual Capital: The New Wealth of Organizations. New York: Doubleday Business.  

The author, a former managing director of Harvard Business Review, discusses how the information age has impacted both individual and organization and how individual and organization should react to meet the challenges and remain competitive. This book defines three types of intellectual capital: human capital, structural capital, and customer capital, and suggests agendas that readers can apply to practical problems. I read this book in EDTEC 685 and ED 795B and found it a good source of strategic thinking for business management.

This book is easy to read because a large portion of this book is used to give examples that support the author’s claims. The author’s skill in concept expression is stimulating.

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Wiske, M. S., & Franz, K. R. (2004). Teaching for Understanding with Technology (1st ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.  

This book is a co-product of a professor of Education at Harvard Graduate School of Education, a k-12 school teacher, and a developer of teacher development programs. The authors discuss how technology can support learning based on the pedagogical theory of Teaching for Understanding. This book, with many classroom-based examples, focuses not only on new technology but also on the integration of technology with pedagogy and the evaluation of learner performance. I used design concepts and practical examples from this book as the guidelines when I was designing an online course for an EDTEC 541 assignment.

Readers can find more lesson design examples on the ENT web site.

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Susan's Bookshelf