Selected books

The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice (Edited by Hanna Dumont, David Istance and Francisco Benavides – Centre for Educational Research and Innovation / OECD, 2010)


The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice (Edited by Hanna Dumont, David Istance and Francisco Benavides – Centre for Educational Research and Innovation / OECD, 2010)What do we know about how people learn? How do young people’s motivations and emotions influence their learning? What does research show to be the benefits of group work, formative assessments, technology applications, or project-based learning and when are they most effective?  How is learning affected by family background? These are among the questions addressed for the OECD by leading researchers from North America and Europe. This book brings together the lessons of research on both the nature of learning and different educational applications, and it summarises these as seven key concluding principles.The Nature of Learning: Using Research to Inspire Practice is essential reading for all those interested in knowing what research has to say about how to optimise learning in classrooms, schools and other settings. It aims, first and foremost, to inform practice and educational reform. It will be of particular interest to teachers, education leaders, teacher educators, advisors and decision makers, as well as the research community.Why such interest in learning?
Over recent years, learning has moved increasingly centre stage for a range of powerful reasons that resonate politically as well as educationally across many countries, as outlined by Dumont and Istance (Chapter 1).
These define the aims of this important volume from the work on Innovative Learning Environments produced by OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI ).OECD societies and economies have experienced a profound transformation from reliance on an industrial to a knowledge base. Global drivers increasingly bring to the fore what some call “21st century competences”.
The quantity and quality of learning thus become central, with the accompanying concern that traditional educational approaches are insufficient.Similar factors help to explain the strong focus on measuring learning outcomes (including the Programme for International Student Assessment [PISA ]) over the past couple of decades, which in turn generates still greater attention on learning. To move beyond the diagnosis of achievement levels and shortcomings to desirable change then needs a deeper understanding of how people learn most effectively.The rapid development and ubiquity of ICT are re-setting the boundaries of educational possibilities. Yet, significant investments in digital resources have not revolutionised learning environments; to understand how they might requires attention to the nature of learning.The sense of reaching the limits of educational reform invites a fresh focus on learning itself: education has been reformed and reformed again in most OECD countries, leading many to wonder whether we need new ways to influence the very interface of learning and teaching.The research base on learning has grown enormously but many researchers observe how inadequately schools tend to exemplify the conclusions of the learning sciences. At the same time, far too much research on learning is disconnected from the realities of educational practice and policy making. Can the bridges be made to inform practice by this growing evidence base?
Table of contents
Executive summary
Chapter 1. Analysing and designing learning environments for the 21st century (Read the Korean version)
Chapter 2. Historical developments in the understanding of learning
Chapter 3. The cognitive perspective on learning: ten cornerstone finding (Read the Korean version)
Chapter 4. The crucial role of motivation and emotion in classroom learning
Chapter 5. Learning from the developmental and biological perspective
Chapter 6. The role of formative assessment in effective learning environments
Chapter 7. Co-operative learning: what makes group-work work?
Chapter 8. Learning with technology
Chapter 9. Prospects and challenges for inquiry-based approaches to learning
Chapter 10. The community as a resource for learning – an analysis of academic service-learning in primary and secondary education
Chapter 11. The effects of family on children’s learning and socialisation
Chapter 12. Implementing innovation: from visionary models to everyday practice
Chapter 13. Future directions for learning environments in the 21st century
Full text: OECD Browse_it Edition (Read Only) PDF

Guidelines for designing teaching and learning for a digital age (Tony Bates, 2016)

Teaching in higher education in 2015, and beyond, requires a new approach because of changes in the economy and changes in technology.  Faculty and instructors are continually facing questions such as how do I effectively teach an increasingly diverse student population, how do I engage and support my students as class sizes increase, how do I use multi-media and other resources to build a high quality course, and a host of other questions. Drawing on his 40+ years of experience in higher education in Canada and around the world, Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate Dr. Tony Bates has authored a comprehensive, easy-to-read guide that answers these questions and many, many more all in a single location. Through 12 informative chapters, Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning answers your questions and provides helpful guidance and suggestions on a host of topics including:

  • How do I decide whether my courses should be campus-based, blended or fully online?
  • What strategies work best when teaching in a technology-rich environment? What methods of teaching are most effective for blended and online classes?
  • How do I make choices among all the available media, whether text, audio, video, computer, or social media, in order to benefit my students and my subject?
  • How do I maintain quality of teaching, learning, and resources in a rapidly changing learning environment?
  • What are the real possibilities for teaching and learning using MOOCs, OERS, open textbooks?

While understanding and respecting the individual nature of teaching, Tony talks theory, options, best practices, point-by-point strategies – offering clear, practical, and actionable advice and guidance based on research and extensive professional experience in 30 countries.

Pick one chapter or read them all – you will find a wealth of information at your fingertips.

Teaching in a Digital Age: Guidelines for Teaching and Learning is available as a free, online open textbook which you can read online, download to your tablet or computer, or print, either in sections or as a whole.

READ (link is external)

Clicking READ opens a PDF version of Teaching in a Digital Age


Newcomers or Experienced in Online Learning

By Contact North | Contact Nord Research Associate, Dr. Tony Bates

Interested in what works and what does not work in online learning?
Want to know the basics to save time and develop better courses from scratch?
Keen to ground your teaching in the latest research on online learning?

Contact North | Contact Nord’s Research Associate, Dr. Tony Bates, provides a succinct introduction to faculty and instructors about whether or not to get involved in online teaching in the first place. And how to do it well.

These ten short guides are drawn from his 517-page bestseller, Teaching in a Digital Age, which has over 40,000 downloads as an open textbook and is available in seven languages.

Dr. Bates draws from his 40 years’ experience in teaching online and at a distance, best practices from around the world and extensive research in online learning.

Download The 10 Fundamentals of Teaching Online for Faculty and Instructors (link is external).

Table of Contents (link is external)