Reading and Discussing Teaching and Learning: A Book Club Experience

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L Dee Fink released a new edition of Creating Significant Learning Experiences (2013), with the message that, “the whole point of this book is to offer ideas that can improve the way teaching is usually practiced in higher education” (p. xii). The challenge to those who want to meaningfully read and learn from this 334 page book, is described by Caster and Hautala (2008), is that of time and balance. They also provide evidence that a book club is an opportunity for learning, and helps to address the challenges. Levin et al. (2007) suggest the knowledge gained from book group discussions can be shared with others, and provide a model for others to adopt the book club format. Williams et al. (2013) describe this as increasing the opportunity to build networks to enhance teaching and learning. With the idea to bring together a university community to explore teaching and learning issues, a book club was established, and Fink’s book was selected. The popularity of this format was quickly embraced by faculty, graduate students and staff from across disciplines, to discuss Fink’s ideas on teaching, and explore potential applications of the text. Topics were identified, face-to-face meetings were scheduled, and a discussion board was created in the online learning management system (D2L). A facilitator organized the group, monitored the D2L site, and Barthelmess (2014) guidelines for good book club discussion were adopted. This poster will present the process, format, membership, and experiences, with implications for applications and future development.