Making Learning Happen: A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education

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SAGE, Oct 3, 2005 - Education - 232 pages
`Another textbook about learning in the post-compulsory sector: fortunately, this one has an abundant supply of a quality that is often lacking in such books: thoughtful originality, backed up by meaningful experience on the part of the author. The book as a whole is mercifully free of unnecessary jargon (a point that the author points out in the preface), and is accessible and friendly in tone. Race's "ripples on a pond" model... is effortlessly applicable to a range of learning and teaching situations and provides a useful tool for exploring teaching and learning practice' - ESCalate

`Professor Race... is without a doubt a master of intelligent simplicity. [This] book may seem to be innocent of theory, but a serious understanding of the needs of learners is clear behind every page. The approach is to make sense of the collated feedback from thousands of students and teachers, gleaned by questions asked during workshops and seminars. There is an enormous amount of practical, useful material. It is replete with lists, charts, bullet points, pithy hints, and guidelines. I will not be in the least surprised if this book is a runaway success' - Anita Pincas, Lifelong Education and International Development, Institute of Education, London

'Phil Race freely shares his experience and his wise counsel in a text where he emerges from the pages as a clear thinking, clear writing, expert in this field, with much to offer' - John Cowan, Emeritus Professor of Learning Development, the Open University

Making Learning Happen provides an accessible and practical discussion of teaching and learning for the post-compulsory sector of higher and further education. Much of the existing educational literature on `learning' is written in language which makes it inaccessible to the people most directly involved in learning: learners and their teachers. This book avoids the unnecessary jargon and elitist language which has too often hitherto hindered teachers and learners alike in thinking about how best to make learning happen.

This book will help staff in higher and further education increase the `learning payoff' which their students derive from a wide range of educational contexts, at all levels in post-compulsory education.

The book is centred around Phil Race's well-known `ripples on a pond' model of learning, which has identified five fundamental factors underpinning successful learning:

o `wanting' to learn

o `needing' to learn

o `learning by doing'

o `feedback'

o `digesting - making sense of what has been learned'.

This text will allow teachers and students to address these factors head-on in a wide range of contexts, including large-group teaching, small-group work, online learning, and in their use of formative feedback to help their students.

Included in the book is a self-analysis questionnaire to enable learners to reflect on how these factors contribute to their own approaches to learning.

Making Learning Happen is a valuable resource for Postgraduate students on PGD higher and further education courses, staff development courses in all Bristish universities, and is a helpful tool for lecturers and tutors in higher and further education, post-16 teachers in secondary education, educational managers, and students themselves.



Assessment driving learning
Making learning happen in large groups
Addressing employability
Making workshops work

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About the author (2005)

Professor Phil Race is passionate about helping people to learn successfully. Now retired from full-time employment, he runs workshops and gives keynotes throughout the UK and abroad, working with university and college staff on teaching, assessment and feedback methods. He is known for his highly participative style and humour, and getting participants working with post-its! He lives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. His wife is Professor Sally Brown, known internationally for her work on fit-for-purpose assessment. Originally a scientist, Phil quickly became interested in teaching and assessment. He has worked at several universities, and is now Visiting Professor at Plymouth University and University Campus Suffolk. He was awarded a National Teaching Fellowship in 2007, and in 2012 became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He publishes widely, but regards 'Making Learning Happen' as the favourite of his many books. He can be contacted through his website:

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