Getting Started: General Higher Education Resources

These resources include several classic and frequently cited (e)books about teaching and learning at the university level, as well as principles, handbooks and listservs that may be of interest to both beginning and experienced teachers alike.

Getting Started: General Higher Education Resources


  1. What the best college teachers do (ebook) by K. Bain. Articulates the habits and approaches of highly effective college instructors, from their knowledge of how learning happens, to preparing to teach, to their expectations, treatment and evaluation of students and themselves. (2004). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  2. The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher’s life (ebook) by P. Palmer. Reflects on how instructors can re-connect to their passion for teaching, and how a sense of integrity, identity, community and connection can make for more meaningful learning experiences for all. (1998). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
  3. How college affects students: Findings and insights from twenty years of research (book) by E. Pascarella and P. T. Terenzini. This book synthesizes thousands of studies to address the impact of attending college on students’ development. (1991). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.
  4. McKeachie’s teaching tips: Strategies, research, and theory for college and university teachers (book) by M. Svinicki and W. J. McKeachie (14th ed.). This book’s short, pithy chapters offer practical strategies and theoretical background for instructors about many aspects of the teaching experience. Subjects addressed range from facilitating discussion, to effective lectures, to assessment and feedback. (2013). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.


  1. Portail du soutien à la pédagogie universitaire (website) offered by the University of Québec system. "Son principal objectif est de permettre la diffusion de contenus liés à l’enseignement universitaire et de stimuler les échanges. Des thèmes clés y sont abordés : la pédagogie, la pédagotechnologie, les caractéristiques des étudiants et les approches de soutien à l’enseignement." This portal provides a well-curated selection of newsletters, short articles and resource lists on a broad variety of pedagogical topics, from the use of technology in the classroom to the evaluation of teaching to motivating students.
  2. A teacher’s dozen: Fourteen general, research-based principles for improving higher learning in our classrooms (article) by T. Angelo. This article provides concise advice for instructors who may have substantive content knowledge but limited familiarity with pedagogical research. 14 research-based statements about teaching offer advice on topics as diverse as active learning, information organization, feedback, assessment and transfer of knowledge, interspersed with relevant philosophical quotes. (1993). AAHE Bulletin, 45(8), 3-13.
  3. Guidelines on learning that inform teaching (website) by A. Lee. This website provides concise introductions to 16 guidelines that instructors can consider as they foster their students' learning, ranging from incorporating active learning to recognizing students' multiple modes of learning, reflection to providing feedback.
  4. From teaching to learning – a new paradigm for undergraduate education (article) by R. B. Barr and J. Tagg. Investigates the paradigm shift from perceiving universities’ purpose as providing instruction, to seeing the university as an environment where learning occurs, both at the organizational level and the individual level. (1995). Change Magazine 27(6).
  5. Handbook for Teachers (pdf) by L. Pivnick et. al. A compilation of excerpts from a variety of higher education resources. Also provides references to higher education literature. (2001). Handbook for Teachers. Retrieved September 26, 2013 from
  6. Reconsidering research on learning from media (pdf) by R. E. Clarke. This classic article reviews meta-analyses of media use in learning, and is the precursor to the “no significant difference” phenomenon in terms of technology impact on learning. (1983). Review of Educational Research 53(4).
  7. Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A blueprint for America’s Research Universities (pdf), a report by the Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University. The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University (1998). Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities. Retrieved September 26, 2013 from
  8. Tomorrow’s Professor Listserv: A free eNewsletter by Stanford University. Topics include: Academy, Graduate Students and Postdocs, Academic Careers, Teaching and Learning, and Research. Reis, R. (n.d.). Tomorrow’s Professor Listserv. Retrieved September 25, 2013 from

Research Resources

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) (research database) by the Department of Education, U.S.A. World’s largest digital library of education literature. Full access to this database is available through the McGill Library. Education Resources Information Center (ERIC). Retrieved September 26, 2013 from

Higher Education Academy (database). This database contains all materials produced by and on behalf of U.K. Includes publications, event presentations, working papers, and case studies. Higher Education Academy. Retrieved September 17, 2011 from

The McGill Library also offers subject guides that include quick access to many relevant resources, grouped by the following categories: dictionaries / encyclopaedias, handbooks / manuals, core and additional databases specific to the subject, and selected internet sites.

McGill Library Subject Guide to Education

McGill Library Subject Guide to Educational And Counselling Psychology

Teaching, Learning and Educational Development Centres

Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL) at the University of Hong Kong.

University of Hong Kong. (2009). Centre for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. Retrieved September 25, 2013.

Educational Development Centers’ (webpage) as listed by Dalhousie University. Contains listings for Australia, listed alphabetically by university and listings for

Canada, listed alphabetically by province. Educational Development Centres. Centre for Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University. Retrieved September 26, 2013.

Teaching and Learning Centres (webpage) as listed by Hofstra University. Website contains listings for U.S.A Centres, listed alphabetically, sortable by university or state. Teaching & Learning Centers in the United States, Center for Teaching and Scholarly Excellence, Hofstra University. Retrieved September 26, 2013.

McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous people whose footsteps have marked this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

L'Université McGill est sur un emplacement qui a longtemps servi de lieu de rencontre et d'échange entre les peuples autochtones, y compris les nations Haudenosaunee et Anishinabeg. Nous reconnaissons et remercions les divers peuples autochtones dont les pas ont marqué ce territoire sur lequel les peuples du monde entier se réunissent maintenant.