Hitting Pause 65 Lecture Breaks to Refresh and Reinforce Learning
Pauses constitute a simple technique for enlivening and enhancing the effectiveness of lectures, or indeed of any form of instruction, whether a presentation or in an experiential setting. This book presents the evidence and rationale for breaking up lectures into shorter segments by using pauses to focus attention, reinforce key points, and review learning. It also provides 65 adaptable pause ideas to use at the opening of class, mid-way through, or as closers.Starting with brain science research on attention span and cognitive load, Rice bases her book on two fundamental principles: shorter segments of instruction are better than longer ones, and learners who actively participate in instruction learn better than those who don’t.Pausing helps teachers apply these principles and create student engagement without requiring major changes in their lesson plans. With careful planning, they can integrate pauses into learning sessions with ease and significantly reinforce student learning. They will also gain feedback on students’ comprehension.Rice sets out the characteristics of good pauses, gives advice on how to plan them and how to introduce them to maximum effect. She provides compelling examples and concludes with a repertory of pauses readers can easily modify and apply to any discipline. This book contains a compendium of strategies that any teacher can fruitfully use to reinforce learning, as well as a stepping stone to those seeking to transition to more active learning methods. It:• Makes the case for using pauses• Identifies the primary functions of pauses: focusing, refocusing, enhancing retention, or closing off the learning experience • Provides research evidence from cognitive science and educational psychology• Provides practical guidance for creating quick active learning breaks• Distinguishes between starting, middle, and closing pauses • Includes descriptions, with suggested applications, of 65 pauses
Foreword Kevin Barry Acknowledgments Introducation Part One. Benefits of Pausing Introduction Hitting Pause 1. Why We Need to Pause Part Two. Brain Science Support for the Pause 2. Pausing Supports Ideal Learning 3. Starting Pauses Focus Attention 4. Midpauses Refocus Attention 5. Closing Pauses Capture Learning Part 3 Reasons for Pausing 6. Why Start with a Pause 7. Why Close with a Pause Appendix References About the Author Index
“In this extraordinarily helpful book, Gail Rice provides two tremendous services to college faculty. First, she draws together research and arguments from a wide range of fields in order to demonstrate that simple, brief activities in class—built around the idea of creating “pauses” for student learning—can have a major positive impact on student success. Second, she presents a wealth of thought-provoking activities that faculty could begin using in their classrooms tomorrow. No faculty member will be able to read this book and not want to get immediately back into the classroom and put some of these excellent ideas into practice. An outstanding resource for faculty and those who work in faculty development.”
James M. Lang, Professor of English, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence
“The text is a rich collection of research, stories, and well-articulated activities that teachers in different roles will find indispensable. The book is both a review of research and an instructional guide suited for both audiences. Hitting Pause is a must for graduate students who will soon become higher education instructors as well as for experienced faculty looking for compelling and effective ways to expand their craft knowledge.”
Teachers College Record.
"The pauses described in this book provide a wide variety of activities that can be used for purposes including focusing attention, enhancing retention of information, and emphasizing key learning outcomes."
Kevin Barry Director, Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning
“Hitting Pause will appeal to faculty members who want to enhance student learning without, however, totally restructuring the way they teach. The premise of the book is that by making small changes to lectures—basically by adding interactive pauses—teachers can create engaging cooperative learning experiences and improve learning outcomes.”
Barbara J. Millis, Director of the Teaching and Learning Center
University of Texas at San Antonio
"Hitting Pause is an incredibly useful resource for faculty who want to improve student learning by incorporating brief, simple reflection activities into their current teaching practices. After Rice skillfully makes the case for pausing, explaining the 'why' behind this powerful learning approach, she shares 65 pausing techniques that faculty can immediately use at the beginning, middle, and end of a lecture or class. Faculty teaching online will appreciate that Rice also provides helpful online adaptations of the pausing techniques. Add this to your teaching and learning library!"
Christine Harrington Ph.D., Executive Director, Student Success Center, NJ Council of County Colleges
"This well written guide provides teachers with the practical skills required to promote and ensure learning. The classic lecture format can be transformed to promote student engagement and learning when it is enriched with the powerful strategies grounded in cognitive science presented here. This book is a worthy addition to every teacher's library."
Elizabeth G. Armstrong, Ph.D., Director, Harvard Macy Institute
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
“In this book, Gail Rice provides an excellent marriage of evidenced-based teaching and learning with practical methods for creating student learning opportunities as they 'pause' to reflect using active learning techniques. As a professor in the classroom and a faculty developer, I am excited to be able to implement and share these ideas with students and faculty. This book provides resources aimed towards student learning and success, and the format provides the reader opportunity to jump straight to the collection of 'pauses' and implement quick, creative, and meaningful activities instantly.”
Charlotte Henningsen, Associate Vice President for Faculty Development in Teaching & Learning
Adventist University of Health Sciences
"Gail Rice is a gifted teacher who clearly understands how to design and deliver effective learning experiences. Gail's new book is not only engaging to read, but will be immediately useful to any faculty member wishing to help students better understand and retain what is taught. Interesting stories enhance and support the many evidence-based methods that can be put into immediate practice. After reading this book, faculty members are likely to change their teaching styles forever, starting by simply Hitting Pause."
Dixie L Fisher, Assistant Professor Clinical, Research and Faculty Development, Department of Medical Education, Keck School of Medicine
University of Southern California
“As a junior faculty, Hitting Pause has been an absolute blessing. Having struggled against the dreaded death-by-lecture academic culture, I have found the thoughtful strategies suggested by Dr. Rice to reinvigorate my enthusiasm for teaching. And not just me, but my students seem more engaged in class, and offer better feedback on my courses. Before offering your next lecture, read this book.”
Peter C. Gleason, PhD Associate Professor of Psychology, Walla Walla University
"Timing is everything. It’s true for comedians and, according to Gail Taylor Rice, also for professors. In [this] book, Rice makes a compelling argument in favor of recognizing and designing classes in light of the rhythms of learning. Professors often suffer from the cognitive bias of ‘the curse of knowledge.’ This malady makes it nearly impossible for experts to put themselves in the shoes of someone who is learning things for the first time. A result of this curse is that it’s nearly impossible to appreciate how much time is needed for comprehending material. Rice suggests that learners ‘might wish that there was a pause button connected to their college professors’. The professor needs to frequently slow down and make sure that students understand the importance of certain ideas."