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Lucas Center Blog

Book Club Review: A Concise Guide to Teaching with Desirable Difficulties

December 16, 2020  / Brian Johnson, PhD 

A Concise Guide to Teaching with Desirable Difficulties is a useful resource for both novice and experienced practitioners. It collects in one place many different techniques and a broad collection of research that we can look to for inspiration or reminders. Each chapter has an Annotated Research section for further detail and study. One key concept is that we ought to consider which difficulties are desirable (e.g., learning material) and which are not desirable (e.g., accessing and turning assignments in). That may mean organizing a course less like a sequential textbook, a way that may feel more disorganized to us and our students. One of the final chapters focuses on first-year and at-risk students and the particular challenges they face.