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In addition to our work at Vanderbilt, Center for Teaching staff members contribute to the broader higher education community through publications. Our scholarly work includes research in our “home” disciplines, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and the scholarship of educational development.


Since its founding in 1986, the CFT’s contributions to the literature on teaching and learning in higher education has taken many different forms. Below is a list of a few of our contributions. This list is not intended to be comprehensive; instead it is meant to give a sense of the kinds of topics our staff members have explored in past publications.

Intentional Tech: Principles to Guide the Use of Educational Technology in College Teaching by Derek Bruff (West Virginia University Press, 2019)

Arguing that teaching and learning goals should drive instructors’ technology use, not the other way around, CFT Director Derek Bruff’s book explores seven research-based principles for matching technology to pedagogy. Through stories of creative and effective use of educational technology by faculty and other instructors, Bruff approaches technology not by asking “How to?” but by posing a more fundamental question: “Why?”

Science Teaching Essentials: Short Guides to Good Practice by Cynthia Brame (Academic Press, 2019)

CFT associate director Cynthia Brame’s book provides research-based strategies and resources for addressing common teaching challenges in the sciences, health professions, and engineering. Written for current and future faculty, Science Teaching Essentials features short, stand-alone chapters on topics such as inclusive teaching, course design, active learning, group work, lecturing, writing exams, and rubrics. While the book provides great examples relevant to science classes, Brame’s guides feature useful suggestions for anyone interested in adopting evidence-based pedagogies, regardless of their discipline.

Spanish and Portuguese Review: The Graduate Student Journal of the American Association of Spanish and Portuguese edited by Stacey Johnson (appointed editor in 2019)

CFT assistant director Stacey Johnson began editing Spanish and Portuguese Review (SPR) in 2019, which the annual graduate student journal of the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP)SPR publishes original, unpublished manuscripts on culture, film, linguistics, literature, pedagogy, second language acquisition, translation, and other areas related to the study or teaching of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian languages and cultures.

Adult Learning in the Language Classroom (Multilingual Matters, 2015)

This book by CFT assistant director Stacey Johnson explores the intersection of adult learning theory and language teaching practice. In their work, CFT regularly draw on educational theory and research to understand discipline-specific teaching and learning practices, often by gathering and analyzing evidence of those practices, as Johnson does in this volume and her previous work, Hybrid Language Teaching in Practice: Perceptions, Reactions, and Results (Stylus, 2015). More information on Johnson’s scholarship is available here.

Adult Learning in the Language Classroom
Exploring More Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind, (Stylus, 2012)

This volume was co-edited by Nancy Chick and was published while she was an assistant director at the CFT. It’s a follow-up to Nancy’s earlier work, Exploring Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind (Stylus, 2009). Both books feature invited chapters from scholars of teaching and learning on teaching practices that help students understand and develop ways of thinking core to different academic disciplines. Chick’s work on signature pedagogies has been transformative here at Vanderbilt and beyond. Chick now serves as the Academic Director of the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning at the University of Calgary. See Nancy Chick’s website for more information.

Teaching at Its Best: A Research-Based Resource for College Instructors (4th edition) by Linda Nilson (Jossey-Bass, 2010)

Linda Nilson wrote the first edition of this book, then subtitled “A Research-Based Resource for the Vanderbilt Teaching Community,” while she was the director of the CFT. In the latest edition of her book, Nilson provides practical strategies for a wide variety of teaching modes and contexts, all well-informed by the research literature on teaching and learning. For several years, copies of Nilson’s book were given to new teaching assistants every August at the CFT’s TA Orientation.What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain (Harvard University Press, 2004)

Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Acting Learning Environments by Derek Bruff (Jossey-Bass, 2009)

Classroom response systems, or “clickers,” are instructional technologies that enable teachers to rapidly collect and analyze students’ responses to multiple-choice and free-response questions during class. CFT Director Derek Bruff’s book features example clicker questions and activities from 50 instructors from a wide variety of disciplines and types of institutions. The book grew out of an online resource guide to teaching with clickers that Bruff wrote at the CFT, and is an example of the CFT’s continuing interest in educational technology. For more on Bruff’s work, see his website, Agile Learning.

What the Best College Teachers Do by Ken Bain (Harvard University Press, 2004)

Founding CFT director Ken Bain has been studying outstanding college teachers for more than two decades. His 2004 book summarizes key findings of his study and relates those findings to cognitive science research. Although Bain’s book was published while he was the director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at New York University, he began his study right here at Vanderbilt, shortly after founding the CFT. Bain’s book is an example of how the CFT works to blend pedagogical theory with teaching practice.


Below is a list of articles, chapters, and books written (or co-written) by CFT staff members while working at the CFT. (Publications written by CFT staff members prior to joining the CFT are not reflected in this list, although in many cases that prior work continues to inform the work of the CFT.)

2019 Publications

2018 Publications

2017 Publications

  • Bandy, J., Bartel, A. S., Clayton, P., Gale, S., Mack, H., Metzker, J., Nigro, G., Price, M., & Stanlick, S. (2017). Values-engaged assessment: Reimagining assessment through the lens of democratic engagementMichigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 23(1).
  • Krimm, H., Schuele, C. M., and Brame, C. J. (2017). Viability of online learning for ensuring basic skills in speech-language pathology. Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups, DOI: 10.1044/persp2.SIG10.49.
  • Hande, K., Parish, A. L., Cook, C., Glassford, M. A., Pitts, C. J., Richmond, A., Widmar, S. B., Brame, C. J., and Kennedy, B. (2017). Junior Faculty Teaching Fellowship: A model to support nursing education development. Nurse Educator, DOI: 10.1097:NNE.0000000000000413.
  • Randolph, L. J., & Johnson, S. M. (2017). Social justice in the language classroom: A call to action. In Garrett-Rucks, P. (Ed.), Languages: Your global fast pass (pp. 9-31). Southern Conference of Language Teachers.
  • Grenfield, J., Johnson, S. M., and Finch, V. (2017). Students as producers, curators, and consumers of authentic resources through participatory pedagogy on-campus and abroad. In S. Dubreil and S. L. Thorne (Eds.), Engaging the world: Social pedagogies and language learning (pp. 227-252). AAUSC Issues in Language Program Direction. Boston, MA: Heinle.
  • Finch, V. and Johnson, S. M. (2017). Collecting Authentic Language and Culture. The Language Educator, 12 (4), 47-48.

2016 Publications

2015 Publications

  • Bruff, D. (2015). An indirect journey to indirect impact: From math major to teaching center director. In Rogers, K., & Croxall, B. (Eds.), #Alt-Academy. Online: MediaCommons.
  • Bruff, D. (2015). Conceptual or computational? Making sense of reading questions in an inverted statistics course. In Dewar, J., & Bennett, C. (Eds.), Doing the scholarship of teaching and learning in mathematics. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.

2014 Publications

  • Chick, Nancy L. & Poole, Gary. Founding co-editors. (March, September, 2014).  Teaching & Learning Inquiry, the journal of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

2013 Publications

  • Bandy, J. (2014). “Environmental Justice and Environmental Health in Nashville.” Chapter in Shaping Healthy Communities: Nashville. Nashville: Nashville Civic Design Center and Vanderbilt University Press.  by Christine Kreyling.
  • Bandy, J. (2013). Collaborative and Rigorous Assessment: The St. Louis Regional Arts Commission’s Community Arts Training Institute. Imagining America’s Assessment of the Practices of Public Scholarship.
  • Chiang, H., Robinson, L. C., Brame, C. J., & Messina, T. C. (2013). Molecular Mechanics and Dynamics Characterization of an In-Silico Mutated Protein: A Stand-Alone Lab Module or Support Activity for in Vivo and In Vitro Analysis of Targeted Proteins. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 41: 402-408.
  • Chick, Nancy L. & Poole, Gary. Founding co-editors. (March, September , 2013).  Teaching & Learning Inquiry, the journal of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL). Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
  • Chick, Nancy L. (2013).  Difference, Power, and Privilege in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: The Value of Humanities SoTL. In Kathleen McKinney (Ed.), The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning In and Across the DisciplinesBloomington, IN:  Indiana University Press. 15-33.

2012 Publications

  • Chick, Nancy L. (2012). Co-editor, with Aeron Haynie and Regan Gurung. Exploring more signature pedagogies: Approaches to teaching disciplinary habits of mindSterling, VA: Stylus, 2012.
  • Chick, Nancy L. (2012).  With Aeron Haynie and Regan Gurung. Signature pedagogies in the liberal arts and beyond. In Chick, Haynie, & Gurung (Eds.) Exploring More Signature Pedagogies: Approaches to Teaching Disciplinary Habits of Mind. Sterling, VA: Stylus, 2012. 1-11.
  • Cox, M. D. (2012). The impact of communities of practice in support of early-career academics. International Journal for Academic Development.
  • Cox, M. D. (2012). Foreword. In S. Sipple & R. Lightner (Eds.), Faculty learning communities in two-year colleges: Sustaining teachers and scholars. Sterling, VA: Stylus.
  • Cox, M. D. (2012). Foreword: The Big One. In P. G. Beidler, Risk teaching: Reflections from inside and outside the classroom. Seattle, WA: Coffeetown Press.
  • Cox, M. D., Richlin, R. & Wentzell, G. W. (2011). Similarities and divergences in student and faculty learning communities: A message from the editors. Learning Communities Journal, (3), 1-2.
  • Wright, M., Niemer, R., Bruff, D., & Walle, K. (2012). Tweeting #PODHBCU: Content and process of the 2011 POD HBCUFDN conference Twitter backchannel. To Improve the Academy, 31, 311-327.

2011 Publications

  • Bandy, J. (2011). Sociologists in Action: Joe Bandy & Elspeth Benard. In K. O. Korgan, J. M. White, & S. K. White (Eds.), Sociologists in Action. (pp. 193-7). SAGE Publications.
  • Bandy, J. & McEwen, C. (2011). Housing and Homelessness in Maine: A Case of Public Sociology in Practice. In K. O. Korgan, J. M. White, & S. K. White (Eds.), Sociologists in Action. (pp. 128-34). SAGE Publications.
  • Bruff. D. (2011). Engaging Statistics Students with Classroom Response Systems. In Cline, K., & Zullo, H. (Eds.), Teaching Mathematics with Classroom Voting: With and Without Clickers. Washington, DC: Mathematical Association of America.
  • Bruff, D. (2011). A Social Network Can Be a Learning NetworkChronicle of Higher Education, November 6, 2011.

2010 Publications

  • Bandy, J. (2010). Sociologists in Action: Joe Bandy.  In K. O. Korgan & J. M. White (Eds.), The Engaged Sociologist, Third Edition. (pp. 9-10). SAGE Publications.
  • Bruff, D. (2010). Multiple-choice questions you wouldn’t put on a test: Promoting deep learning using clickers. Essays on Teaching Excellence, 21(3).

2009 Publications

  • Bandy, J. (2009). Paradoxes of a Transnational Civil Society in a Neoliberal World: The Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras. In Ayres, J. & Macdonald, L. (Eds.) Contentious Politics in North America: National Protest and Transnational Collaboration under Continental Integration. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. (reprint)
  • Bruff, D. (2009) Teaching with Classroom Response Systems: Creating Active Learning Environments. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.