TiHE Introductory Literature

Literature and links: Introductory literature

There is no required reading for this course.

This resource can be used as a basis for your continuing professional development as a teacher in higher education (HE). You don’t have to focus only on the literature recommended here, although you may want to look at some of the seminal articles. You’re welcome to find your own books and articles too.


If you would like to buy a book, there are a lot to choose from. If you have an e-book reader you can download samples and see what appeals.

One example: John Biggs has had an enormous influence on the way we think about teaching and learning in higher education. The latest edition of his book includes an overview of some of the research linked to practical approaches to helping students to achieve what he terms 'quality learning’ at university.

Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for Quality Learning at University, (4th Ed) Maidenhead: Open University Press McGraw Hill Education

Journals on Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Higher Education

This list is far from comprehensive but it is a starting point. The impact of some journals is provided for interest.

Search the name of your subject for subject-related educational journals. There are many and although they may focus on school-based learning they often include work on learning in higher education.

These journals include articles on higher education:

(Impact factor from the ISS Web of Knowledge 2010 JCR Social Science Edition).

Educational Researcher 3.774

British Journal of Educational Technology 2.139

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 1.205


Assessment and Evaluation in HE 0.734

Teaching in Higher Education 0.554

Science (with a very high impact factor) now has some important articles on higher education (see here for an example).

Medical journals often include very interesting work on education which is also of general interest. The approach to research used by medical scientists who teach is often appealing to science disciplines (see here for an example).

List of HE Journals (impact not checked)

Active Learning in Higher Education

Higher Education

Higher Education in Europe

Higher Education Quarterly

Higher Education Research and Development

Higher Education Review

Journal of Higher Education

Research in Higher Education

Studies in Higher Education

Seminal articles on teaching and learning in higher education: a brief selection

Biggs, J. (2012). "What the student does: teaching for enhanced learning." Higher Education Research & Development, 31(1), 39-55.

Marton, F. & Säljö, R. (1976) On qualitative differences in learning i: Outcome and process. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46, 4-11.

Marton, F. & Säljö, R. (1976) On qualitative differences in learning ii: Outcome as a function of the learner's conception of the task. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 46, 115-127.

Meyer, J. & Land, R. (2003) ‘Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines’ ETL Report

Trigwell, K., Prosser, M. & Waterhouse, F. (1999) Relations between teachers' approaches to teaching and students' approaches to learning. Higher education, 37(1), 57-70.

Research into learning at university: longitudinal study

The Enhancing Teaching and Learning Environments in Undergraduate Courses Project (ETL project) publications (2001-2007) are all worthwhile. A number of studies are subject-based. There are also some excellent short videos by David Perkins, Professor of Education at Harvard. Scroll down to ‘video clips’. If you watch these you will gain worthwhile perspectives on teaching and learning.

UCL resources

Teaching and Learning Portal

Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

This link contains further helpful resources:


UK Higher Education Academy (HEA)

The HEA has a treasure trove of resources of all kinds, and a range of case studies to draw on. You can also access a range of subject centres. Although many of these have officially closed there is still a lot of valuable material archived on their sites.

HEA Homepage

HEA discipline-related pages

Tips and tricks: a range of resources

1. The world’s top-ranking university MIT has a ‘teaching and learning centre'

2. These pages may appear to be less prestigious but they include a wealth of accessible practical information. Some of the pages apply to the US college concerned.

3. Australia has always been a pioneer in developing teaching and learning

Page last modified on 11 oct 12 16:59