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The notion of summer as a three-month break for the higher education world may be outdated. But summer remains a time to take stock while at least some students are away. Here's what you should be reading if you seek the pleasure of professional development.

Please comment below with additional suggestions.

The Art of Teaching Online: How to Start and How to Succeed as an Online Instructor

Author: Larry Cooperman, adjunct faculty librarian at the University of Central Florida

Publisher: Chandos Publishing

Pages: 68

Summary: The first chapter title sums it up: “So You Want to Teach Online.” What follows is a conversational, illustrated guide to becoming an online instructor, with a particular focus on maintaining an engaging experience in a virtual environment.

Free-Range Learning in the Digital Age

Author: Peter Smith

Publisher: Select Books

Pages: 208

Summary: Inside Higher Ed last week interviewed the author, who believes the current degree landscape represents "knowledge discrimination."

Our society “has an enormous amount of capacity that is being ignored,” he said.

Learning Analytics Goes to School: A Collaborative Approach to Improving Education

Authors: Andrew Krumm, director of learning analytics research at Digital Promise; Barbara Means, executive director for learning sciences research at Digital Promise; and Marie Bienkowski, director of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International.

Publisher: Routledge

Pages: 190

Summary: The era of learning data is coming; in many cases it’s already here. How can you use student learning data? How should you use the information? Three experts offer tools and processes for tapping into a collaborative environment around data sharing.

Learning at the Speed of Light: How Online Education Got to Now

Authors: John Ebersole, former president (2006 to 2016) of Excelsior College, and William Patrick, novelist, playwright, screenwriter, writing professor at numerous institutions.

Publisher: Hudson Whitman/ Excelsior College Press

Pages: 482

Summary: This collection of stories and essays traces the evolution of online education and the burgeoning ethos that spurred experimentation. It will be particularly useful for those new to the field and wondering how it came to be.

Online Teaching at Its Best: Merging Instructional Design With Teaching and Learning Research

Author: Linda Nilson, director emerita of the Office of Teaching Effectiveness Innovation (OTEI) at Clemson University, and Ludwika Goodson, associate director of the Center for Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Purdue University Fort Wayne

Publisher: Wiley

Pages: 264

Summary: This book aims to combine instructional design philosophies and teaching and learning research to arrive at best practices online instructors can follow no matter the audience or subject specialty.

Transactional Distance and Adaptive Learning: Planning for the Future of Higher Education

Author: Farhad Saba, professor emeritus of educational technology at San Diego State University, and Rick L. Shearer, director of research at Penn State World Campus

Publisher: Routledge

Pages: 212

Summary: As modes of delivery differ, so might learning styles. This book examines one theory for how instructors might adapt their teaching approach to “dynamic and transformational futures that focus on each individual learner.”

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