It’s a return to Claire’s bookshelf to kick off a new semester of Let’s Talk Teaching! This time, Claire and Jim explore three “handbooks” that can help you plan for teaching and easily respond to new questions or challenges that may arise during the semester. These research-based perspectives can help you assess various aspects of your teaching, including how much students actually care about course content, and illustrate ways to keep them engaged in their learning.

Claire and Jim also explore the merits … and the occasional frustrations … of “ice breaker” exercises as a way of building community.

Visit the show page for notes, including citations for the books highlighted on this week’s episode.

Let’s Talk Teaching is a free podcast for instructors at the Illinois State University, produced by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. You can listen to past episodes and subscribe using your favorite podcast app or through iTunes by going to