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Making Learning Happen

Making Learning Happen
A Guide for Post-Compulsory Education

Third Edition

May 2014 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
'Refreshing, original and full of pragmatic, evidence-based advice... In my opinion this is the best book on learning and teaching available to teachers in H.E. and F.E. today. The environment has changed so quickly over recent years and Phil Race has not only kept abreast of the changes; he is way ahead.' - Professor Ruth Pickford, Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching, Leeds Metropolitan University

In the age of digital communication, online learning and MOOCS, Higher Education Institutions need to be able to offer even more to their students.

Centred around Phil Race's well-known 'ripples on a pond' model, this accessible discussion of post-compulsory education identifies the fundamental factors underpinning successful learning and clearly shows you how to help students learn effectively.

Updates to this third edition include:

  • practical ‘tips for students’ to help you engage your group
  • discussion of four literacies students need
  • comparative discussion of different forms of assessment
  • increased coverage of peer observation and evidence-based practice
  • advice on making lectures unmissable
  • online resources including printable checklists for use in class
  • link to a video interview with the author

This book is a valuable tool for lecturers and tutors in universities and colleges, post-16 teachers in secondary education, and educational managers.  It also provides a useful resource for postgraduate students on higher and further education courses and staff development courses.

Phil Race gives keynotes on assessment, feedback, learning and teaching, and runs interactive training workshops for staff and students in universities, colleges and other organizations throughout the UK and abroad. 

Setting the scene
Factors underpinning successful learning
Designing the Curriculum for Learning
Assessment driving learning
Learning through feedback
Making lectures inspiring
Making learning happen in small groups
Learning through observing and reflecting
What can I do when...?

'Refreshing, original and full of pragmatic, evidence-based advice. This book focuses strongly on how we can develop fit-for-purpose quality learning experiences for today’s students that encourage lifelong learning, rather than short-term achievement of targets. Phil Race walks us through how to design flexible, learner-centred curricula that address the full picture of student learning, assessment and feedback. In my opinion this is the best book on learning and teaching available to teachers in H.E. and F.E. today. The environment has changed so quickly over recent years and Phil Race has not only kept abreast of the changes; he is way ahead.'

Professor Ruth Pickford
Director of the Centre for Learning and Teaching, Leeds Metropolitan University

'The third edition of Phil Race’s Making Learning Happen is easy to read and importantly,  you can dip in and out of it. It is packed full of common sense ideas which are underpinned by sound scholarship... A recommended working manual for lecturers everywhere!'

Michelle Morgan
National and International Student Experience Specialist, Practitioner and Author

'Phil Race is a teacher’s teacher.  In this latest book he demonstrates how good teaching and good course design can help students engage more fully in their own education and take responsibility for their own learning success. He explains to the reader that what research has told us aids effective teaching for learning in clear, non-jargon ridden language. The chapters focus on effective practice at the heart of the teaching/learning exchange, dealing with common concerns and challenges in practical ways. His explanations of how to design courses starting with what might be the evidence that students have learned is a clear guide for the most novice of university teachers. His chapter on the role of feedback, rather or feed forward, is grounded in a focus on ‘assessment as learning’ and places students and their learning at the centre of the educational enterprise.'

Janice Orrell
Professor of Higher Education, Flinders University, Australia

It is an engaging and ‘non-threatening’ book that should appeal to anyone working in the sector looking for an entry-level book on pedagogy. The PCET context rings true throughout the book – giving the impression this not just a book for those working in PCET, but very much a book from the PCET context.   -review of previous edition

Keith S. Taber
University of Cambridge

'Making Learning Happen has been an essential read for new academic staff since it first appeared. The third edition is exceptionally welcome providing real insights into what the modern student expects, and reflecting changes in the delivery of higher education.'

Pauline Kneale
Pro Vice-Chancellor Teaching and Learning, Plymouth University

The book is a practical, informed and evidence-based guide for teaching practitioners in Post Compulsory Education (PCE), and has something for everyone involved in supporting the learning and achievement of students in PCE. It is rightly felt to be one of the leaders in the field, and contains nine chapters on key topics including ‘Factors underpinning successful learning’: ‘Making lectures inspiring’ and ‘What do I do when?’, which closes the book, and is a very helpful set of FAQs about regularly faced challenges for lecturers. Whether teaching in a university, college, sixth form college, work-based learning provider or adult education centre, and whether new or experienced, all lecturers will find useful, helpful and clearly explained ideas, examples and activities in this book, which they can use to help them understand their students’ learning better and improve their own teaching. The book has many strengths but it is Race’s long-standing experience and understanding of teaching and its purposes, techniques, successes and failures which shines out of every page. The book is veritably bursting with suggestions, checklists, tips, tables and diagrams, and these are well supported by relevant research which anchor the ideas and advice contained within. Race is still actively teaching and his own enthusiasm and desire to continue to make learning happen is powerfully present throughout the book, and this engages the reader from the start.

Jim Crawley, Bath Spa University
British Education Studies Journal

This is a valuable asset to any library. It is easy to read and is written very clearly and understandable

Mr Stuart Anthony Baker
School of Care Sciences, University of South Wales (Glamorgan)
May 11, 2016

This is an interesting book for those in post-compulsory settings, including teacher trainers in HE. It effectively promotes self-reflection on teaching styles and practices which may need to be updated and reviewed in the light of technological developments and the impact of social media.

Mrs Eileen Moloney
Faculty of Education, Canterbury Christ Church University
June 29, 2015

This book has been recommended to our library to stock

Mrs Jane Booth
Teacher Trainer, Bromley College of FE & HE
June 24, 2015

An enjoyable text. Phil Race's explanations of learning and teaching are insightful and encourage practitioners to really consider the motivations behind their choice design and delivery decisions.

Dr Joanne Hill
Faculty of Education and Sport, University of Bedfordshire
May 12, 2015