Psychology Prof. Dr. Constance Jones Publishes an Essential Guide For New College Instructors

Psychology Professor Dr. Constance

It’s a quick read, 12-chapter, 115-page book, a guide for adjunct and new instructors by psychology professor Dr. Constance Jones.  

Jones says she wrote the book because she loves teaching and enjoys watching others teach. 

With over 30 years of teaching experience as a Fresno State professor, Jones describes her new book, The Essentials of College Teaching: A Guide for New and Adjunct College Instructors, as a “down and dirty” guide for new professors.  

Ranging from chapters on creating a syllabus and tips about class management to a fun one-page chapter entitled Teaching Adventures Bingo Sheet, the book provides instructors short on time with ready answers to hit the ground running.

“This text gives good practical tips for teaching, based on empirical evidence, along with personal anecdotes,” Jones said. 

The book provides examples from everyday classroom issues to advanced teaching techniques that can reduce instructors’ workload and increase student engagement.

Psychology Professor Dr. Constance Jones
Psychology professor Dr. Constance Jones Jones says she wrote the book because she loves teaching and enjoys watching others teach.

On handling ghosting, an act of disengaging without an explanation, which is common in virtual classes, Jones offers practical advice for when a student “shows up, turns off the video and audio, and decides it’s a great time to make quesadillas.”

To counter ghosting, Jones recommends making classes consistently engaging and enjoyable, encouraging students to participate and attend regularly and actively.

Jones has cultivated a humorous style of making her points and being creative in her lectures. During the pandemic, she became famous for using stuffed animals during her online classes.  

Unsurprisingly, Jones says she takes pleasure in thinking and writing about teaching and advises using humor when appropriate to engage the class. 

In addition to handling situations, Jones offers practical examples and case studies to ponder issues that might arise during a class, such as how to end a class effectively and demystify the teaching process.

While the book targets new and adjunct professors, experienced professors should consider picking it up.

“This book would also be helpful for new tenure-track faculty who set foot on campus without extensive teaching experience,” Jones said. 

About Dr. Jones

Jones earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University. She worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley, then joined the faculty at Fresno State. 

She served as Chair of the Department for almost 10 years. Her research interests include personality change and psychological health across the lifespan, statistical methods best able to capture individual differences in developmental change, and transformational teaching practices. 

CSU Monterey Bay experimental psychology professor Justin Matthews described Jones’ book as “true to its purpose,” saying it offered practical tools for instructors and students to succeed in the classroom.

“A quick and fun read for anyone embarking on their college teaching journey,” Matthews said. 

The book is available for sale through Rowman & Littlefield Publishers and Amazon in hardback, paperback, and eBook format.