News Release

Four education researchers lay out best practices for higher ed distance learning

Based on sound social science, the resource tackles virtual faculty-student relationships, professor self-care, and more

Book Announcement


SAGE Publishing and Corwin today announce the release of The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instruction. Co-authored by four leading education experts, the evidence-based guide addresses faculty-student relationships at a distance, professor self-care, creating engaging digital tasks, feedback and assessment, and more. The title includes video footage and downloadable exercises, featuring the guidance of over 20 educators from a diverse range of disciplines.  

Drawing upon the expertise of its authors, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey, John Hattie, and John Almarode, The Playbook – written and published in just six weeks – includes:  

  • The integration of Hattie’s Visible Learning® research, which synthesizes more than 50,000 social science studies to identify predictors of successful learning outcomes  

  • An interactive "playbook” style (conceptualized by Fisher and Frey) that provides methods and templates to guide self-assessment and reflection on implemented strategies 

  • Nine issues-focused modules that begin with learning intentions and success criteria before diving into critical, yet familiar elements of education, such as student-faculty relationships, all framed through the lens of distance learning 

“We suspect a post-pandemic future will include increased amounts of distance learning, so it’s important that we seize on what we have learned to improve post-secondary education in any format, whether face-to-face or from a distance,” commented the authors. “The unexpected transition to remote learning doesn’t mean we no longer know how to teach – we can still impact the lives of our students and know that we made a difference. The Distance Learning Playbook for College and University Instructionwas designed to show instructors how.”  

Both Fisher and Frey are professors at San Diego State University, while Hattie instructs at The University of Australia, Melbourne and Almarode at James Madison University.  

“Fisher, Frey, Hattie, and Almarode’s work demonstrates the pivotal role that social and behavioral science can play to implement and improve educational strategies, particularly during critical times,” commented Mike Soules, President of Corwin. “We knew that the authors’ varied backgrounds and expertise would allow them to create a guide that could support educators as they care for and provide guidance for their students – and themselves – in what would likely be a challenging virtual school year. What we didn’t expect was how quickly they and the team at SAGE/Corwin would be able to work to create such a robust resource – a testament to the passion behind all who worked on the title.”  

The new guide follows the success of Corwin’s The Distance Learning Playbook, Grades K-12which sold more than 325,000 copies in less than two months and rose to #1 on a Publishers Weekly bestseller list. The demand for the K-12 guide has led Corwin to publish a suite of titles under The Distance Learning Playbook name at a rapid pace

More on Corwin and SAGE’s latest initiatives to support distance learning can be found on their online teaching & learning hub. To learn more about The Distance Learning Playbook, visit the SAGE Publishing website. To request a press copy, please email  

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About SAGE Publishing  

SAGE is a global academic publisher of books, journals, and a growing suite of library products and services.  

Driven by the belief that social and behavioral science has the power to improve society, we focus on publishing impactful research and enabling robust research methodology. We produce high quality educational resources that support instructors to prepare the citizens, policymakers, educators, and researchers of the future. We publish more than 1,000 journals and 900 new books globally each year, as well as library products and services that include archives, data, case studies, and video. SAGE is majority owned by our founder, Sara Miller McCune, and after her lifetime will become owned by a charitable trust that secures the company’s continued independence.  

About Corwin 

Corwin, a SAGE Publishing company, is the premier provider of professional learning products and services that equip educators with the resources needed to improve teaching and learning. Corwin offers print books and eBooks, digital products, and onsite consulting services for all types of educators at all stages of their careers. Corwin resources are authored by experts on the topics most relevant to education; formatted for hands-on, practical guidance; research-based and peer-reviewed for quality; and designed for professional learning. For more information, visit   

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