Penn State University

New Instructor Orientation

Welcome to teaching at Penn State! Good teaching involves planning, lots of it and at every level.The online New Instructor Orientation (NIO) is a self-directed short-course administered through Canvas, Penn State's course management system.

The NIO is a series of pages that describe the basic university resources, contact information, teaching and learning information, and student information that all instructors, who are new to Penn State, or who are new to teaching, might find useful. Anyone who is teaching at Penn State is welcome to register for the course and use the material as they wish.


The Spring 2024 course will run for approximately 6 weeks beginning Monday, January 8, 2024 through Friday, February 23, 2024.

Graduate student instructors

Completion of the New Instructor Orientation currently satisfies a requirement of the Graduate School Teaching Certificate.

If you want to earn documentation for the Graduate School Teaching Certificate you must satisfactorily complete the following activities:

  1. The on-line quiz at the end of the Overview Section.
  2. The Objectives and Goals Exercises on writing clear learning objectives in the Building Blocks Section.
  3. The Course Objectives Worksheet found in the Evaluation Section.
You will receive feedback and may be asked to resubmit an activity in order to earn a Letter of Completion.


Registration for the Spring 2024 course will open Monday, December 4, 2023 and close at noon on Wednesday, February 21, 2024.

Registered participants will receive:

  • Immediate registration confirmation
  • An email, within two business days, containing Canvas access information
NIO class session


Penn State University