Tools and Resources

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PowerPoint presentation on Blended Learning from Abington Colloquy, January 18, 2012 by Stephen Pyser.

This list of resources can be used by faculty developing online or blended courses.

This is a link to 16 rubrics developed by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. The rubrics address a wide variety of commonly assessed intellectual and practical skills, personal and social responsibilities, and integrative and applied learning.

This document suggests a variety of testing models and explains why each is effective. They are alternatives or supplements to the "mid-term and a final" model.

This list includes several books/articles with in-depth discussion of the usefulness of case studies in teaching/learning.

--Hutchings, Pat. “Cases about College Teaching and Learning: A Picture of Emerging Practice.” Ch. 1 of Using Cases To Improve College Teaching: A Guide to More Reflective Practice. Washington, D.C.: American Association of Higher Education, 1993.
--Stinson, John E. and Richard G. Milter. “Problem-Based Learning in Business Education: Curriculum Design and Implementation Issues.” New Directions for Teaching and Learning 68 (Winter 1996), 33-42.
--Silverman, Rita, William M. Welty, and Sally Lyon. Case Studies for Teacher Problem Solving, 2nd edition. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1996.

This website describes the variety of services offered by ITS to help faculty and students effectively use technology in their teaching and learning.

Penn State New Faculty Orientation August (NFO); introduction to Penn State's teaching center, the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence; intro SITE; Intro Schreyer Institute

This test blueprint template can be downloaded and manipulated to help instructors effectively map exam questions to learning objectives, topics, modules, or themes.

This is a one-page tip sheet that guides instructors in thinking about how to "decode" their discipline for students and to strategize ways to help students navigate the challenges of learning in the discipline.

Support in the appropriate use of technology for teaching, learning, and research.

An introduction to college-level learning, focusing on areas in which first-year students often need to build skills.

Enrich the educational experience of students through information technology.

This is a blog post by Nick Carvone, Director of Teaching and Learning, for the Bedford/St. Martin's imprint of Macmillan Education. As the title suggests, this site shares ideas for how to teach your students to write more constructive comments on those portions of their teaching evaluations.

This book describes a research-based approach to teaching science to help students gain conceptual understanding. Originally based on biology courses, the book describes an approach rooted in active learning, backward design, and assessment.

This book summarizes what is known about teaching and learning from fields such as education and cognitive psychology and provides applications for use in post-secondary science classrooms.

This book describes practical strategies for teaching science and engineering courses using writing and collaborative learning. Emphasis is on how to help students build problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding.

This book describes activities college faculty can use to help their students understand the nature of science and engineering, to understand science and engineering concepts, and to solve problems. The book emphasizes how to help students examine and alter their conceptual frameworks.

This book defines assessment, and explains how both teachers and students do it to assess student learning and teaching effectiveness. The book describes assessment practices and best practices for assessment in the college classroom.

This book describes current educational theory and research and offers models of teaching and learning that go beyond the typical lecture-laboratory format. Topics include: student motivation, active learning, use of technology in teaching, and teaching diverse students.

This book is a collection of ten articles from college science professors who use investigative learning (also known as inquiry-based instruction) to help students understand how science works. The articles explain how students--including non-majors--can learn to do real-world science.

This report give a brief review of research methods employed in studies and proposes guiding principles for designing research studies and evaluating research proposals in mathematics and science education. While the document is not intended for Post-secondary educators, it will be of interest to those interested in getting started with Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects in STEM fields.

A list of SoTL journals compiled by librarians at Illinois State University. These journals are not STEM-specific, but some of their articles do address STEM teaching topics.

An online tutorial designed to help program faculty learn how to assess programs so that student learning can be improved.

This document describes each step in the program assessment or learning outcomes assessment process beginning with developing goals and ending with developing a plan for ongoing assessment. Included are instructions for how to develop learning goals and learning objectives as well as how to check for alignment between courses and learning objectives. Additional steps include choosing evidence to assess learning objectives and interpreting the results of the assessment.

This page introduces the Schreyer Institute's four self-paced modules which address important teaching and learning topics. Topics include learning outcomes assessment (program assessment), item analysis (a method to analyze the effectiveness of multiple choice tests, working with teams, and best practices for Powerpoint. Instructors can access these modules on their own time at their own pace.

Learning Objectives article, 3 pages, published in the _Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal_ by Patricia B Nemec and Evelyn Bussema. They state." The article differentiates between general goals and instructional objectives. The article is copyrighted by the APA.

We use this handout in our inclusive teaching workshop. It is adapted from “Managing Hot Moments in the Classroom” by Lee Warren at Harvard's Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning. It includes suggestions about how to manage difficult conversations by planning before the course as well ideas for what to do during the course ("in the moment").

Fern K. Willits and Mark A. Brennan 2016 Changing Perceptions of the University as a Community of Learning: The Case of Penn State. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 28(1), 66-74.
Supported by a grant from the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence

FERN WILLITS AND MARK BRENNAN (2015) The University as a Community of Learning
Perceptions of Students and Teachers in Three Settings, The Journal of the World Universities Forum
Part of the Quality of Instruction (QOI) series supported by a Schreyer Institute grant

Active Learning Spaces and Active Learning Classrooms, the built environment for learning, is a growing field and of increasing interest to faculty teaching in newly (re)designed classrooms and institutional space planners. This list of resources was collected in March 2017 by Michael Palmer of the University of Virginia's teaching center from colleagues in the professional society of faculty developers, the POD Network.

This file contains a list of six course design models chosen as "favorites" by the POD Network members, pulled from a thread on the POD Network Open Discussion Group. The six models are: Purdue’s Interactive Course Re/Design (ICD) Wheel; Connection-Engagement-Empowerment (CEE); Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework; Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle; Fink’s Integrated Course Design; and Backward Design. Moji Shahvali

This definition was prepared by the Teaching Excellence Committee, Teaching and Learning Consortium, Penn State in 2005.

These PowerPoint slides accompanied a presentation by Linda Suskie delivered via Zoom on Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2017. Multiple-choice tests can have a place in many courses. If they’re well designed, they can yield useful information on student achievement of many important course objectives, including some thinking skills. An item analysis of the results can shed light on how well the questions are working as well as what students have learned. Viewers will be able to use principles of good question construction to develop tests, develop test questions that assess thinking skills as well as conceptual understanding, and use item analysis to understand and improve both test questions and student learning. Be sure to open the handouts file listed below as you view the presentation!

These handouts (minus quizzes for test security) accompanied a presentation by Linda Suskie delivered via Zoom on Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2017. Multiple-choice tests can have a place in many courses. If they’re well designed, they can yield useful information on student achievement of many important course objectives, including some thinking skills. An item analysis of the results can shed light on how well the questions are working as well as what students have learned. Viewers will be able to use principles of good question construction to develop tests, develop test questions that assess thinking skills as well as conceptual understanding, and use item analysis to understand and improve both test questions and student learning.

This is one of many concept tests designed to assess student's knowledge of particular scientific concepts. This particular concept test is designed for students who have learned about linear signals and systems.

The iStudy tutorials are designed to advance students' knowledge and skills in areas that can promote overall academic achievement, such as studying, communicating, and career planning. Faculty can use the tutorials to help students adjust to college curricula and expectations or add career planning tools to syllabi.

Created for faculty and other academics who are interested in getting involved in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Recommended resources include the following topics: "Preparing to do SOTL," "Books on SOTL Research," "Journals for Educational Research," and "Videos of SoTL researchers discussing different aspects of SOTL."

The Lecture/Discussion Facilitation Template was distributed at the 2017 Lilly Evidence-based Teaching & Learning Conference held in Bethesda, MD June 1 - 4, 2017. Use it during lectures as a low-stakes, largely anonymous method to gauge students’ understanding, as a pop quiz or survey, or to keep track of in-class group activities. The template can improve student participation and engagement by minimizing their fears of low (or even “too high”) performance before their classmates, and it provides a demonstrable, observable, measurable, and active way to gain a sense of how well students are “getting it,” beyond the glint in their eyes. In that sense, it serves as a quick formative assessment tool that can be customized on demand.

Extensive set of resources for instructors who are using case studies. Includes more than 500 cases from various science and engineering disciplines, along with additional information about effectively using cases to promote learning.

This journal focuses on various ways to support and strengthen the teaching of academic writing. From the journal's Website: "Across the Disciplines, a refereed journal devoted to language, learning, and academic writing, publishes articles relevant to writing and writing pedagogy in all their intellectual, political, social, and technological complexity."

This site provides a link to Penn State Learning's tutoring services. Subjects represented include: Chinese and Japanese, Computer Science, French and Italian, Mathematics, Spanish, Public Speaking, World Campus topics, and Writing. Penn State Learning also has guided study groups in the following areas: Accounting, Economics, Mathematics, Sciences, Statistics.

The SALG website is a free course-evaluation tool that allows college-level instructors to gather learning-focused feedback from students. It can be used for mid-semester feedback that will help instructors improve student learning in the course.

For use in course design or revision, this Course Outline assists you aligning course topics with course learning objectives, finding and filling gaps in that alignment, and planning how much class time is necessary for students to achieve the learning objectives. The outline is particularly useful in developing shared learning goals for multiple course sections, integrated courses, and linked courses, as well as for submissions for curricular review and assessment planning.

For use in course design or revision, this Course Outline assists you aligning course topics with course learning objectives, finding and filling gaps in that alignment, and planning how much class time is necessary for students to achieve the learning objectives. The outline is particularly useful in developing shared learning goals for multiple course sections, integrated courses, and linked courses, as well as for submissions for curricular review and assessment planning.

Based on backward design principles, this Course Assessment Plan helps you to align course learning objectives with the formative and summative assessment tools and with the instructional activities that enable students to demonstrate their learning. The document is particularly useful in preparing for course design, course revision, and assessment planning, as well as for curricular and/or accreditation review.

Based on backward design principles, this Course Assessment Plan helps you to align course learning objectives with the formative and summative assessment tools and with the instructional activities that enable students to demonstrate their learning. The document is particularly useful in preparing for course design, course revision, and assessment planning, as well as for curricular and/or accreditation review.

This document guides faculty interested in course- or classroom-based research on student learning in the design process. Following the guidelines will help ensure that the research projects will be sound and robust and resulting insights can inform and extend our understanding of the processes of learning and of supporting that learning with effective, evidence-based instruction. While created to meet requirements for Canadian standards, the resource is also useful for researchers in the U.S.
The guide takes researchers through the essentials of the Canadian standards for ethical practice in the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) which are unique because of participants (human subjects) are also typically the researcher’s students. This Guide translates the Canadian TCPS2 (2014) for the researcher conducting SoTL research.

This resource is written by Lisa Fedoruk at the University of Calgary, with contributions by 18 scholars across Canada. It is grounded in the Canadian document governing research ethics, but the specific strategies listed throughout will be useful and helpful for researchers in other countries. Provided by Nancy Chick, Academic Director of the Taylor Institute for Teaching & Learning, University Chair in Teaching and Learning, University of Calgary.

Heavily abridged version of Weinstein, Y., Madan, C. R., & Smith, M. A. (in press). Teaching the science of learning. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, prepared for and presented at "Reframing Testing as a Learning Experience: Three Strategies for Use in the Classroom and at Home" on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.

Six key learning strategies from research in cognitive psychology can be applied to education: spaced practice, interleaving, elaborative interrogation, concrete examples, dual coding, and retrieval practice. However, a recent report (Pomerance, Greenberg, & Walsh, 2016) found that few teacher-training textbooks cover these principles; current study-skills courses also lack coverage of these important learning strategies. Students are therefore missing out on mastering techniques they could use on their own to learn effectively. This handout contains the six key learning strategies to address those concerns.

Writing learning goals and explicit learning objectives will make it easier for students to understand what is expected of them in your course. Goals communicate what students will learn and objectives communicate the kind and quality of work you expect of them. Explicit objectives also make it easier for faculty to make decisions about course content, activities, assignments, and grading.

Let’s Talk About Power: How Teacher Use of Power Shapes Relationships and Learning
Leslie Frances Reid, Jalal Kawash
Proceedings of the University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, Vol 2, 2017
Abstract
Teachers’ use of power in learning environments affects our students’ experiences, our teaching experiences, and the extent to which learning goals are met. The types of conversations we hold or avoid with students send cues regarding how we use power to develop relationships, influence behaviour and entice motivation. Reliance on prosocial forms of power, such as referent, reward, and expert, have a positive impact on outcomes such as learning and motivation, as well as perceived teacher credibility. Overuse of antisocial forms of power that include legitimate and coercive powers negatively affect these same outcomes. In this paper, we share stories from our teaching experiences that highlight how focusing on referent, reward and expert power bases to connect, problem solve, and negotiate challenges with our students has significantly enhanced our teaching practice. We provide resources that can be used by teachers to become aware of and utilize prosocial power strategies in their practice through self-reflection and peer and student feedback.

The Role of Interactive Digital Simulations in Student Conversations About Visualizing Molecules
Yuen-ying Carpenter, Erin Rae Sullivan
Proceedings of the University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, Vol. 2, 2017

Abstract
The visualization of chemical compounds in three-dimensions is a foundational skill in the study and practice of chemistry and related fields, and one which has the potential to be supported by interaction with virtual models. Here, we present a collaborative learning activity piloted in first-year chemistry which investigates if inquiry-driven interactive technology can contribute meaningfully to student conversations around this topic, and how students’ conversations and practices may shift when driven by feedback from an interactive simulation. Our initial observations from this pilot project suggest that students engaged in collaborative sense-making and discussion around key ideas throughout this activity. Students’ post-activity reflections also highlighted their positive experiences and increased confidence with the topic afterwards. The unique dynamics of these interactions lead us to propose a novel framing of interactive visualizations as participants rather than merely as resources in student learning conversations.

Using Mental Health and Wellness as a Framework for Course Design
Patricia Dyjur, Gabrielle Lindstrom, Nahum Arguera, Haboun Bair
Proceedings of the University of Calgary Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching, Vol. 2, 2017

Abstract
Mental health and wellness is a concern, not only for students, but for instructors in higher education as well. Course design can have a positive or negative impact on both student and instructor wellness, especially around stress and anxiety with assessments, workload, and due dates. Factors of course design such as policies and values, academic expectations, learning environment and learning experiences, student assessment, and reflection and resilience can play an important role in supporting wellness. In this paper we provide examples of how each factor can affect wellness, and offer questions that an instructor can consider when designing a course with wellness in mind.

Faculty and student resources useful for new faculty and their students. Faculty resources include links to Schreyer Institute, new instructor orientation, Canvas LMS, LionPATH (student information system), faculty handbook, testing, teaching and learning with technology, student ratings (student evaluations, course evaluations),

This flyer lists a variety of services provided by our consultants divided into 5 broad categories: Course Design & Planning, Teaching Strategies, Testing & Grading, Reearch on Teaching & Learning, and Course Evaluation.

Penn State Teacher II 1997. Compendium of teaching tips and advice from seasoned faculty and graduate students. Includes sections on Course design, matching teaching methods with learning objectives, teaching large courses, evaluating student learning, collecting feedback, sample syllabi, feedback questionaires, grading standards, plagiarism, teaching philosophies.
Authored by D. Enerson, R. Neill Johnson, Susannah Milner, and Kathryn M. Plank.

Adobe Connect of the Learning Outcomes Assessment program from January 30, 2012. Includes descriptions of assessment plans in psychology, biology and Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures.

This is an interactive webpage that illustrates instersections between learning objectives and skill levels.

This article, from Stanford's teaching and learning center, addresses strategies for improving assessment and grading practices in the classroom.

This document provides an example of a test blueprint, which can be used to help guide test development and ensure that the test questions appropriately reflect the learning objectives of the unit that the test is designed to assess. It can also help students when they study for the test.

Provides a tool for evaluating a teaching philosophy / teaching statement that might be included in a job application packet or a tenure and promotion dossier. Areas evaluated include format, clarity, specificity, degree of reflectiveness, and foundation in beliefs about teaching and learning.

A teaching portfolio provides materials associated with the experience of teaching and learning. This PDF describes items that might be included in a teaching portfolio, categorized by source: personal material, material from others, and products of good teaching.

Teaching portfolios provide an opportunity for instructors to show evidence that they are effective teachers. This PDF includes a list of questions that can be useful in filtering the kinds of evidence to be included in one's portfolio.

This worksheet can be used to help instructors develop classroom activities that align learning objectives with assessments and course activities.

This document outlines the research evidence for the impact of large classes on student learning.

This is an example of a survey administered to graduating seniors. It is used by the Penn State Berks elementary education program for learning outcomes assessment (program assessment) purposes.

This survey is used by the Penn State Berks teacher education program to assess student teachers for learning outcomes assessment (program assessment) purposes.

This is curriculum matrix was completed by the faculty in the Elementary and Kindergarten Education program at Penn State Berks. It is used to determine which program goals/objectives are addressed in the various courses included in the program. A curriculum map is an important step in the process of learning outcomes assessment (program assessment).

This document is the master Learning Outcomes Assessment plan for the College of Information Science and Technology.

This essay, written by Penn State's Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, John Lowe, describes several useful strategies for collecting course-level assessment about students' study habits and learning, which can be used to improve student learning.

This document briefly describes what service-learning is and the ways in which it can promote student learning.

This document describes methods for developing surveys for collecting learning outcomes assessment (program assessment) evidence from graduating seniors, alumni and employers.

This document includes example program-level learning objectives for internships. It was created by faculty at Penn State Berks.

This excerpt from "Student Learning Assessment: Options and Resources" provides three sample rubric types including simple, detailed and holistic. These rubrics can help to improve the grading process. The publication was written by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

A brief description of course portfolios is provided along with resources and links to portfolio examples.

Brief discussion of characteristics that case-writers should aim for in order to promote students' learning. Traits discussed include realism, alignment with students' needs, complexity, adequate background information, and clear writing.

A short handout with suggestions for creating a classroom climate conducive to learning.

Richard Felder and Rebecca Brent describe their approach to Collaborative Learning Strategies.

This document, excerpted from the Penn State Teacher II, includes strategies for planning, implementing, and grading collaborative projects (aka team work or group work). It includes a discussion of group conflicts.

This document is a 1993 teaching newsletter from Stanford University that addresses the topic of classroom assessments - brief, typically non-graded assignments, that reveals to both teachers and students the extent to which students have the knowledge the teacher expects them to have.

This document provides a brief description of course goals and course objectives or course outcomes for student learning. Learning outcomes (or learning objectives) are useful to develop during course design, as well as when creating an assignment or activity.

Overview of best practices for using PowerPoint as an instructional tool. Handout includes numerous tips and illustrative slides focused on: debate about the proper role of PowerPoint in education; using the assertion-evidence model in slide design in order to promote learning; making user-friendly choices about graphic design.

Example of a curriculum matrix or map that is for a business program at Penn State Berks. Development of curriculum maps are important parts of the learning outcomes assessment process.

Penn State Abington instructor Ross Brinkert answers some frequently asked questions about hybrid teaching and learning based on his own early experiences.

This document offers a nice overview of Inquiry Based Learning.

This FAQ sheet offers many ideas and strategies for engaging students in active learning, given a large class environment.

Three learning outcomes from Penn State Mont Alto along with suggestions on next steps are briefly described in this paper.

A handout that describes problem-based learning and provides an overview of the instructional steps.

This document is an example of a test blueprint (written for a research methods course), which can be created to help you match your test questions with your learning objectives *and* to help your students study for a test.

Handout from Cindy Raynak's 2012 Teaching Professor presentation in Washington, DC. Describes the concept of "student-centered discussion," it's advantages for student learning, and how the process works.

This worksheet was developed for faculty involved in program assessment. The document will help program faculty link program learning objectives with appropriate assignments that can be used as evidence that students have achieved those objectives.

This document provides examples of measures that are classified as direct or indirect evidence. It provides a list of appropriate direct or indirect measures of student learning which can be used in the process of program assessment.

This template can be used to develop a curriculum map, or matrix, which allows faculty to see which courses address each program level learning objective. Developing a curriculum map is an important step in the learning outcomes assessment (i.e. program assessment) process.

Example goals (from the discipline of psychology) for program assessment

This document describes how to use case studies as strategies to provide active learning experiences for students.

This document describes how concept maps can be used as active methods for students to learn course material.

This document describes the process of writing problems for use in helping students learn course material through problem-based learning.

This document describes the process for creating permanent groups (teams) for collaborative learning.

This document describes a specific strategy that provides a collaborative learning experience for students.

This document describes several active learning methods for helping students learn how course concepts are organized.

This document describes several strategies that can be used to make concepts "concrete" and provide tactile material that can help students learn.

This document describes the use of partners who learn the course material together.

This document is an example of a survey that can be used to determine graduating students' perceptions of the knowledge and skills they have developed during their program. This tool can be used for learning outcomes assessment (aka program assessment).

This document is an example of a curriculum matrix, used for learning outcomes assessment (aka program assessment), in which general education program objectives are matched with the courses that address them.

This document is an example of a survey used to gather assessment data from student teacher mentors about the student teacher's performance. This survey is useful for learning outcomes assessment (program assessment). This example comes from Penn State Berks.

This is an example of a survey that can be given to the principal of a school at which a student teacher has been assigned. The survey provides an assessment of the student's performance from the perspective of the school principal. It is a useful tool for learning outcomes assessment (program assessment).

This PowerPoint slide shows an example of evidence resulting from the learning outcomes assessment process at the course level (accounting in this example). It shows the extent to which students achieved the learning objectives of the course. This information can also be used to assess course learning objectives or course learning outcomes at the program level.

This document provides an example of how an accounting program collected, displayed and used evidence of student learning to make decisions that would lead to improved student learning in the program. This exemplifies an important step in learning outcomes assessment process.

Statement of teaching philosophy by Beate Brunow. This is an example of how to write a teaching philosophy.

Excerpt: "At the core of my teaching philosophy lies the belief that teaching and learning inform each other and that effective teaching depends on successful communication between instructor and learner."