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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.

List of references and citations for creating inclusive courses and classrooms; and in support of teaching diverse students.

This webpage lists many resources to help faculty work with diverse students, including strategies for working with specific minority groups, such as students with disabilities. The resources are related to diversity and inclusion.

Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) is a pedagogical approach that recognizes the importance of cultural diversity in the teaching and learning process. The core emphasis of CRT is the inclusion of diverse cultures in the design of instruction (Addy et al., 2021). Gay (2010) defines CRT as “using the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant to and effective for them” (p.31). This resource expands on the understanding of culturally responsive teaching and provides practical suggestions for teaching in higher education.

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.

The Liberal Arts Outreach and Online Education office coordinates with Outreach partners to develop and deliver both online and face-to-face semester-based courses for students interested in accessing a Penn State education at a distance.

Making the Right Impressions on the First Day of Class
What can be done then to make a positive first impression in the classroom? In a study
(Hayward, 2001) where students were given a survey after the first class meeting, factors
contributing to positive perceptions of teaching effectiveness were identified.
The power of knowing, in the first two seconds, is our ability to make quick judgments. Think back to when you were in school and how long did it take you to size up a professor? Did you know the first day how good a teacher was, or did it take several classes or the entire semester? Research has found that students watching a silent two-second video clip of a teacher they have never met reach very similar conclusions about that teacher’s effectiveness when compared to students who have sat in the teacher’s class for a semester.
Students have been found to quickly size up a professor on these four factors:

What the Best College Teachers Do
Ken Bain, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA (2004)
The publication, What the Best College Teachers Do, is based on a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers from various fields and universities. Author Ken Bain tries to “capture the collective scholarship of some of the best teachers in the United States, to record not just what they think, but most of all, to begin to conceptualize their practices.” In this book, you will find insights on how to engage and challenge students

In 2013, Penn State embarked on a revision of its General Education curriculum. This website provides the opportunity for faculty, staff and students to find out what is happening, provide input and get involved in the process.

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.

This one-page tip sheet provides background and approaches to guide instructors in directing students toward mastery of content.

Information about the Technology Classrooms and Student Computing Labs on the University Park Campus and related services.

Worrisome Student Behaviors: Minimizing Risk

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

Information Technology Services site for students.

Services for Penn State students with disabilities, includes link to faculty handbook and FAQs about working with students with disabilities, as well as additional internal and external resources.

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.

Report of results from a 2012 survey of student and faculty perceptions of the quality of instruction at Penn State’s Commonwealth Campuses. This study focuses on what Commonwealth Campus students and faculty believe are the most important elements of quality instruction, their frequency at the campuses, students' ratings of their instruction, factors that differentiate how students perceive quality, comparison of results from Commonwealth Campuses and University Park, and whether perceptions have changed over time.

Report of results from a 2011 survey of student and faculty perceptions of the quality of instruction at Penn State’s University Park campus. This study focuses on what students and faculty believe are the most important elements of quality instruction, their frequency at University Park, students' ratings of their instruction, factors that influence students' ratings, and changes in perceptions compared to 1996 survey results.

Report of results from a 2012 survey of student and faculty perceptions of the quality of instruction of courses offered through Penn State’s World Campus. This study focuses on what students and faculty believe are the most important elements of quality instruction, their frequency in World Campus courses, students' ratings of their instruction, factors that influence students' ratings, and comparison of results from World Campus, the Commonwealth Campuses, and University Park.

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 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 is a collection of studies from a variety of institutions with undergraduate research programs. The book focuses on key successful elements of each program, and draws conclusions on the impact of these programs on students. Useful for educators and administrators interested in creating and evaluating undergraduate research programs.

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 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.

Faculty sometimes find it difficult to respond to the written comments that accompany SRTEs (aka SETs). This document provides a template for sorting students' comments into themes. The themes provided are common ones, but your ratings may include other themes. If a student's comment includes many themes, we recommend splitting out the comments about different topics. After all of the students comments are sorted, sort the themes from those with the most comments to those with the fewest comments. This can help faculty recognize that not all students agree with the student who wrote one or two particularly hurtful comments. Typically, there is a natural break at around the 3rd or 4th theme and we recommend focusing on the themes most frequently mentioned by students.

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

An online module designed to help you work more efficiently with student teams within your classes. This module is designed to help you work with teams in both face-to-face and online courses. Regardless of what type of course you teach, you should find helpful information within this course regarding the formation, facilitation and performance of student teams.

The Midterm/Midsemester Class Interview (or Small Group Instructional Diagnosis, SGID) is a process designed to help instructors learn what their students think about how the course is going. Students identify elements of the class that are helping them learn and offer suggestions to strengthen the course. We recommend using this procedure in the middle of the semester, after students have received at least one grade. The process involves three steps: 1) meeting with an instructional consultant to discuss the instructor's objectives for the process; 2) a class interview with small groups and a whole class discussion; and a post-interview summary and discussion of the results with the consultant.

This document describes the difference between goals and objectives and provides lists of explicit verbs that can be used to write clear, action- and behavior-oriented objectives for students or faculty (depending on the focus of your proposal) that will demonstrate project success.

Designing Effective Reviews: Helping Students Give Helpful Feedback

LET'S GO Scroll Down
This module explores the qualities of effective reviews. Good review prompts help reviewers provide feedback that writers can use to make high-quality revisions.

The module identifies some of the choices that instructors can make while designing review tasks in order to generate helpful feedback. It will discuss the qualities of effective review prompts, design choices, and frameworks for helping structure open-ended feedback.

Lam, R. (2010) A Peer Review Training Workshop: Coaching Students to Give and Evaluate Peer Feedback, TESL Canada Journal/Revue TESL du Canada Vol. 27(2, Spring 2010), 114-127.

Link to article written about a Quality of Instruction (QOI) survey at Penn State supported by grants from the Schreyer Institute.
Fern Willits & Mark Brennan (2017) Another look at college student’s ratings of course quality: data from Penn State student surveys in three settings, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 42:3, 443-462, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2015.1120858

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

This report focuses on using student ratings data in the faculty evaluation process and is based on Linse's 2017 peer-reviewed publication, with additions specific to Penn State and the SRTEs. Linse, A. R. (2017). Interpreting and using student ratings data: Guidance for faculty serving as administrators and on evaluation committees. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 54, 94–106;

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.

The Dynamics Concept Inventory is a multiple-choice exam with 29 questions. It covers 11 concept areas in rigid body dynamics and several more in particle dynamics. This is one of many concept tests designed to assess student's knowledge of particular scientific concepts.

Concept inventories or tests are designed to assess student's knowledge of particular scientific concepts. This link goes to a University of Maryland Physics Education Research Group. It provides information about how to access a variety of concept inventories including mathematical modeling, understanding graphs, vector evaluation, Force Concept Inventory, Mechanics Baseline Test, and several other physics concepts.

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.

Concept inventories are designed to assess student's knowledge of particular scientific concepts. This is an article that describes a concept inventory that assesses statistics knowledge. This link does not take you to the concept inventory itself, but provides information about how to access the inventory.

Concept inventories are designed to assess student's knowledge of particular scientific concepts. This webpage provides a list of concept inventories in existence along with their authors. Some can be linked to via the webpage and others cannot. Topics include engineering, science and math.

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.

Citations about mentoring, primarily academic mentoring. Includes references for mentoring faculty, mentoring graduate students, mentoring minority academic, mentoring for diversity & inclusion.

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.

Concise and useful guide for instructors designing writing assignments for their students. Focus is on four areas of planning: 1) purpose of the assignment, 2) audience the students will be writing for, 3) strategic/logistical issues, and 4) evaluating the students' work.

This page was produced by the University of Minnesota College of Biological Sciences. The most useful part is the subsection about "approaches to enhance specific writing abilities." That subsection includes information / activities that instructors can use to help students read and write scientific papers (e.g., breaking an abstract into its component parts, synthesizing information from different sources).

"The Graduate Writing Center (GWC) provides free one-on-one professional consulting and interactive workshops for Penn State graduate students of all disciplines and all levels of writing ability. The GWC is sponsored by the Pennsylvania State University Graduate School, the Department of English, and World Campus." Page includes detailed information and scheduling options.

This website provides extensive advice on responding effectively to students' writing. The advice is structured into phases related to 1) pre-assignment planning and communication with students, 2) grading and commenting, and 3) post-assignment strategies for helping students improve their writing. Includes hyperlinks to numerous additional resources.

Student ratings are not the only option to provide evidence in the evaluation of teaching. There is a broad range of alternatives to consider beyond student ratings in the delicate decision-making processes to improve teaching and determine the promotion and tenure of faculty. Yet, despite the constant barrage of attacks on the integrity, reliability, and validity of student ratings, their use in higher education is at an all-time high.
So what do student ratings actually contribute to decisions about teaching and faculty? Should they be abandoned? Should you focus on the other options? This article examines student ratings and 14 alternatives to guide your plans to evaluate teaching in your department.

A customizable observation tool used observations of teaching. The tool is a protocol that produces robust and nuanced depictions of classroom dynamics between teachers, students, and technologies. Based on research-based learning theories, the TDOP has been extensively field-tested and is being used by over 300 researchers, program evaluators, and professional developers to create detailed descriptions of what happens inside classrooms.

A low tech alternative to clickers. Now students do not have to tote printed "ABCD Cards" for interactive lecturing and polling. Now there is an "app for that." The instructor poses a questions and the class holds up their response. The teacher scans the sea of answers to get a quick pulse on student responses. If there are too many As, Cs, and Ds, when B was the correct answer, then there may be some confusion and a need to clarify.

The Center for Instructional Innovation at Western Washington University has created a *free* ABCD Cards app for iOS and Android . Students simply launch the app, tap their answer choice, and hold up their answers. The app removes the burden of printing the cards, and responses
might even be easier to see for instructors in large rooms. Visit for more information.

Slides from Dr. Saundra McGuire’s presentation on Student metacognition at Penn State, February 12, 2018. Dr. McGuire encourages instructors to use and adapt these slides for use with their own students.

In addition to complying with all Penn State employment requirements and conditions, graduate students under consideration for an assistantship with the Schreyer Institute need to meet all of the conditions and requirements listed in this document.

Decoding the Disciplines is a process for increasing student learning by narrowing the gap between expert and novice thinking. Beginning with the identification of bottlenecks to learning in particular disciplines, it seeks to make explicit the tacit knowledge of experts and to help students master the mental actions they need for success in particular courses. Bottlenecks key areas where students get stuck or where students can't progress in their learning. Experts who they are very familiar with the discipline sometimes have a hard time helping novices through these difficult passageways. This process provides teaching strategies that help faculty experts help their novice students to think in disciplinary ways.

Professor Christine Hockings (UK), April 2010
Inclusive learning and teaching in higher education refers to the ways in which pedagogy, curricula and assessment are designed and delivered to engage students in learning that is meaningful, relevant and accessible to all. It embraces a view of the individual and individual difference as the source of diversity that can enrich the lives and learning of others.
This publication includes summaries of key research on how inclusion practices impact students' learning, identities, and belonging.

This webpage includes suggestions that will help faculty to create a safe classroom environments in which all students, regardless of identity, will feel welcomed. The page includes suggestions for how to create inclusive classrooms from diverse classrooms.

This webpage includes a list of resources to help faculty work with diverse student populations. It provides resources that are specific for various minority groups, such as women or students of color. The resources are related to diversity and inclusion.

This list of inclusive teaching strategies was created as part of the Schreyer Institute's Creating Inclusive Courses workshop. The workshop activity is also available in this repository. The list was compiled over many years and is intended to help instructors recognize what they might already be doing to demonstrate that all students are welcome contributors to the course learning community. This is not a "checklist." Creating inclusive course environments requires sincerity, intentionality, and reflection, not simply enacting a list of strategies. These strategies are most effective when combined with other efforts such as critical self-reflection reflection, learning about antiracist pedagogies, and taking steps to decolonize our classrooms.

This is a workshop activity used in our Inclusive Courses workshop. It is intended to help instructors to recognize the wide range of things that they currently do, or can do, to demonstrate to students that each has unique contributions to make in the course learning community.

A course redesign tool developed by the UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management in partnership with the UC Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning. This tool supports instructors to develop anti-racist approaches to course design and teaching practices through an accessible and user-friendly model to consider how their instructional choices impact student outcomes. The tool is meant for self-assessment, not to assess score courses or instructors.

Single-point rubrics provide enough information so students know what’s expected of them and room for targeted feedback on their work, making grading more efficient and less anxiety-producing for both instructors and students. This recorded presentation in Kaltura requires Penn State log in.

Presents baseline knowledge about disabilities and the experience of students with disabilities in higher education, including barriers and resource needs, and effective practices for working with students with disabilities in proactive ways. Facilitated by Allison Fleming, Associate Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Services and Counselor Education, and K. Lynn Pierce, Disability Specialist Intern. Recording of webinar from March 23, 2022.

Exit slips are an active learning strategy that requires students to put information into their own words, so they can internalize the content, identify gaps in their understanding, or alert the instructor to potential problems. This document contains examples of prompts for use in any course.

The purpose of this document is to provide information for instructors who are concerned about how to handle election-related student comments and questions. The pre-election information below provides information about how to respond to student questions about voting, as well as relevant Penn State policies. The post-election section includes information about what you might consider as you plan for your course sessions that occur immediately after the election. Some of the resources were developed for the 2020 election but are still useful for this election.

This is a 2-page flyer provided by the CIRTL Network (Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning). It includes quotes from participants about how participating benefitted them. Many are now professors. The second page is focuses on additional benefits for students, faculty, and academic units.

Instructors have key impacts on course climate, and these impacts affect classroom management and students' sense of belonging. This handout discusses ways in which instructors' behaviors might shift a course climate in marginalizing or centralizing directions.

Creating a sense of belonging is critical for student learning and setting the tone for an inclusive classroom begins on, or even before, the first day of class. This handout provides sample questions for a questionnaire you can use to get to know students, a few considerations for your own introduction as an instructor, and suggestions for introducing your course.

Designing Student Hours (aka: Office Hours) for Success. This resource from University of Delaware, Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning, outlines ideas and ways instructors can help prepare students to have a positive office hours experience.

Student hours, or office hours, are a dedicated time during the week for students to ask questions or engage in discussion about course content with their faculty member, TA, or other learning assistant. Not only is it shown that students benefit academically from student hours, but it also helps instructors gain a deeper understanding of where their students are struggling.

This is a link to a Penn State produced resource on Artifical Intelligence, Pedagogy, and Academic Integrity. It has information and resources on this topic and includes guidance for working with students and adapting to these tools.

The University of Montana Curry Health Center developed this toolkit for faculty based on the well-documented concept that student wellbeing is critical to learning, success and persistence. The toolkit includes course design suggestions about a wide variety of topics including student's personal development, flexibility, social connection, optimal challenge, developing a positive course culture, inclusivity, instructor support, and responding to a crisis.

Many instructors feel that the student ratings process is something 'done to' them. Annotation offers a way for instructors to interpret their own ratings rather than rely on accurate interpretation by others not involved in the course. The annotation serves as a cover page for the summary report available to faculty from the Student Course Feedback (e.g., SRTEs) the student ratings system ( This document identifies key elements of an effective annotation as well as an example of a one-page annotation for a fictional course.

Easily Estimate Your Students' Instructional Time
Online and hybrid courses with online components can make it challenging to assess how much time students spend on learning. To help faculty and instructional designers estimate how many hours of work and learning are involved in a course plan, this web app was created.

This app is a quick and easy way to see how hours are distributed across types of activities throughout the entire course and complements the other resources and documentation on the Hours of Instructional Activity Equivalents (HIA) for Undergraduate Courses page.

Graphical representations of equity and student success. Images represent equality, inequality, bias & systemic racism, diversity, and equity using ladders (rather than a sports analogy).

Handout contains prompts for reflecting on one's syllabus, a class, an assignment, and student learning. Reflective prompts that support brainstorming ideas for the portfolio support the early stages of the development of a teaching portfolio.

How midsemester feedback can help instructors and students, plus suggestions for useful questions to ask.

This rubric for educators presents four traits focused on areas unique to the capabilities and limitations of AI as well as ethical considerations for the use of AI. Prepare your assignments for the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by reviewing and revising writing prompts before sharing with students.

Self-reflection as it relates to teaching is the practice of critically thinking about our experiences and their implications by drawing on multiple sources. These sources include peers, students, self, and literature.

Penn State’s Teaching Assessment Framework consists of student feedback, peer review, and self-reflection. Consultants from the Schreyer Institute work with individual faculty on formative (non-evaluative, developmental) assessment to support instructors regularly making small adjustments and continuous improvement to their teaching. Summative (evaluative) assessments are conducted by faculty peers and academic unit heads.

Using Transparent Assignment Design to Boost Learning: Students benefit from having clear assignment instructions, including specifics on purpose, task, and criteria (Winkelmes et al., 2016). Examples are shown in the document.

Spring 2024 events especially for grad students and postdocs, sponsored by the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. These events are open to anyone at Penn State but are especially useful for graduate students and postdoctoral students as they strengthen their pedagogical skills.

Penn State’s Faculty Assessment of Teaching Framework assesses teaching using evidence from three sources, peer review, self-assessment, and student feedback. The framework also identifies four Elements of Effective Teaching, which provide a foundation of understanding, advance a shared language for communication, and serve as standards against which the combined sources of evidence are judged. Academic units may also use the elements as an invitation to discuss other important aspects of effective teaching. This document includes teaching examples by element.

Instructors are the most important determinant of student participation in the Student Educational Experience Questionnaire (SEEQ). Students are more likely to complete the questionnaire if they know that instructors read their feedback and value it as a source of ideas to improve the course.

The questionnaire includes seven items, which are the same for every instructor. Responses to items 1-4 are available to the instructor and their academic unit head. Items 5-7 are provided only to the instructor. Fall semester 2023 is the first to use this questionnaire. It replaces the SRTE.

ELLs and multilingual students are a very diverse group of learners and might be international students or recent immigrants who are new to the US higher education context, or they may be Generation 1.5 students who might demonstrate very high levels of speaking and listening abilities and deep cultural knowledge. This resource offers recommendations and suggestions for teaching ELL and multilingual students at Penn State.

Instructors are the most important determinant of student participation. Students are more likely to submit feedback if they know that instructors value their feedback and use it to make improvements in the course. Below are suggestions for how you might discuss mid-semester feedback with your students.

Components for evaluation of faculty to student feedback.

All instructors will need to address a course disruption at some point in their teaching career. When instructors do not have response strategies that can be activated in that moment, it can lead to undermine student confidence in you and may send the wrong message to those who have been targeted. The phrases below can be adapted so that you are prepared to use them. Developed by Tasha Souza, Ph.D., Director of the BUILD Program at Boise State University, developed this interactive communication framework for instructors to use in the immediate moment.

A teaching philosophy is more than an instructor’s beliefs about teaching and learning and paints a picture of what it is like to be a student in the course. It explains why a faculty member does what they do in their courses. It can be a foundational document for course design, narrative statements, and self-reflection.

A teaching philosophy is typically a 1-2-page narrative. It describes how learning happens in a course through examples learning activities, instructor- and student-student interactions, assessments. See Writing a Teaching Philosophy.

Students may bring their thoughts and feelings as well as their trauma related to the violence and humanitarian crisis of the Israel-Gaza conflict into your course, even if your course material is not related to current events. This resource describes actions you can take for your students (and yourself) as well as Trauma Informed Pedagogy.

The current violent international conflict in Israel and Gaza may cause your students to be concerned about their safety and that of family and community members. The tensions may lead to increases in hate crimes against Jews and Muslims around the world. The conflict could also trigger strong emotions and opinions, which may impact your students. This resource provide guidance about course discussions of the conflict and how to avoid (or confront) antisemitism and Islamophobia.

A sense of belonging is students’ perception of social support on campus, connectedness, and experience of feeling accepted, respected, mattering, and valued by the community or people on campus, such as faculty, staff, and peers (Strayhorn, 2012). Based on four domains of sense of belonging that Ahn and Davis (2020) suggest (academic engagement, social engagement, surroundings, and personal space), this resource provides practical guidance for cultivating a sense of belonging in learning environments.

The Midterm/Midsemester Class Interview (or Small Group Instructional Diagnosis, SGID) is a process designed to help instructors learn what their students think about how the course is going. Students identify elements of the class that are helping them learn and offer suggestions to strengthen the course. We recommend using this procedure in the middle of the semester, after students have received at least one grade. The process involves three steps: 1) meeting with an instructional consultant to discuss the instructor's objectives for the process; 2) a class interview with small groups and a whole class discussion; and a post-interview summary and discussion of the results with the consultant.

Research suggests that the tone of the syllabus communicates an instructor’s teaching philosophy and how the instructor communicates with students (Boysen et al, 2015). Additionally, the tone of the syllabus evokes perceptions of the instructor being warm, approachable, and motivating for learners (Harnish & Bridges, 2011; Wheeler, 2019).

Research indicates that learner-centered syllabi positively impact students’ perception of instructor
effectiveness and rapport with instructors (Harrington & Gaber-Quilen, 2015). Moreover, learnercentered syllabi can lead to higher levels of motivation and engagement, achievement, and rapport
between students (Karanja & Grant, 2020). This resource provides suggestions for constructing a
learner-centered syllabus.

When students avoid a feared situation, task, or topic, their anxiety may increase or spread to other aspects of life. If instructors can help the students feel safe and supported as they encounter the feared situation, task, or topic, the students are likely to engage with the anxiety in ways that increase their own self-efficacy. To help, instructors can preview and give clear instructions for the feared situation, as well as building in small, incremental steps of increasing exposure to the anxiety-producing situation.

The Student Success-Oriented Action Plan is a six-page guide to methods and techniques to increase inclusion and equity through course design and delivery.

From the instructor's perspective, it may be helpful to understand how students are using AI and how they think about the ethical aspect of using AI in a given course and academic/professional field. This resource offers recommendations for starting conversations with students about AI.

The purpose of this activity is for participants or students to get to know each other as individuals with distinct histories, backgrounds, and traditions. Knowing something personal about others helps learning communities and teams function more effectively.

The Where I'm From icebreaker activity was developed based on a poem by George Ella Lyon ( This teaching activity is described in: Christensen, Linda (1998) Inviting Student Lives into the Classroom: Where I'm From. Rethinking Schools, 12(2): 22-23. Available on-line at:

Larger courses can present challenges for instructors aiming to provide personalized and inclusive learning experiences for students. Inclusive teaching refers to an intentional practice of recognizing and mitigating biases that may lead to the marginalization of some students (Dewsbury & Brame, 2019) and supporting all students to reach their full potential (Addy et al., 2021). This resource provides suggestions for inclusive teaching practices for larger courses.

The Faculty Senate revision to Student Policy 42-27 Class Attendance states that instructors may provide remote asynchronous instruction on a November election day so students can participate in or work the polls at local, state or federal elections. We offer this guidance in preparation for such instruction.

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.

Large classes are among the most important because many students enrolled are new to the college experience. The big challenges of teaching large classes include finding ways to engage students, providing timely feedback, and managing logistics. When faced with these challenges, many instructors revert to lectures and multiple-choice tests. There are alternatives. This special report describes some alternative teaching and course management techniques to get students actively involved without an inordinate amount of work on the instructor’s part. From the Teaching Professor, Magna.

Short descriptions of 22 activities to engage students in both large and small classes.

Active Learning, Strategies for Success is written for instructors who are not practiced at teaching actively. It was created after hearing from faculty "That active learning stuff doesn't work for me. I tried it and the students hated it!" Following a 4-step process can help ensure that your early attempts at active teaching are more successful. These steps have been used by hundreds of faculty to effectively introduce students to active learning. For suggestions of activities look for "Interactive Learning" in the repository search box.

This resource is from Texas Tech University and is written by Jenny Lloyd-Strovas, Ph.D. at TTU's Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center
Texas Tech University in August, 2015.
Teaching large classes can be a daunting experience. How do you keep students engaged and active without losing control of the classroom? With so many students, how do you know if they are learning? Should you attempt to take attendance or risk losing students? How do you build rapport when learning 200 names isn’t a possibility? If you have taught (or are preparing to teach) a large class, you have probably asked yourself these questions. Here, I will discuss possible solutions for these challenges and more. This resource is organized to be a quick and efficient reference for challenges that you are experiencing in your classroom.

Teaching Large Classes by Adam Wilsman, Center for Teaching, Vanderbilt University
Teaching a large class poses many challenges, both in and out of the classroom. In the classroom, large enrollments can promote student disengagement and feelings of alienation, which can erode students’ sense of responsibility and lead to behaviors that both reflect and promote lack of engagement. Logistics can also be a challenge when teaching a large class. How does one best manage the daily administration of what can often feel like a small city? This resource presents strategies to help instructors deal with some of the challenges associated with teaching large classes.

In this article, Meixun Sinky Zheng, PhD, shares some low-risk strategies to help faculty transform lectures into student-centered learning experiences for enhanced learning outcomes. These active learning strategies can be easily implemented without significant redesign of the class and without an investment in technology. The article ends with a few tech-based strategies for engaging your students.

This FAQ about effective teaching and learning in large courses (large classes) from the Cornell University Center for Teaching Innovation. The questions focus on reducing anonymity, managing and engaging students, active learning, checking for learning, incorporating writing and group work without overwhelming yourself.

From UC Berkeley's Center for Teaching and Learning, Considerations for Large Lecture Classes provides six ways to make lectures in a large enrollment course more manageable and effective. The strategies include communicating explicit learning expectations, not trying to "cover" everything, focusing on analysis of issues or problems, engaging students through active learning practices, providing feedback to students, and using clickers to poll students.

This article from UC Berkeley's' Center for Teaching & Learning, reviews how to create opportunities for your students to build deeper understanding of concepts through articulation and elaboration, as they engage in learning conversations (discourse & sensemaking) in a large lecture hall. These strategies shift some of the intellectual work to the students, as they offer explanations, summaries, elaborations, articulations of the material, and find ways to connect to what they already know with what they are learning in your course (Allen & Tanner, 2005). The title of the article is "Discourse & Sensemaking Strategies in Large Lecture."

Allen, D., & Tanner, K. (2005). Infusing active learning into the large-enrollment biology class: Seven strategies, from the simple to complex. Cell Biology Education (CBE), 4, 262-268. doi:10.1187/cbe.05-08-0113

This article is written by one of the most well-known professors in engineering education, Richard Felder. While not new, is still relevant to instructors teaching large courses. Felder says: "When we find ourselves teaching a mob, it's easy to throw up our hands, conclude that there's no chance of getting any responsiveness out of 150 or 300 students in an auditorium... Fortunately, there are ways to make large classes almost as effective as their smaller counterparts. Without turning yourself inside out, you can get students actively involved, help them develop a sense of community, and give frequent homework assignments without killing yourself (or your teaching assistants) with impossible grading loads. BEATING THE NUMBERS GAME: EFFECTIVE TEACHING IN LARGE CLASSES, by Richard M. Felder, Department of Chemical Engineering
North Carolina State University. Presented at the 1997 ASEE Annual Conference, Milwaukee, WI, June 1997.

Helping Practitioners and Researchers Identify and Use Education Research Literature. By K. J. Wilson and C. J. Brame. CBE—Life Sciences Education, 17(1). 22 Mar 2018
This article discusses a study that reveals the impact that active learning has on students' ability to learn fundamental concepts and skills varies with instructor knowledge of teaching and learning. The goal of the study was to discover knowledge that is important to effective active learning in large undergraduate STEM courses. The authors note that experts more commonly consider how students are held accountable, notice topic-specific student difficulties, elicited and responded to student thinking, and provided for students to generate their own ideas and work.

Abstract: Writing multiple-choice test items to measure student learning in higher education is a challenge. Based on extensive scholarly research and experience, the author describes various item formats, offers guidelines for creating these items, and provides many examples of both good and bad test items. He also suggests some shortcuts for developing test items. All of this advice is based on extensive scholarly research and experience. Creating valid multiple-choice items is a difficult task, but it contributes greatly to the teaching and learning process for undergraduate, graduate, and professional-school courses.

Author: Thomas M. Haladyna, Arizona State University

Keywords: Multiple-choice items, selected response, test-item formats, examinations

The Daily Nous, "News for and about the philosophy profession" shares slides from a professor Andrew Mills at Otterbein University that summarizes the research about how computers and phones in class affect student performance. Prof. Mills has made his slides available to other faculty. Might they be adapted into an activity where students predict the research and see the results in slides using the Assertion Evidence model?

Writing effective and useful additional questions can be challenging. Some of the most common mistakes in writing effective items are listed in this document using examples of Likert Scale items from the SRTEs. These pitfalls also apply to yes/no questions and open-ended questions. We recommend testing the questions with students before adding them to the Additional Questions section.

This is a peer-reviewed article published in the journal of Studies in Educational Evaluation. Its focus is the accurate interpretation of student ratings data (including Penn State's SRTE) and appropriate use of the data to evaluate faculty. It includes recommendations for use and interpretation based on more than 80 years of student ratings research. Most colleges and universities use student ratings data to guide personnel decisions so it is critical that administrators and faculty evaluators have access to the cumulative knowledge about student ratings based on multiple studies, rather than single studies that have not been replicated, studies based on non-representative populations, or that are from a single discipline.

The article provides an overview of common views and misconceptions about student ratings, followed by clarification of what student ratings are and are not. It also includes two sets of guidelines for administrators and faculty serving on review committees.

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.

This guide for students was created by Dr. Stephanie Ludi when she was at Rochester Institute of Technology (copyright 1994, 1998, 2006). Dr. Ludi is now professor at Univ. of North Texas, but her guide is still incredibly useful. The TOC for the guide includes:
General Group Tasks (Administrative Duties That Lay the Project and Group Foundation; Successful Group Dynamics; Project Management; What You Need to Know About Risk)
Group Members As Individuals And Their Evolving, Working Relationships (Interpersonal Communication; Potential Profiles of A Group Member; Handling Conflict)
Special Issues [that students] May Face During The Project (Time Management and Priorities That Are Unique To Students; The Group Grade; Other Useful Stuff)
Student Project Myths

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
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

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

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.

For most teachers, leading classroom discussion on difficult topics is a perennial challenge. Part of the challenge lies in the fact that we never fully know which issues will be “hot buttons” for our students. Conversations can become heated very quickly, and before long, it can feel like the class is careening out of control. This guide seeks to help teachers feel more confident leading difficult dialogues by encouraging reflection on how such discussions connect with larger learning goals, and by providing specific strategies and resources that teachers can use to create more productive conversations in their classrooms.

This matching and discussion activity helps participants recognize how different audiences can interpret language and microaggressions and understand the implications of speech. Participants are asked to identify and interpret microaggressions and have an opportunity to modify questions or comments in ways that are less likely to reflect stereotypic assumptions and beliefs. Additional discussion questions expand the activity by prompting reflection. Created as a student activity by Professor Mary Kite, and her students LaCount "JJ" Togans, LaDeidre Robinson, and Kelly Lynn Meredith at Ball State University.

A 5-step problem-solving guideline resource to help students learn to solve problems like experts. Developed in physics education through a study of expert problem solvers who passed through 5 steps without realizing they did so. This document presents the same five-step process in three different levels of detail. Each can be adapted to reflect disciplinary nomenclature for each step. Students love this model because they can use it in other courses, even if the instructor doesn't!

Face-to-face, online and hybrid courses all have the same credit hour requirements for students. How can faculty know if they are assigning a workload that is too heavy or too light? How can faculty set expectations for student time on task? How can faculty answer students questions about "how long with this assignment take?" This website provides guidelines to help estimate student activity times--with the caveat that hours are not a measure of learning.

This site provides faculty, instructional designers, and faculty developers with general estimates of student time needed for learning. These estimates are particularly important in online and blended courses where students often under estimate the amount of time needed to learn, and where faculty also frequently ask “is there too much/not enough?” in the course. Faculty are the ultimate decision-makers in determining their course’s alignment to credit hour requirements and in making estimations about the amount of time students spend “in” and “out” of class for blended courses or engaged in learning activities for online courses.

Instructional Foundations is a series of workshops for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and instructors
from all disciplines who have never taught at the university level (grading experience OK) prior to Fall 2016. The
series is designed to provide people new to college teaching with knowledge, skills and confidence they can use in
their first teaching experience.

“What Should Penn State Consider in the Evaluation of Teaching Besides Student Ratings and Peer Observation?” University Faculty Senate, Commonwealth Caucus Meeting, Monday, September 17, 2018
Senate Meeting Room, Kern Bldg.

The Commonwealth Caucus discussed additional sources of information and evidence that could inform the evaluation of teaching.

In higher education, peer review stands as the prime means for ensuring that scholarship is of the highest quality, and from it flows consequential assessments that shape careers, disciplines, and entire institutions. While peer review is well established as a means of evaluating research across the disciplines, it is less common in the assessment of teaching. Yet it is no less useful, since it can improve what Ernest Boyer has called the “scholarship of teaching and learning” by enhancing instructional and faculty development, by bolstering the integrity of personnel decisions, and by enabling more intentional and mutually supportive communities of scholar teachers. This guide is intended as an introduction to the basics of peer review, including its purposes, challenges, and common practices. The primary audience for this guide consists of departments, programs, or schools considering implementing peer review, although individual faculty, staff, and students are likely to find what follows interesting, as well.

Often called “peer observation of teaching ” or “peer evaluation of teaching,” peer review of teaching (PRT) involves seeking feedback from an informed colleague for the purposes of improving one’s practice (formative assessment) and/or evaluating it (summative assessment). Texas A&M University's Faculty Performance Evaluation Task Force recommended having separate review processes for formative and summative assessment using multiple sources of data from students, peers, administrators, and as well as faculty themselves for evaluating teaching. Includes institutional perspectives and supporting videos from the University of Texas.

This paper outlines twelve tips for undertaking peer observation of teaching in medical education, using the peer review model and the experiences of the authors. An accurate understanding of teaching effectiveness is required by individuals, medical schools, and universities to evaluate the learning environment and to substantiate academic and institutional performance. Peer Observation of Teaching is one tool that provides rich, qualitative evidence for teachers, quite different from closed-ended student evaluations. When Peer Observation of Teaching is incorporated into university practice and culture, and is conducted in a mutually respectful and supportive way, it has the potential to facilitate reflective change and growth for teachers.

This is a short article written by Chris Gamrat, Penn State faculty member in IST, about Inclusive Teaching and Course Design. It appeared in Educause Review on February 6, 2020. Faculty and instructional designers can employ a number of strategies to create courses and learning environments where students feel welcome and connected. Determining how best to incorporate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) into course design and teaching can feel overwhelming. Gamrat created a list of considerations for instructional designers and faculty to help create courses for a spectrum of students who are, or become, minoritized or marginalized at our instituions and in our online courses. I hope that these recommendations and examples offer faculty and instructional designers a new perspective on student needs and strategies for creating a caring learning environment.

In this rationale, Natalie Parker, Director of CETL and Distance Education, Texas Wesleyan University, advocates for replacing high stakes exams with multiple-attempt, low-stakes quizzes. The “testing effect”, in which students recall more information about a topic after testing than after re-reading the material, was first reported by Abbott in 1909. Subsequent studies have confirmed that repeated testing is an effective way for students to recall material.

These PowerPoint slides accompanied a presentation by James M. Lang delivered at University Park on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students on our campuses and in our classes, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which digital devices can interfere with student learning. But are students today more distracted than they were in the past? Has technology reduced their ability to focus and think deeply, as some popular books have argued? This interactive lecture draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to provide productive new pathways for faculty to understand the distractible nature of the human brain, work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning, and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking.

This is a recorded webinar presented by James M. Lang at University Park on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students on our campuses and in our classes, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which digital devices can interfere with student learning. But are students today more distracted than they were in the past? Has technology reduced their ability to focus and think deeply, as some popular books have argued? This interactive lecture draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to provide productive new pathways for faculty to understand the distractible nature of the human brain, work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning, and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking.

This webinar was recorded by Penn State Libraries staff using Mediasite Live, and it is stored in the libraries' Mediasite catalog. The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence bears no responsibility for the quality of the recording, its maintenance, its availability, nor its functionality. For help with the recording, call (814) 865-5400 or send an email message to

This is the second report of the Committee on Assessing Teaching Effectiveness submitted to Kathy Bieschke, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. This report is recommends options for improving future evaluation of teaching for tenure, promotion, annual review, and reappointment. The committee's recommendations address the unacceptable over-reliance on student feedback in the process of evaluation--specifically the numerical ratings of the Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE) and the ‘Open Ended Item’ responses, which serve to amplify systemic inequities and hierarchies within our teaching community. The first report of the committee provided recommendations for evaluating teaching for promotion & tenure during the pandemic of 2020.

This is the committee's second report [for Report 1, see Appendix M in the NEW: 2020-2021 Administrative Guidelines for Policy AC23 (formerly HR23): Promotion and Tenure Procedures and Regulations]

This Classroom Assessment Technique (CAT) was developed by Stephen Brookfield, author of Becoming A Critically Reflective Teacher (San Francisco: Jossey Bass 1995). He refers to it as a “Critical Incident Questionnaire," but the questions can also be provided to students in advance to students as a way to jump-start conversations during office hours (remote & in-person).

A SharePoint site for Penn State employees and students that contains curated research and other resources on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) topics, including antiracism, intersectionality, implicit bias and microagressions; equity-minded teaching and assessment; and rights, responsibilities, and responses related to bias and free expression in our classrooms and work spaces.

The Howe Center for Writing Excellence at Miami University Ohio provides a thorough guide to setting up peer writing exercises for a remote or online course. The site includes a map of their overall recommendations on facilitating effective online peer response. It emphasizes the importance of spending time setting up the process to help prepare students and provides prompts and tools for students to give useful feedback.

Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS) is a project that promotes "evidence-based education for everyone" that "empowers educators to improve student outcomes by applying research-based practices." The Resources tab takes you to a series of resources, scroll to "For Higher Education" section, which includes the following:
Copilot-Ascend enables college instructors and administrators to learn how their students are experiencing courses and what they can do to make those experiences more equitable, more engaging, and more supportive of student success; Growth Mindset for College Students (30-minute module) Social-Belonging for College Students (30-min module). When students participate in the modules, research indicates that it can improve performance, engagement, and retention.

Teaching and Advising Resources for the Inauguration and Beyond
This document offers resources for creating a positive learning environment for all students and addressing challenges that might arise at the beginning of this semester. Main topics include: Checking in with Ourselves and Our Students; Engaging in Dialogue with Students; Managing Classroom Disruptions

Best Practices in the Evaluation of Teaching, by Stephen L. Benton, The IDEA Center and Suzanne Young, University of Wyoming
Effective instructor evaluation is complex and requires the use of multiple measures—formal and informal, traditional and authentic—as part of a balanced evaluation system. The student voice, a critical element of that balanced system, is appropriately complemented by instructor self-assessment and the reasoned judgments of other relevant parties, such as peers and supervisors. Integrating all three elements allows instructors to take a mastery approach to formative evaluation, trying out new teaching strategies and remaining open to feedback that focuses on how they might improve. Such feedback is most useful when it occurs in an environment that fosters challenge, support, and growth. Rather than being demoralized by their performance rankings, faculty can concentrate on their individual efforts and compare current progress to past performance. They can then concentrate on developing better teaching methods and skills rather than fearing or resenting comparisons to others. The evaluation of teaching thus becomes a rewarding process, not a dreaded event.
Keywords: Evaluation of teaching, summative evaluation, formative evaluation, mastery orientation

This document was created to provide you with a source of options for gathering data on teamwork assignments and projects. You may choose to adopt one of the examples as is, combine elements from several of the examples, or use the examples to identify characteristics that correspond to particular aspects of your assigned work, course content, or student population.

This is a case study written to help faculty members think about and discuss issues related to students making inappropriate comments in class.

This diversity case study was designed to help faculty think about and discuss how best to address a classroom that includes students from diverse backgrounds. This document is most useful for faculty developers.

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.

Reference list for TAs: links to resources for undergraduates, including Counseling and Psychological Services and the Women's Resource Center

Best practices for teaching assistants as they interact with students. Includes tips on creating rapport and establishing effective boundaries.

Case study for classroom management

One-page handout of information about the Schreyer Institute and Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE)

One page handout summarizing research literature on the correlation between student ratings and grades.

This is an example of a rubric that can be used to grade writing assignments. It can be adapted to specific writing assignments. The use of a rubric helps to make grading more accurate and consistent and helps students to create higher quality assignments.

This file contains a list of "item-writing rules," which will help you to write multiple choice questions in a way that will improve the ability of the test to focus on the content and prevent students from guessing the correct answer without knowing the material. The rules were developed by experts in the field of psychometrics, like the people who write questions for SATs or GREs.

This brief document addresses academic integrity by outlining which students cheat, why they cheat, how they cheat and how instructors can reduce cheating and plagiarism.

This document describes strategies students use to cheat and strategies faculty can use to minimize cheating.

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

This PowerPoint about reading compliance was presented by Amit Sharma. It describes his research into factors that prevent students from doing course readings and strategies that instructors could use to improve reading compliance.

This document provides methods for doing classroom assessment (usually ungraded) to help faculty keep students in large classes engaged and to provide feedback about student knowledge of specific concepts to both faculty and students.

This document describes strategies for encouraging and enabling students in large classes to participate in class.

This is a worksheet that includes the reasons why students might be misbehaving in large classes and strategies for addressing the incivility.

This PowerPoint presents a research project by Peter M. Eberle and Anthony J. Hoos in that includes data collected by asking students about their perceptions of using digital textbooks, such as iPads and e-readers, for their course reading.

This PowerPoint presents data collected by Russell Casey and Janet Ann Melnick in 2011. It summarizes their research project on student perspectives on advising and provides suggestions for instructors who advise students.

This handout highlights some of the current research based strategies for teaching millennial students.

This PowerPoint, by Mary Ann Knapp, focuses on how faculty can help students who may be experiencing psychological distress.

This survey is used at Penn State Berks to assess student teachers. It includes questions that are completed by the administrator who supervises the student teacher. It is used for 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 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 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.

2011 report on survey of student views on the quality of instruction at Penn State.

2011 report on survey of student views on the quality of instruction at Penn State

This report is the first in a series encompassed by the Quality of Instruction project. The research question guiding this report is: How do students and teachers view the instructional process at University Park? Information to address this question was obtained by surveying both students and faculty concerning their attitudes and experiences at University Park during the 1995-1996 academic year. These student and teacher surveys were made possible by support from the Penn State Alumni Association provided Fern (Bunny) Willits as the 1995-96 Alumni Teaching Fellow awardee and the Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology. Class Attendance data were provided by the Office of Student Affairs Research and Assessment Pulse Survey.
The complete citation for the report is:
Willits, Fern K., Moore, Betty L., & Enerson, Diane M. (1997). Penn State, Quality of Instruction: Surveys of Students and Teachers at University Park. Pennsylvania State University.

The third in a series of reports dealing with the views of students and faculty about undergraduate
education at Penn State.

An eight question survey for students to assess how they prepared for a class and how they rate the difficulty of the exam.

An agenda and outline of a workshop topics on an academic resume, a teaching philosophy and an electronic teaching portfolio. This workshop is intended for graduate students who are teaching.

List the program outcomes that are addressed in a course and identify the specific student work in the course that can be used to document evidence of achievement for each relevant outcome.

Creating a Culture of Academic Integrity publication by Herteis. This document includes a definition of plagiarism, facts about the extent of cheating, why students cheat, and strategies for designing written assignments that reduce plagiarism (among other topics)

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.

Brief (2-page) handout about strategies to promote effective student discussion.

Guidelines published by the Office of Student Conduct.

This file is a brief overview of how to develop a rubric, which can be useful for grading essays or other student projects. Rubrics make grading easier and more consistent as well as provide information to students that helps them do well on the assignment.

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 case study involves a female professor and her response to a female student who has been teased by males (who are the majority of the class). This document is most useful for faculty developers.

This case involves an elderly returning adult student who behaves in a way that makes the faculty member uncomfortable. This document is most useful for faculty developers.

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.

There are 4 tips to help bolster grading efficiency and to deal with student grade complaints.

Common questions that applicants for faculty positions can expect to encounter.

This is a ready-to-use template for collecting mid-semester or end-of-course open-ended feedback from students.

Case study: A teaching assistant discovers that many of the class activities she planned will be physically impossible for one of her students.

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

This FAQ sheet offers many strategies for collecting student feedback in large classes.

This FAQ sheet discusses issues and strategies related to providing notes and supporting students' notetaking in large classes.

This FAQ sheet provides many suggestions for encouraging student participation in large classes.

This case study would be appropriate for use with faculty or graduate student instructors. It deals, in particular, with issues of inclusivity and students' inability to pay for required texts.

Cases that can be used for managing difficult students workshops.

This is a true and false quiz to test assumptions about student ratings.

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

This case study is about how an instructor is presented a unique request from a transgender student. Several discussion questions are included.

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.

This PowerPoint, giving by Bill Welsh, provides suggestions for how faculty can accommodate students with disabilities in their classrooms.

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.

PowerPoint presentation, authored by Cindy Raynak, that describes "student centered discussion."

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 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 an alternative method for assessment in which students work collaboratively on an exam.

This document describes strategies for using group quizzes to assess student knowledge.

This document describes the process of writing problems for use in helping students learn course material through problem-based 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 student peers to provide feedback on written assignments by fellow students.

Student collaborative writing (peer writing) is a strategy in which students work together on all aspects of a writing project. It can reduce the need for the faculty member to spend time reading and commenting on drafts.

This activity involves students pairing up to answer questions about course content and can be used for review of material before a test, for example, or for practice.

This strategy involves posing relevant open-ended problems for students to discuss.

This document describes how to use role-playing exercises to help students grasp certain concepts.

Round Robin is a systematic technique that allows students to brainstorm answers to questions. It allows all students an opportunity to contribute.

A simulation provides a way for students to experience the content in action and spark discussion.

This strategy involves students working together in groups to research the solution to a problem.

This document describes how to facilitate discussions that are led by students in small groups.

This document describes a strategy for getting students involved with the content by having them pair with other students to discuss the answer to an instructor-posed problem. The pairs then share their answers with the class.

This document describes a strategy to help students get more involved in lectures by periodically posing an question and having them discuss with a neighboring classmate.

This document is an example of a survey that can be given to administrators of student teacher programs to determine the student's performance. This example is from Penn State Berks.

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 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.

Drawing upon data from surveys of students and instructors at the 19 Commonwealth Campuses during 2012, this report addresses the following research questions:

• What are the instructional elements that Commonwealth Campus students and teachers view as important for quality teaching?
• How frequently are these elements realized in the teaching that actually occurs?
• How favorably do Commonwealth Campus students rate the overall quality of the instruction they receive?
• What factors relate to differences in how students' perceive instructional quality?
• Do the perceptions of undergraduate students at the Commonwealth Campuses concerning the quality of instruction differ from those at University Park?
• How, if at all, have the perceptions concerning instructional quality changed across time?

Drawing upon new data obtained from surveys of students and instructors at the University Park Campus of Penn State carried out in 2011, this report addresses the following research questions:

• What are the elements that students and instructors believe are most important to achieving quality teaching?
• How frequently do these occur in University Park classrooms today?
• How do University Park students rate the quality of the instruction they receive?
• What factors influence students’ ratings of teaching quality in a course?
• How have the perceptions of students and instructors changed since the 1996 survey?

Penn State University