Tools and Resources

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Browse through the tools by the title of the resource.

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This sample score report is generated by our paper exam scanning system. The score report is an important tool that will help you evaluate the effectiveness of a test and of the individual questions that comprise it. The evaluation process, called item analysis, can improve future test and item construction. The analysis provides valuable information that helps instructors determine which are the “best” test questions to secure and continue to use on future course assessments; which items need review and potential revision before a next administration, and which are the poorest items which should be eliminated from scoring on the current administration.

This sample rubric for a writing assignment can provide instructors with an adaptable rubric model that can be used to grade writing assignments more quickly and accurately.

This is a sample view of the Student Evaluation of Educational Quality (SEEQ) questionnaire. SEEQ is a 9-factor omnibus student rating form that has been heavily researched by nearly one million surveyed respondents as being appropriate for determining teaching effectiveness over diverse settings. Instructors commonly use this tool for collecting mid-semester feedback from their students. Additional information is available on our web site at http://www.schreyerinstitute.psu.edu/MidsemesterFeedback.

One-page example of how to annotate student ratings for a course.

General syllabus for the Course in College Teaching. The syllabus varies slightly from semester to semester depending upon who is leading the course, but this document gives an overview. For detailed information about the current semester's syllabus, contact site@psu.edu.

This is a checklist for instructors to use when dropping off their scanning materials at Scanning Operations in 105 Pollock Building.

This file is used by scanning operations to match questions on different test forms.

Form for weighting items for exams with items that have different weights. Used for scanning multiple choice tests that use bubble sheets.

Form used for scanning exams that use bubble sheets when the instructor wants responses to have different weights.

Schreyer Institute faculty consultants, their contact information and areas of expertise. Provided at New Faculty Orientation and at other events and presentations.

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.

This very comprehensive website from Carlton College is aimed at both post-secondary and K-12 teachers. In addition to other STEM resources, it has teaching resources for the geosciences.

This file is an example of a rubric that can be used to grade a science experiment. The use of a rubric can help instructors to grade more accurately and more quickly.

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.

Teaching Professor 2013 Presentation. This presentation describes the characteristics of a positive peer review that encourages community.

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

Presentation to the Faculty Senate in 2010 on the Faculty Communities Hub.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

Administrators and faculty review committees are responsible for providing feedback to the faculty they evaluate. Both groups can experience discomfort about making life-altering decisions that affect other faculty based on student ratings data (though hopefully not solely on those data). The discomfort and fear of SRTEs is exacerbated when faculty make incorrect assumptions about the history of the SRTEs or if they rely on opinion pieces or stories about studies that have not undergone peer-review rather than the significant body of research conducted by student ratings experts.

Administrators have the additional responsibility of providing useful and actionable feedback to guide faculty development, as well as responding in productive ways to faculty complaints or defensiveness. Below are some of the most common questions asked by administrators during or after a feedback meeting with a faculty member.

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

This book is a collection of essays from the Journal of College Science Teaching which describes in detail the case study method as applied to the sciences. The book offers strategies, tips, examples, ideas, and resources as an alternative to traditional lecture formats.

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.

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

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

Penn State faculty who have high response rates share advice and strategies that encourage students to complete their the SRTEs.

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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

This document describes the use of student peers to provide feedback on written assignments by fellow students.

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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 checklist includes a list of items that Penn State requires be included in all syllabi, per Faculty Senate Policy 43-00 Syllabus. It also includes links to example syllabus statements and lists items that the Schreyer Institute recommends be included in every syllabus.

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