Tools and Resources

List Tools by Title

Browse through the tools by the title of the resource.


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

This is a handout that describes intellectual stages of TA development.

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

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

This book examines the reasons that undergraduates with high abilities in science, mathematics, and engineering switch into nonscience majors. The book is based on a three-year study of seven campuses.

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.

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

This 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.

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

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

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

Enrich the educational experience of students through information technology.

Listing of the Atherton Award winners up to 2010.

Listing of Teaching Fellow Award winners from 1986 to 2010.

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

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.

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.

Rubric used to evaluated teaching grant proposals.

This is a one-page tip sheet that guides instructors in thinking about instruction beyond just covering content.

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

This one-page tip sheet discusses the idea of "differentiated instruction" and suggests ways instructors can differentiate their own instruction with respect to content, processes, and products.

This one-page tip sheet guides instructors through evidence-based components of an effective lesson plan.

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.

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.

This classroom observation form (faculty peer evaluation) provides both scaled and open-ended questions for use by anyone who is observing an instructor.

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

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

Guidelines for a teaching philosophy.

How to write a teaching philosophy.

Rubric for a teaching philosophy.

Evaluating a teaching philosophy.

This document provides a tool for use in evaluating a teaching philosophy, or teaching statement, that might be included in a job application packet or a tenure and promotion dossier. The matrix includes evaluative criteria for: history/herstory; relation to course(s) and discipline; grounding in theory and/or experience; appropriateness of language to audience; organization and succinctness

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

This book is a collection of 24 articles, written from the two-year college perspective, featuring the most useful and relevant insights and advice from NSTA’s Journal of College Science Teaching. The collection is divided into four sections: unique issues associated with teaching science in two-year colleges, curricular issues, teaching strategies, and using technology in the classroom.

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

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

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.

Team Science Toolkit is an interactive website to help support, conduct, and study team-based research. Interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary, or cross-disciplinary research is becoming more and more important to scientific breakthroughs and progress. But doing this kind of work can be challenging because of different disciplinary values, cultures, and communications and researchers are typically trained within a single discipline. This is a great resource for researchers or faculty planning research projects that include multiple disciplines, facing challenges, or needing ideas. Despite being housed in the National Cancer Institute, it is relevant for researchers from a wide variety of disciplines.

This site from the University of Oregon's Teaching Effectiveness Program offers helpful suggestions, examples, and templates for developing higher level multiple choice items.

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.

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

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.

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

This article "The Agony and the Equity," produced by the Center for Teaching at Stanford University in 1992, addresses issues associated with fair testing and grading.

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.

Few of us would argue that quality feedback is useful, yet classroom-based research indicates that teachers do not give as much feedback as they think they do (e.g., Ingvarson & Hattie, 2008). This article shares a variety of resources regarding feedback.

This is the PowerPoint presentation that includes information from Dr. Susan Rankin's national study of the state of higher education for LGBT people. Dr. Rankin presented this in a session for the Schreyer Institute in April of 2011.

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 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.

Tips for Teaching Large Classes Online, Faculty Focus, Rob Kelly (3-17-2009) writes about strategies used by Jonathan Mathews, Professor of Energy and Mineral Engineering at Penn State. Prof. Mathews still regularly teaches large enrollment online courses.

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

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.

Web-based plagiarism detection and prevention system to which Penn State has a subscription.

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