Custom Workshops and Services

Our instructional consultants can design and deliver customized workshops on a variety of teaching and learning topics. These workshops are customized according to the individual needs of departments, academic units, or campuses. Below are some examples of customized workshops we have delivered.

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Planning for Learning

The Syllabus Doctor

The Syllabus Doctor

A well written syllabus is the beginning of a successful learning experience for your students. In this workshop we’ll discuss how to write a student-centered syllabus that will provide the anchoring necessary for a successful semester for you and your students.

Classroom Management

Classroom Management

We all know who “they” are. “They” are staring at their cell phones and busily texting; “they” are using their laptops to check airline fares; “they” are chatting with their friends to the exclusion of everything else; “they” are always asking if there are going to be extra credit assignments. This session is not about “what they do.” Instead it focuses on what you can do to manage disruptive behaviors in a productive way. What are appropriate proactive course policies and how does one present and reasonably enforce these policies?

Creating Inclusive Courses

Creating Inclusive Courses

This workshop is designed to focus on specific actions faculty can take to make their courses more inclusive for a variety of students. While most of us understand the importance of diversity, some still wonder what they can do to make a difference. The workshop includes the following, but can also be customized to your needs:
  • How and why attending to diversity improves learning for all students
  • Common barriers to learning in classes that are not inclusive
  • Impediments to faculty creating inclusive class environments
  • Exposure to a variety of research-based inclusive practices
  • Deciding which actions are most relevant for your courses and context

Encouraging Learning

Decipher Disciplinary Thinking

Decipher Disciplinary Thinking by Examining How Students Think and
Learn in Your Field

When you teach, you do more than cover content; you also help students develop thinking processes specific to your discipline. We offer customized departmental workshops in which you and your colleagues use an established framework (Middendorf & Pace, 2004) to critically analyze your assumptions and teaching practices.

Effective Use of PowerPoint

Effective Use of PowerPoint

This workshop will help you create slides that are effective and engaging.

Large Classes, Big Challenges: Strategies for Instructor Success

Large Classes, Big Challenges: Strategies for Instructor Success

Large classes can present big challenges to instructors and students alike. This interactive presentation introduces participants to strategies designed to foster student participation and class civility. We also discuss tips for handling grading for large amounts of students. This session is designed for people teaching classes of 40-500+.

Teaching with Technology

Teaching with Technology

Curious what your Penn State colleagues are doing with technology in the classroom? This session explores several University-supported technologies, including blogs, wikis, lecture capture and VoiceThread, focusing on specific pedagogies employed with these various technology tools. Attendees will come away with an understanding of how these technologies can be applied to teaching and learning and where to go to get started with these technologies.

Working with Student Teams

Working with Student Teams

As the use of multi-disciplinary, geographically dispersed teams in the workforce continues to rise, many instructors are incorporating team-based assignments as part of the curriculum. This workshop will examine several different approaches to teaming, specifically when working with student teams to complete large, complex class assignments. The workshop will cover methods for creating teams, strategies for monitoring team progress and strategies used to assess teams and their work.

Assessing and Reflecting on Learning

Getting Through the Stack

Getting Through the Stack: Grading that is Efficient and Effective

If you find grading to be time consuming and frustrating and you spend hours writing comments on student papers but are doubtful that your comments are implemented, or even read, we can help. In this workshop we will give you strategies on how to grade efficiently and effectively.

SRTEs

Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE)

The Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE) is Penn State's instrument for gathering feedback from students at the end of a course. The SRTE was created by the Faculty Senate in 1985 to improve consistency across all academic units in the evaluation of teaching for tenure, promotion, annual review, and reappointment. Because of the link to personnel decisions, faculty have many questions and concerns about SRTEs. We will come to your campus, college, department, or division to answer your questions about SRTE policy and discuss what we know about student ratings from the body of scholarly research. We also offer workshops for faculty, review committees, or administrators about how to respond to and interpret SRTE results.

Using Rubrics to Improve Grading

Using Rubrics to Improve Grading

Do you dread scoring students’ essays? Do you love the assignments you’ve created but worry that you might not be scoring them consistently? Do your students ever complain that they don’t know “what you want”? Scoring rubrics may be the answer. This workshop will provide some rubric basics then guide you through designing a rubric that you can use in one of your courses.

Writing and Analyzing Multiple Choice Tests

Writing and Analyzing Multiple Choice Tests

Multiple choice tests are easy to score but difficult to write well, particularly if you want to assess critical thinking. In this workshop you’ll get some tips to help you write effective multiple choice questions and use statistical information to improve your question-writing.

Student Engagement

Successful Student Engagement Techniques (SETs)

Successful Student Engagement Techniques (SETs)

Discover and practice proven Student Engagement Techniques (SETs) grounded in active and collaborative learning techniques that address multiple learning styles. Participants will leave this workshop with ready-to-use classroom activities and assignments for immediate use in their classrooms.

Lectures That Keep Students Engaged

Lectures That Keep Students Engaged

In this workshop we can help you design instruction that will keep your students engaged, focused and learning throughout the class period.

Motivating Students

Motivating Students

Do your students seem to lack a strong work ethic, enthusiasm, and a general desire to learn? Poor student motivation can be a barrier to learning. In this workshop you’ll learn research-based strategies for increasing student motivation. You’ll feel differently about your students and leave feeling empowered to motivate them!

Professional Identity

Impostor Phenomenon

Impostor Phenomenon

Impostor Phenomenon (also sometimes called Impostor Syndrome) is the belief, despite evidence to the contrary, that one is inadequate, unworthy, and does not belong in a particular role or position. One attributes one’s success to luck, luck that will soon run out. “I am a fraud,” that little voice inside says, “and it’s only a matter of time before everyone else knows it. I don’t belong here.” This set of beliefs and the attendant self-criticism can have profound consequences for our well-being, our enjoyment of life, work, and school, and our ability to perform at our true levels. Impostor Phenomenon is quite common in academia, and both teachers and students suffer in secret. In this workshop we will talk more about what I.P. is and how to recover a well-deserved sense of confidence, enjoyment, and satisfaction in our teaching, learning, and research. We will also explore ways to support those students in our classrooms with similar thoughts and feelings.

Writing a Powerful Teaching Philosophy Statement

Writing a Powerful Teaching Philosophy Statement

Whether for a job search or professional development, a teaching philosophy statement is a powerful catalyst for reflecting upon one’s teaching. Past workshop participants say that the process of creating the document is as important as the finished work. In this workshop, participants will be asked to reflect on their values and goals as teachers, what their teaching looks like in action, and how students are changed as a result. This workshop can be helpful no matter how much or little you have already written or reflected upon your teaching, and is for graduate student instructors or faculty at any rank.



Interested in one of these or other teaching and learning related topics?

Contact us at site@psu.edu to discuss your specific needs.

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