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 (SRTE): Myths and Realities

There are several myths floating around about student ratings. In this workshop we will highlight which assumptions about student ratings are supported by research, and which are not.

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

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!




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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