Penn State University

Instructional Foundations Series

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 participation. The series is designed to provide people new to college teaching with knowledge, skills and confidence they can use in their first teaching experience, including the following.

  • Information on best practices from the teaching and learning literature
  • Opportunities to discuss implementation with a group of peers
  • A chance to discuss teaching techniques and strategies with an experienced instructor in your discipline

Series Objectives

As a result of participating in the IFS, you will be able to do the following.

  • Articulate an approach to planning a lesson
  • Know how to handle challenging situations that may arise in your classroom
  • Explore one of your own teaching interests
  • Reflect on your beliefs and practices about teaching and learning

Series Benefits

The Schreyer Institute awards a completion certificate to participants who successfully complete the series. While the series does not serve as a formal, credit-bearing certification process, it does provide you with documentation of your participation in it. This certificate may be included in your teaching portfolio or curriculum vitae as evidence of your professional development.

In order to earn a completion certificate for the Instructional Foundations Series, participants must successfully complete all of the following program requirements.

  • Attend a minimum of 3 workshops from a list of eligible workshops provided upon registration.
  • Perform a teaching observation and debrief meeting with a faculty member of your choosing.
  • Post a reflection on the observation and debrief meeting to a Canvas discussion board and respond to peer posts by the specified deadlines.

Course Facilitators

Deena Levy and Mary Ann Tobin, Associate Research Professors & Instructional Consultants


Register at our events page no later than January 10, 2024.


Direct questions about IFS to one of the course facilitators at or


Penn State University