News and Announcements

Only a few seats remain for James M. Lang’s "Small Teaching" and "Teaching Distracted Minds"

Only a few seats remain for James M. Lang’s "Small Teaching" and "Teaching Distracted Minds" on February 27, 2020! Register now to reserve your seat in Foster Auditorium, Pattee Library.

Or attend via MediaSite Live at at the following times.

  • 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. "Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning”
  • 3:05 – 4:05 p.m. "Teaching Distracted Minds"

These sessions will be recorded and made available by request to

James M. Lang, Professor of English and the Director of the D’Amour Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College in Worcester, MA will present "Small Teaching: From Minor Changes to Major Learning" and "Teaching Distracted Minds" on the same day! He is the author of five books, the most recent of which are Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (Jossey-Bass, 2016), Cheating Lessons: Learning from Academic Dishonesty (Harvard University Press, 2013), and On Course: A Week-by-Week Guide to Your First Semester of College Teaching (Harvard UP, 2008). His next book, Teaching Distracted Minds, will be published by Basic Books in late 2020. Lang writes a monthly column on teaching and learning for The Chronicle of Higher Education, where his work has been appearing since 1999. Full details and register at the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence’s Events page.  


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Undergraduate Education

Using Motivational Interviewing and Constructivism to Address Information Illiteracy

Stephanie Winklejohn-Black participated in the summer 2017 Course Design Academy(CDA) where she redesigned her PSYCH 100 course. She began to think about how the theoretical concepts she encountered in CDA intersect with her work as a researcher and a therapist.

The results of her work appear in a recent issue of Psychology of Women Quarterly,

Improv & Pedagogy Faculty Teaching Community Spring Events

The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence proudly sponsors the Improv & Pedagogy Faculty Learning Group for another year. This highly popular teaching community continues to draw participants from multiple disciplines and departments, who report an immediate application of the skills learned in the group to their classrooms and workspaces. Find out how by attending one of their three meetings this semester.

  • February 14 
  • March 27
  • April 10

All three meetings will be held at 3 Dots Downtown (corner of Beaver & Pugh) from 11:30 – 1 pm.
Meetings are open to anyone who is part of Penn State and is interested in improv and learning. No experience with improvisation is required.
Lunch will be provided and open discussion on improv & pedagogy will follow. People will be invited to perform in a fun and supportive environment. Don't miss out on this unique teaching and learning experience. For more information, email

Do your students struggle with key concepts or skills?

Most of us know of at least one place in any given course where our students typically struggle with a key concept or skill. Joan Middendorf and David Pace at Indiana University developed a method to enable faculty to do something about these "bottlenecks"—places where students get stuck: Schedule a customized workshop on this method for yourself and your colleagues. For your own personal consultation, contact us at Decoding the Disciplines is a process for increasing student learning by narrowing the gap between expert and novice thinking and a link to their website.

Eureka! An Accumulation of the Best Teaching Advice

Tierney King, Faculty Focus

"The 2019 Annual Teaching Professor Conference offered numerous tactics and strategies to implement in the classroom, but Ken Alford, PhD, Brigham Young University, took a different approach in his session for instructional vitality and divulged the best teaching advice he’s received throughout his teaching career. Here’s what he’s gathered..."