News & Announcements

Vacancy Announcement for Associate/Assistant Research Professor Position

We have an opening for an experienced faculty developer on a continuing full-time faculty appointment (non-tenure track). The successful candidate will be committed to teaching enhancement and its advocacy, have relevant teaching experience, and experience in faculty development. Salary and rank will be commensurate with experience.

Candidates with experience of student success initiatives that integrate how faculty can enhance student persistence, achievement, and graduation rates will receive priority. The Institute is based at the University Park campus in State College, PA, but is responsible for working with over 5800 faculty and graduate students teaching 90,000+ students at more than 20 different locations throughout Pennsylvania.

Responsibilities

  • Working with faculty and teaching assistants as they develop face-to-face, blended, and online courses;
  • Collaborating with a variety of faculty and academic units to design and develop curricula, learning activities, student feedback, quizzes, and exams;
  • Designing, presenting, and evaluating workshops, seminars, and other teaching and learning activities;
  • Developing materials and resources that encourage use of effective and evidence-based teaching and evaluation strategies;
  • Partnering with other Penn State faculty to conduct and advance teaching and learning scholarship;
  • Developing and providing leadership for projects related to the priorities of the university and the Institute;
  • Extending the Institute’s outreach to and personal interactions with other faculty; and
  • Serving as the faculty liaison to designated academic departments and other teaching and learning support units.

Academic Expectations

  • Academic and scholarly competence and credibility;
  • Teaching experience at the university level;
  • Contributions to teaching and learning scholarship; and
  • Active participation in national organizations focused on post-secondary teaching and learning.

Required

  • Experience working in a teaching center or relevant consulting and workshop experience;
  • Excellent interpersonal and consultative skills, oral and written communication skills, and team skills;
  • Initiative and flexibility; and
  • Evidence of success in post-secondary teaching.

Preferred

  • Experience working with faculty from a variety of academic cultures and disciplines;
  • Understanding of the variability in teaching missions across a multi-campus institution and the impact that has on faculty roles and teaching challenges;
  • Knowledge of diverse student populations and issues faced by those from underrepresented groups; and
  • Knowledge of student learning and faculty development literatures.

Degree Qualification

  • Ph.D. preferred; Master’s required.

Please visit the Penn State Job Announcements site to apply. Applications should include a cover letter, CV, faculty development philosophy statement, and the names and contact information (only) for three references. Screening will begin September 3 and will continue until the position is filled.

STEM faculty who believe ability is fixed have larger racial achievement gaps and inspire less student motivation in their classes

By Elizabeth A. Canning, et al. | Feb 1st, 2019

STEM faculty who believe ability is fixed have larger racial achievement gaps and inspire less student motivation in their classes. Faculty members who espouse fixed mindset beliefs endorse the idea that intelligence and ability are fixed, innate qualities that cannot be changed or developed much. In contrast, faculty who espouse growth mindset beliefs endorse the idea that ability is malleable and can be developed through persistence, good strategies, and quality mentoring.

Read more…

Using the USA2 Framework to Make Informed Instructional Technology Decisions

By Suzanne David, MA, and Maria Fernandez, MS

Many instructional technologies do not achieve high levels of use in an institution. Others are adopted but quickly abandoned. Technologies fail for myriad reasons, but many failures can be avoided if a comprehensive evaluation process is used before adoption. We developed the USA2 framework to guide institutions in asking the right questions before adopting a new technology. In addressing utilitysecurityaccessibilityusabilityscalability, and affordability, the framework covers the critical issues schools must be examine when deciding whether to adopt a new technology.

Read more…

University Libraries Announces Summer Workshops

The University Libraries' Office of Scholarly Communications and Copyright has announced its summer workshop scheduled, including workshops about copyright, Creative Commons, publishing contracts, and more. These workshops are taught by Ana Enriquez, the Scholarly Communications Outreach Librarian. The following will be particularly useful in preparing for your fall courses.

Using Creative Commons Licensed Material (with Amanda Larson, Open Education Librarian)

  • Tuesday, July 9, 10 to 11 a.m. (Zoom)

Introduction to Copyright

  • Wednesday, July 17, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. (Pattee W315, University Park)
  • Tuesday, August 5, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. (Penn State Brandywine, 113 Main)

Copyright for Scholarly Authors

  • Thursday, July 11, 12 to 1 p.m. (Zoom)
  • Wednesday, July 17, 1 to 2 p.m. (Mann Assembly Room, University Park)
  • Tuesday, August 13, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. (Penn State Greater Allegheny, Ostermayer Multipurpose Room)

Copyright and Accessibility

  • Wednesday, July 31, 12 to 1 p.m. (Zoom)

To register, navigate to LRN using the links above. If you are not signed in, you may need to authenticate using your Penn State Access ID and then navigate to the link again. Join the announcement mailing list to receive notification of the fall workshop schedule when it is announced.

In addition to these workshops, the Office of Scholarly Communications and Copyright offers a copyright reference service. You can submit a question or book an appointment.

Penn State Faculty participate in Human Flourishing Retreat

The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence, along with the Office for General Education, is a proud sponsor of the HUMAN FLOURISHING RETREAT, held May 15-17, 2019 at the University Park campus. Faculty from across Penn State gathered together for an intensive three-day workshop to learn more about human flourishing; an innovative new curriculum intended to support the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of Penn State students. HDFS 108N: The Science and Art of Human Flourishing will be offered as an inter-domain general education course for students at participating campuses.

Led by Robert Roeser, Bennett Pierce Professor of Caring and Compassion, and Siri Newman, Program Coordinator for PEACE, the group is working with researchers at the University of Virginia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison to develop a robust and evidence-based set of teaching materials that bring together studies from the sciences, humanities, and social sciences; and integrate these perspectives with a set of practices, including yoga and meditation, drawn from a wide range of cultural contexts.

Group photo of retreat participants

The Schreyer Institute’s Laura Cruz (far left) was on hand to support on-going research and grant activity related to the course. The workshop received support through a Bringing Theory to Practice grant from the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Festive atmosphere filled The Dreamery for inaugural Research Carnival

Contrary to it's title, there was no "clowning around" at this Research Carnival. Our own Chas Brua and Laura Cruz were on hand to answer faculty questions about the process of teaching and learning scholarship.

Photo of participants at the Research Carnival, image provided by Penn State.

Read the full article at Penn State News.

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: http://decodingthedisciplines.org/.

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.

Schedule a customized workshop on this method for yourself and your colleagues. For your own personal consultation, contact us at site@psu.edu.

Enacting the Work of Language Instruction, HIGH-LEVERAGE TEACHING PRACTICES

This is a short excerpt from the ACTFL publication Enacting the Work of Language Instruction HIGH-LEVERAGE TEACHING PRACTICES by Eileen W. Glisan and Richard Donato. It shares practical strategies for high impact language teaching.

Open Position: Active Learning Coordinator, University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL), on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, is seeking an Active Learning Coordinator to join their team in developing, coordinating, and delivering active learning instructional services, resources, and on-site instructional support. WisCEL instructional services and resources aim to develop the capacity of faculty, instructors, and TAs to teach effectively in active learning classrooms. WisCEL instructional services address the specific instructional needs of WisCEL instructors during the semester as they teach their active learning course.

The WisCEL Active Learning Coordinator's responsibilities include:

  • Coordinate WisCEL program instructional resources, services, and communication;
  • Provide teaching and instructional assistance to implement active learning;
  • Develop and lead instructor orientation, group consultations, workshops;
  • Provide daily on-site classroom and instructional assistance to instructors, TAs, students and student employees; and
  • Collaborate with campus T&L partners on teaching professional development and active learning initiatives.

The Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning combines student-centered active learning pedagogy, faculty teaching support, and program evaluation with Technology-enhanced, collaboration-friendly classrooms that lead to student learning success. WisCEL annually supports more than 50 active learning courses, which serve over 5000 students at the College and Wendt WisCEL Centers. WisCEL is a member of the UW-Madison Collaborative for Advancing Learning and Teaching (CALT) in the Office of the Provost.

The position is now posted on the UW-Madison Jobs website: Active Learning Coordinator PVL # 99428.

Application Deadline: JULY 31, 2019.

A Web-Based System for Improving Student Teamwork

Jay Tombaugh, PhD, and Clifton O. Mayfield, PhD May 27, 2019

This article includes information to help student teams improve their effectiveness. It describes six stages that students work through to develop norms, make decisions about communications, and monitor performance. While the article is about a free online tool, the steps and activities could easily be used outside of the platform (with attribution, of course). Check it out!

SRTEs Go Mobile!

This semester students can choose to submit SRTEs using the new mobile friendly web version for phones and tablets. No app download is necessary, upon sign-in students will see this option when they have active SRTEs to complete. Students may find it convenient to respond to open-ended questions using the voice-recognition built into their mobile devices.

Screen shot of mobile icon from SRTE tool. 
Screen shot of Mobile SRTE icon.

When students choose the mobile option, they will see only one question at a time, rather than the entire SRTE form on their screens.

The regular web version SRTE is still available for students with laptops or without mobile devices.

Faculty will also be able to use the mobile version to check response rates for courses with active SRTEs. Those faculty who are concerned about response rates will be interested in taking advantage of this new functionality by asking students with mobile devices to complete their SRTEs during class.

Faculty: please remember that if you set aside class time for students to complete the SRTE, you need to leave the room.

Workshops & Seminars