Penn State University

News & Announcements

Peer Review of Teaching Grants

The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence (SITE) is pleased to offer grants to support academic units as they update their peer review guidelines as part of the new Faculty Assessment of Teaching Framework. These grants are intended support conversations about possible changes to unit peer review of teaching guidelines, which include integration of the Elements of Effective Teaching.

Requests for support may come from a committee, committee chair, or academic unit head at any Penn State location. Collaborators may include faculty, students, and administrators.

SITE faculty consultants are available to facilitate your discussion as a neutral party, participate, or provide resources.

You may request funds for materials, lunches, or resources on peer review of teaching. Funding is limited, but support from SITE faculty consultants is not!

You may submit your request by email to Please include a brief description (~300 words) about what the unit plans to do and how it will advance revision of unit peer review guidelines. Please contact your preferred vendor for actual costs before submitting your request.

We look forward to supporting your efforts this semester.

Another Option? Exploring Student Voice and Choice in the College Classroom 

General Education 2024 Spring Symposium

Join this highly interactive session to engage in a cross-disciplinary dialogue about teaching and learning throughout Penn State's general education curriculum. Even if you aren't teaching general education courses (yet), you are welcome to join us for inspiration, conversation, and community.

On Friday, February 9th @ 12:00pmBryan Wang, Teaching Professor of Biology at Penn State Berks, will discuss integrating student voice and choice into instruction, from both a research and practice perspective.

Giving students a say in what, when, why, and how they learn—and demonstrate that learning—can foster inclusion and self-efficacy, engagement and commitment, and collaboration and creativity in our classrooms. Such practices may involve a shift not only in approaches, but in mindset—from “teacher as sole expert to both instructor and student as both teacher and learner”—and in the goals of our teaching and learning (Cook-Sather and Matthews, 2023). In this session, we will hear examples of student voice and choice projects that have been implemented in STEM and interdomain (GN and GH, GN and GA) general education courses as well as disciplinary courses and how students and teachers have responded. We then will explore together how to and why (and/or why not) invite students into the conversation and offer and guide them through choices in teaching and learning.

Download Flyer

Register here for Zoom link:

The General Education 2024 Spring Symposium is a collaboration of the Office of General Education and Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence.

Visit the Office of General Education events page.

PSU Shenango’s Roxanne Atterholt Research Article Featured in Latest Issue & Webinar Discussion

Penn State Shenango faculty member Roxanne Atterholt recently published a research article (Shock Waves: Academic Witnessing as Resiliency Practice) focused on the work of their SITE-supported Teaching Community. The article was featured in the most recent issue of the Journal of Faculty Development.

The authors will be discussing the article in a free webinar on February 12th from 1-2pm.

The Journal of Faculty Development publishes research and scholarships on innovation in faculty development that is relevant for administrators, faculty members, and faculty development professionals. The focus of this independent, peer-reviewed scholarly journal is on faculty development in post-secondary educational institutions. It provides support for educators and administrators seeking research studies (utilizing both qualitative and quantitative methodologies) that further explore theory and philosophies related to faculty development.

Learn more: Journal of Faculty Development

Provost Endorsement Program

The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence is offering Inclusive and Equitable Teaching as part of the Provost Endorsement Program

The purpose of the Provost Endorsement Program is to recognize and support the professional growth of Penn State faculty. Sponsored by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost of Penn State and the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs, endorsements are offered in 3 domains: 1) Teaching and Outreach, 2) Research, Scholarship, and Creative Accomplishment, and 3) Leadership and Service. Each endorsement involves a minimum of 10 hours focused on a curriculum, reflective activities, and peer interactions. 

Accessible Syllabus Templates Debut at International Ally Users Group Meeting

Mary Ann Tobin, Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence Instructional Consultant, and Elizabeth J. Pyatt, IT Accessibility Consultant, will demonstrate Penn State's accessible syllabus templates for the International Anthology Ally Users Group on Feb. 22. Participants will learn about accessible word syllabus templates and basic accessibility techniques that can be applied to other academic or professional documents. These meetings are open to the public. Visit the Ally Community Site at details.

See the templates for yourself at one of our upcoming Accessible Syllabus Templates workshops. Register at

SITE Consultant Beate Brunow Interviewed for a Podcast We Love

Beate Brunow, SITE Instructional Consultant, was interviewed recently by Derek Bruff as part of his Intentional Teaching Podcast. Beate helped develop Penn State’s new Faculty Teaching Assessment Framework, which she talks about in the podcast's episode "Assessing Teaching with Beate Brunow and Shawn Simonson.”

Listen to the “Intentional Teaching” podcast episode featuring Beate Brunow and Shawn Simonson at:>.

2023-24 Teaching and Learning Scholarship and Teaching Transformation and Innovation Grants Awarded!

The Schreyer Institute has named the 2023-24 winners of both the Teaching and Learning Scholarship grant and the Teaching Transformation and Innovation grant. We offer multiple grant opportunities for instructors and academic units; each will receive support from an institute faculty along with funding.

The Teaching and Learning Scholarship grant provides Penn State instructors the opportunity to share their scholarship related to teaching and learning in Penn State courses.

The recipients of the 2023-24 Teaching and Learning Scholarship grants are:

  • Qi Dunsworth,, Academic Support, Penn State Behrend. “Spatially Challenged? Practice Makes You Grow” at American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference.
  • Laura Evans, Human Development and Family Studies, Penn State Brandywine. “Flourishing in General Education: Exploring Virtual Reality and Curricula in Support of Thriving in College” at Society for the Study of Human Development Conference.
  • Noel Habashy, College of Agricultural Sciences, University Park campus. “Exploding Silos: Fostering Integrative Thinking through Co-Curricular Global Learning” at AAC&U Conference on Global Learning.
  • Matthew Levy, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Penn State Behrend. “Ungrading Art History: How It Works and Why to Do It” at Southeastern College Art Conference.
  • Paul Logan, Nese College of Nursing, Hershey Medical Center. “Perception of Durable Learning to Achieve Mastery of AACN Essentials and Readiness to Practice” at American Association of Colleges of Nursing Transform Conference.
  • Katherine McLean, Social Sciences Division, Penn State Greater Allegheny. “Learning to choose, choosing to learn: The TLS Voice and Choice Project” at Penn State at Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference.
  • Andrea Ragonese, School of Engineering Design and Innovation, University Park campus. “Clarity, Choice, and Curiosity: Strategies for Fostering Creativity in the Classroom” at Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference.
  • Mary Ritchey, Science Division, Penn State York. “From Student to Teacher: Self-Directed Assessment in an Introductory Chemistry Course” at Original Lilly Conference on College Teaching.
  • Joan Smeltzer, Mathematics Division, Penn State York. “With a Little Help from my Friends: Integrating Self-directed Peer Learning to Improve Word Problem Completion in Developmental Math” at Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference.
  • Mary Ann Smith, Science Division, Penn State Schuylkill. “Not Just Black Boxes: Students Engagement and Perceptions of Zoom in the Classroom” at Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Commons Conference.

The Teaching Transformation and Innovation provides Penn State instructors the opportunity to experiment, test, or implement a teaching innovation that addresses an important instructional concern.

The winners of the 2023-24 Teaching Transformation and Innovation grants are:

  • Russ deForest, assistant teaching professor, Department of Mathematics, Eberly College of Science, “Peer Support and Student Self-efficacy in a First Year Calculus Course.”
  • Susana García Prudencio, Department of Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, College of the Liberal Arts, “Spanish Language Online Learning in the Age of the Generative AI Tools.”
  • Linlin Jensen, associate teaching professor, Department of Chemistry, Eberly College of Science, “H5P Interactive Videos for Math for PChem Foundation Module.”
  • Victoria Kellogg, assistant teaching professor of nursing, Penn State Altoona, “Incorporating Virtual Reality Simulation into Nursing Education.”
  • Kirsty Lloyd, assistant teaching professor, Department of Plant Science, College of Agricultural Sciences, “Opening Awareness to Ways of Knowing, Intelligence, and Connectedness in the Curriculum.”
  • Ashley Russell, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, Penn State Behrend, “Enhancing Science and Engineering Classroom Presentations: Exploring iPad-Based Teaching Strategies for Engaged Learning.”
  • Michael Tews, associate professor, Department of Hospitality Management, College of Health and Human Development, “Lego Learning Initiative for Hospitality Management Education.”

Small Team Problem-Based Learning in an Interdomain Course 

General Education 2024 Spring Symposium

Join this highly interactive session to engage in a cross-disciplinary dialogue about teaching and learning throughout Penn State's general education curriculum. Even if you aren't teaching general education courses (yet), you are welcome to join us for inspiration, conversation, and community.

On Thursday, March 21st @ 12:00pm, Tim Kelsey, Ph.D., Professor of Agricultural Economics, College of Agriculture, Penn State, will discuss using small teams in a problem-based learning interdomain course.

Tim will share the design and implementation of a large enrollment, inter-domain general education course (CED 102N 'Wicked Problems: What's the Right Thing to Do?'), which focuses on empowering students to wrestle with so-called wicked, or highly complex, global challenges. The course uses collaborative learning models in which small groups are tasked with writing research case studies addressing wicked challenges (of their choice), including topics such as homelessness, small town revitalization, adoption of electrical vehicles, solar energy and farmland loss, and invasive species. Data collected from students in the inaugural offering of the course suggest that desired learning outcomes, such as critical thinking, creative problem solving, and intrinsic motivation, can be reached through scalable, peer-driven approaches to teaching and learning.

Download Flyer

Register here for Zoom link:

The General Education 2024 Spring Symposium is a collaboration of the Office of General Education and Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence.

Visit the Office of General Education events page.

2024 Schreyer Conference!

The 2024 Schreyer Conference will focus on the connections between learning and emotion. On Wednesday March 27, 2024, Sarah Rose Cavanagh will give an interactive presentation “Energizing Learning with the Spark of Emotion” between 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. EST, followed by breakout sessions led by SITE consultants between 1:10 - 2:00 p.m.

Dr. Cavanagh is Senior Associate Director for Teaching and Learning in the Center for Faculty Excellence at Simmons University, where she also teaches in the Psychology Department as an Associate Professor of Practice. Her research considers the interplay of emotions, motivation, learning, and quality of life. Her most recent research project, funded by the National Science Foundation, convenes a network of scholars to develop teaching practices aimed at greater effectiveness and equity in undergraduate biology education.

She is author of four books, including The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion (2016) and Mind Over Monsters: Supporting Youth Mental Health with Compassionate Challenge (2023). She gives keynote addresses and workshops at a variety of colleges and regional conferences, blogs for Psychology Today, and writes essays for venues like Literary Hub and The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Learn more about Dr. Cavanagh on her website: and stay tuned for more information to follow.

The 2024 Schreyer Conference will occur Wednesday, March 27. Register through our events page. Registration will close 1 hour before the event starts. Registrants will receive a Zoom link at least 1 hour before the event.

Visit the Schreyer Conference PSU news article for more details.

Addressing Student Trauma, Tensions, and Disruptions in your Course


With the rise of tension in the world and awareness of mental health in classrooms, the Schreyer Institute offers the following resources for teaching during times of global tensions, navigating classroom disruptions, and developing trauma informed practices to help you maintain a positive and open learning environment during times of high stress.

Teaching During Times of Global Tensions and Violence

Refer to this resource while planning your interactions with students as members of the Penn State community grieve and cope amidst this tragedy.

Avoiding and Confronting Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

This resource provides guidance about course discussions about the conflict and how to avoid (or confront) antisemitism and Islamophobia.

Controversy in the Classroom

Developed by Penn State Communication Arts Sciences faculty, this Canvas Commons course offers guidance to help you prepare to meet controversy in the classroom. Canvas log in required. Search Canvas Commons for “Controversy in the Classroom.”

Taking ACTION on Disruptions or Microaggressions

Explore language and phrases for use in responding to disruptions and microaggressions in your courses.

Navigating Disruptions

Explore ways to respond to emotionally challenging situations that can negatively impact the integrity and safety of the learning environment.

Trauma Informed Teaching Practices

This resource offers principles of trauma-informed teaching and recommendations instructors might consider as they are developing trauma-informed practices for their own courses.

Workshops & Seminars

Upcoming Events

2/27/2024, Noon - 1:00 p.m.
3/4/2024, Noon - 1:00 p.m.
3/13/2024, 12:15 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.
3/15/2024, 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
3/21/2024, 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
3/27/2024, Noon - 1:00 p.m.
4/17/2024, 10:10 a.m. - 11:25 a.m.
4/17/2024, Noon - 1:00 p.m.

More Events

Penn State University