Take Action for Student Learning (TASL)

Take Action for Student Learning (TASL) is a free, non-credit, entirely online course that is open to full-time Penn State faculty of any rank/status who are currently teaching or who have done so recently. TASL replaces the Summer Course in College Teaching for Faculty.

This four-week, largely asynchronous, online course provides an opportunity for faculty from all disciplines to apply a problem-based approach to course revision. Participants will identify a teaching challenge or particular course topic with which students typically struggle and develop a means of improving and assessing student learning on that topic. The course includes discussion and application of research- and evidence-based effective teaching and assessment methods and draws from the experiences of individual participants.

In Summer 2019, TASL is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 3 and end on Sunday, June 30. In addition to logging into Canvas and participating in the activities posted there, there will be three live meetings via Zoom on June 4, June 11, and June 18 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Course Structure and Assignments

The course will be broken into three asynchronous online modules, each of which may take up to two hours to complete, and three, two-hour Zoom meetings for a total of 12 contact hours.

Faculty are eligible to earn a completion certificate by

  1. participating in all online activities and weekly discussion forums;
  2. attending at least two of three synchronous Zoom sessions; and
  3. successfully completing three certificate assignments
    1. a draft of a learning activity and corresponding assessment
    2. peer edit of a learning activity and corresponding assessment
    3. final draft of a learning activity and corresponding assessment

While this course does not serve as a formal “certification” process, it does provide you with documentation of your participation in it. This certificate may be included in your teaching portfolio as evidence of your professional development as an instructor.

Course Objectives

  1. Apply effective principles of course design and planning
  2. Integrate teaching and assessment strategies that enhance student learning
  3. Reflect on their beliefs and practices about teaching and learning
  4. Develop an intervention to address an identified problem area for student learning


TASL is open to Penn State faculty of any rank/status who are currently teaching or who have done so recently. Those with no previous teaching experience should take the Instructional Foundations Series.

Reading Materials

There is no required textbook. Brief, weekly readings will be provided in Canvas instead.

To Apply

Complete online TASL2019 application


Before May 10. Enrollment is limited to 20 participants, so don’t delay!

Successful applicants will be notified via email no later than May 24.


TASL is facilitated by Larkin Hood and Mary Ann Tobin.

Please contact one of the course facilitators with your questions about the course.