Tools and Resources

List Tools by Title

Browse through the tools by the title of the resource.


This sample score report is generated by our paper exam scanning system. The score report is an important tool that will help you evaluate the effectiveness of a test and of the individual questions that comprise it. The evaluation process, called item analysis, can improve future test and item construction. The analysis provides valuable information that helps instructors determine which are the “best” test questions to secure and continue to use on future course assessments; which items need review and potential revision before a next administration, and which are the poorest items which should be eliminated from scoring on the current administration.

This sample rubric for a writing assignment can provide instructors with an adaptable rubric model that can be used to grade writing assignments more quickly and accurately.

This document is a fictitious example of a 1-page annotation of a faculty member's SRTEs and written feedback for a single course.

General syllabus for the Course in College Teaching. The syllabus varies slightly from semester to semester depending upon who is leading the course, but this document gives an overview. For detailed information about the current semester's syllabus, contact

This is a checklist for instructors to use when dropping off their scanning materials at Scanning Operations in 105 Pollock Building.

This file is used by scanning operations to match questions on different test forms.

Form for weighting items for exams with items that have different weights. Used for scanning multiple choice tests that use bubble sheets.

Form used for scanning exams that use bubble sheets when the instructor wants responses to have different weights.

This very comprehensive website from Carlton College is aimed at both post-secondary and K-12 teachers. In addition to other STEM resources, it has teaching resources for the geosciences.

This file is an example of a rubric that can be used to grade a science experiment. The use of a rubric can help instructors to grade more accurately and more quickly.

This book summarizes what is known about teaching and learning from fields such as education and cognitive psychology and provides applications for use in post-secondary science classrooms.

Teaching Professor 2013 Presentation. This presentation describes the characteristics of a positive peer review that encourages community.

The SEEQ instrument is a mid-semester feedback survey that Penn State instructors have been using since the 1990s. The instrument is available at and results are available only to the instructor for the semester in which the survey was used.

While originally created by Herbert Marsh as an evaluation survey, Penn State has never used this 40 item instrument this way. The instrument was first offered at Penn State using Scantron bubble sheets. It was later adapted for use in the university's long-time LMS (ANGEL). When the university adopted Canvas as its LMS, the SEEQ could not be adapted for use in Canvas because quiz data are reported inappropriately for a survey. In 2020, university programmers developed an in-house system for offering the SEEQ. At that time, the original name of the instrument was changed to Student Educational Experience Questionnaire.

This list of resources can be used by faculty developing online or blended courses.

Presentation to the Faculty Senate in 2010 on the Faculty Communities Hub.

This document describes methods for developing surveys for collecting learning outcomes assessment (program assessment) evidence from graduating seniors, alumni and employers.

This document briefly describes what service-learning is and the ways in which it can promote student learning.

This is one of many concept tests designed to assess student's knowledge of particular scientific concepts. This particular concept test is designed for students who have learned about linear signals and systems.

A simulation provides a way for students to experience the content in action and spark discussion.

Heavily abridged version of Weinstein, Y., Madan, C. R., & Smith, M. A. (in press). Teaching the science of learning. Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications, prepared for and presented at "Reframing Testing as a Learning Experience: Three Strategies for Use in the Classroom and at Home" on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.

Six key learning strategies from research in cognitive psychology can be applied to education: spaced practice, interleaving, elaborative interrogation, concrete examples, dual coding, and retrieval practice. However, a recent report (Pomerance, Greenberg, & Walsh, 2016) found that few teacher-training textbooks cover these principles; current study-skills courses also lack coverage of these important learning strategies. Students are therefore missing out on mastering techniques they could use on their own to learn effectively. This handout contains the six key learning strategies to address those concerns.

This strategy involves students working together in groups to research the solution to a problem.

These PowerPoint slides accompanied a presentation by James M. Lang delivered at University Park on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. Research from the learning sciences and from a variety of educational settings suggests that a small number of key principles can improve learning in almost any type of college or university course, from traditional lectures to flipped classrooms. This workshop will introduce some of those principles, offer practical suggestions for how they might foster positive change in higher education teaching and learning, and guide faculty participants to consider how these principles might manifest themselves in their current and upcoming courses.

This is a recorded webinar presented by James M. Lang at University Park on Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020. As faculty struggle with the problem of distracted students on our campuses and in our classes, they have become increasingly frustrated by the ways in which digital devices can interfere with student learning. But are students today more distracted than they were in the past? Has technology reduced their ability to focus and think deeply, as some popular books have argued? This interactive lecture draws upon scholarship from history, neuroscience, and education in order to provide productive new pathways for faculty to understand the distractible nature of the human brain, work with students to moderate the effects of distraction in their learning, and even leverage the distractible nature of our minds for new forms of connected and creative thinking.

This webinar was recorded by Penn State Libraries staff using Mediasite Live, and it is stored in the libraries' Mediasite catalog. The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence bears no responsibility for the quality of the recording, its maintenance, its availability, nor its functionality. For help with the recording, call (814) 865-5400 or send an email message to

This is a peer-reviewed article published in the journal of Studies in Educational Evaluation. Its focus is the accurate interpretation of student ratings data (including Penn State's SRTE) and appropriate use of the data to evaluate faculty. It includes recommendations for use and interpretation based on more than 80 years of student ratings research. Most colleges and universities use student ratings data to guide personnel decisions so it is critical that administrators and faculty evaluators have access to the cumulative knowledge about student ratings based on multiple studies, rather than single studies that have not been replicated, studies based on non-representative populations, or that are from a single discipline.

The article provides an overview of common views and misconceptions about student ratings, followed by clarification of what student ratings are and are not. It also includes two sets of guidelines for administrators and faculty serving on review committees.

One-page handout of information about the Schreyer Institute and Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE)

One page handout summarizing research literature on the correlation between student ratings and grades.

This book is a collection of essays from the Journal of College Science Teaching which describes in detail the case study method as applied to the sciences. The book offers strategies, tips, examples, ideas, and resources as an alternative to traditional lecture formats.

Concept inventories are designed to assess student's knowledge of particular scientific concepts. This is an article that describes a concept inventory that assesses statistics knowledge. This link does not take you to the concept inventory itself, but provides information about how to access the inventory.

This document describes strategies students use to cheat and strategies faculty can use to minimize cheating.

Strategies for adapting face-to-face teaching to a synchronous, remote course environment, arranged by some of the common course formats and course types. This document was offered as page two of a web resource for faculty who transformed their courses from face-to-face to remote learning environments due to campus closures resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is available here for archival purposes.

Large classes are among the most important because many students enrolled are new to the college experience. The big challenges of teaching large classes include finding ways to engage students, providing timely feedback, and managing logistics. When faced with these challenges, many instructors revert to lectures and multiple-choice tests. There are alternatives. This special report describes some alternative teaching and course management techniques to get students actively involved without an inordinate amount of work on the instructor’s part. From the Teaching Professor, Magna.

This handout highlights some of the current research based strategies for teaching millennial students.

Penn State faculty who have high response rates share advice and strategies that encourage students to complete their the SRTEs.

Brief (2-page) handout about strategies to promote effective student discussion.

The SALG website is a free course-evaluation tool that allows college-level instructors to gather learning-focused feedback from students. It can be used for mid-semester feedback that will help instructors improve student learning in the course.

Handout from Cindy Raynak's 2012 Teaching Professor presentation in Washington, DC. Describes the concept of "student-centered discussion," it's advantages for student learning, and how the process works.

PowerPoint presentation, authored by Cindy Raynak, that describes "student centered discussion."

Student collaborative writing (peer writing) is a strategy in which students work together on all aspects of a writing project. It can reduce the need for the faculty member to spend time reading and commenting on drafts.

Services for Penn State students with disabilities, includes link to faculty handbook and FAQs about working with students with disabilities, as well as additional internal and external resources.

This document provides a brief description of course goals and course objectives or course outcomes for student learning. Learning outcomes (or learning objectives) are useful to develop during course design, as well as when creating an assignment or activity.

Slides from Dr. Saundra McGuire’s presentation on Student metacognition at Penn State, February 12, 2018. Dr. McGuire encourages instructors to use and adapt these slides for use with their own students.

This document describes strategies for encouraging and enabling students in large classes to participate in class.

This document describes the use of student peers to provide feedback on written assignments by fellow students.

This PowerPoint presents data collected by Russell Casey and Janet Ann Melnick in 2011. It summarizes their research project on student perspectives on advising and provides suggestions for instructors who advise students.

Link to article written about a Quality of Instruction (QOI) survey at Penn State supported by grants from the Schreyer Institute.
Fern Willits & Mark Brennan (2017) Another look at college student’s ratings of course quality: data from Penn State student surveys in three settings, Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 42:3, 443-462, DOI: 10.1080/02602938.2015.1120858

This guide for students was created by Dr. Stephanie Ludi when she was at Rochester Institute of Technology (copyright 1994, 1998, 2006). Dr. Ludi is now professor at Univ. of North Texas, but her guide is still incredibly useful. The TOC for the guide includes:
General Group Tasks (Administrative Duties That Lay the Project and Group Foundation; Successful Group Dynamics; Project Management; What You Need to Know About Risk)
Group Members As Individuals And Their Evolving, Working Relationships (Interpersonal Communication; Potential Profiles of A Group Member; Handling Conflict)
Special Issues [that students] May Face During The Project (Time Management and Priorities That Are Unique To Students; The Group Grade; Other Useful Stuff)
Student Project Myths

This document is an example of a survey used to gather assessment data from student teacher mentors about the student teacher's performance. This survey is useful for learning outcomes assessment (program assessment). This example comes from Penn State Berks.

This is an example of a survey that can be given to the principal of a school at which a student teacher has been assigned. The survey provides an assessment of the student's performance from the perspective of the school principal. It is a useful tool for learning outcomes assessment (program assessment).

This document describes how to facilitate discussions that are led by students in small groups.

This PowerPoint, by Mary Ann Knapp, focuses on how faculty can help students who may be experiencing psychological distress.

This book describes practical strategies for teaching science and engineering courses using writing and collaborative learning. Emphasis is on how to help students build problem-solving skills and conceptual understanding.

This book describes activities college faculty can use to help their students understand the nature of science and engineering, to understand science and engineering concepts, and to solve problems. The book emphasizes how to help students examine and alter their conceptual frameworks.

This is a blog post by Nick Carvone, Director of Teaching and Learning, for the Bedford/St. Martin's imprint of Macmillan Education. As the title suggests, this site shares ideas for how to teach your students to write more constructive comments on those portions of their teaching evaluations.

This checklist includes a list of items that Penn State requires be included in all syllabi, per Faculty Senate Policy 43-00 Syllabus. It also includes links to example syllabus statements and lists items that the Schreyer Institute recommends be included in every syllabus.

This worksheet can be used to help instructors develop classroom activities that align learning objectives with assessments and course activities.