Tools and Resources

Top Downloaded Tools and Resources at Penn State

This document was created to provide you with a source of options for gathering data on teamwork assignments and projects. You may choose to adopt one of the examples as is, combine elements from several of the examples, or use the examples to identify characteristics that correspond to particular aspects of your assigned work, course content, or student population.

This document describes a specific strategy that provides a collaborative learning experience for students.

Item Analysis (a.k.a. Test Question Analysis) is an empowering process that enables you to improve mutiple-choice test score validity and reliability by analyzing item performance over time and making necessary adjustments. Knowledge of score reliability, item difficulty, item discrimination, and crafting effective distractors can help you make decisions about whether to retain items for future administrations, revise them, or eliminate them from the test item pool. Item analysis can also help you to determine whether a particular portion of course content should be revised or enhanced.

This two-page handout provides a basic explanation of how to make and use rubrics to improve grading. Print references included.

A handout that provides information and exercises on how to plan an effective class session.

This is a one-page tip sheet that guides instructors in thinking about instruction beyond just covering content.

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

Three examples of simple mid-semester feedback questionnaires.

This FAQ sheet addresses many issues related to attendance in large classes.

This 1997 publication, written by Diane Enerson, R. Neill Johnson, Susannah Milner and Kathryn Plank, addresses all issues related to teaching, including course design, evaluation and assessment. Included are examples and perspectives from many Penn State instructors.

This activity involves students pairing up to answer questions about course content and can be used for review of material before a test, for example, or for practice.

Inclusive Teaching. This document includes the slides and handouts used in Linse & Weinstein's workshop introducing faculty to specific actions that they can take immediately to make their courses more inclusive. Based on our experience, it is best to provide the Strategies early in the workshop because it addresses faculty members' primary concern--what to do! By addressing faculty needs first, we have found it allows us to have richer discussions about the two most intractable issues to creating inclusive learning environments, Microaggressions and Stereotype Threat.

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.

Penn State Teacher II 1997. Compendium of teaching tips and advice from seasoned faculty and graduate students. Includes sections on Course design, matching teaching methods with learning objectives, teaching large courses, evaluating student learning, collecting feedback, sample syllabi, feedback questionaires, grading standards, plagiarism, teaching philosophies.
Authored by D. Enerson, R. Neill Johnson, Susannah Milner, and Kathryn M. Plank.