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.

In-depth discussion of planning and writing a case study. Key steps discussed include identifying the reason for using a case study; drafting the case; and piloting and revising it.

What the Best College Teachers Do
Ken Bain, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA (2004)
The publication, What the Best College Teachers Do, is based on a fifteen-year study of nearly one hundred college teachers from various fields and universities. Author Ken Bain tries to “capture the collective scholarship of some of the best teachers in the United States, to record not just what they think, but most of all, to begin to conceptualize their practices.” In this book, you will find insights on how to engage and challenge students

This document, excerpted from the Penn State Teacher II, includes strategies for planning, implementing, and grading collaborative projects (aka team work or group work). It includes a discussion of group conflicts.

This document offers a nice overview of Inquiry Based Learning.

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

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

This file describes the characteristics of adult learners and strategies for instructors who teach them.

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

This report focuses on using student ratings data in the faculty evaluation process and is based on Senator Linse’s original work (Linse, in press), with additions specific to Penn State and the SRTEs.

Three examples of simple mid-semester feedback questionnaires.

Brief explanation of several easy-to-use Classroom Assessment Techniques, with examples.

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.

This document provides an example of a test blueprint, which can be used to help guide test development and ensure that the test questions appropriately reflect the learning objectives of the unit that the test is designed to assess. It can also help students when they study for the test.

This PowerPoint presentations describes the instrument called the Perceived Difficulty Assessment Questionnaire and provides its theoretical background. A few examples of its use are also included.

This essay, written by Penn State's Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, John Lowe, describes several useful strategies for collecting course-level assessment about students' study habits and learning, which can be used to improve student learning.