Tools and Resources

Top Downloaded Tools and Resources at Penn State

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

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.

Three examples of simple mid-semester feedback questionnaires.

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 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 report focuses on using student ratings data in the faculty evaluation process and is based on Linse's 2017 peer-reviewed publication, with additions specific to Penn State and the SRTEs. Linse, A. R. (2017). Interpreting and using student ratings data: Guidance for faculty serving as administrators and on evaluation committees. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 54, 94–106; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stueduc.2016.12.004.

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.

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.

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.

Making the Right Impressions on the First Day of Class
What can be done then to make a positive first impression in the classroom? In a study
(Hayward, 2001) where students were given a survey after the first class meeting, factors
contributing to positive perceptions of teaching effectiveness were identified.
The power of knowing, in the first two seconds, is our ability to make quick judgments. Think back to when you were in school and how long did it take you to size up a professor? Did you know the first day how good a teacher was, or did it take several classes or the entire semester? Research has found that students watching a silent two-second video clip of a teacher they have never met reach very similar conclusions about that teacher’s effectiveness when compared to students who have sat in the teacher’s class for a semester.
Students have been found to quickly size up a professor on these four factors:

This rubric could be used by faculty colleagues to evaluate course objectives.

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

Intended audience: faculty developers. Teaching and faculty development philosophy of R. Neill Johnson, Although he is no longer at the Schreyer Institute, his statement provides a useful example.

This document describes several active learning methods for helping students learn how course concepts are organized.

This document describes several strategies that can be used to make concepts "concrete" and provide tactile material that can help students learn.