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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

This document describes a strategy for getting students involved with the content by having them pair with other students to discuss the answer to an instructor-posed problem. The pairs then share their answers with the class.