Penn State University

Tools and Resources

Alphabetical List

Browse through the tools by the title of the resource.

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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.

A handout to list courses and identify which ones have a particular goal(s).

This is a link to 16 rubrics developed by the American Association of Colleges and Universities. The rubrics address a wide variety of commonly assessed intellectual and practical skills, personal and social responsibilities, and integrative and applied learning.

A low tech alternative to clickers. Now students do not have to tote printed "ABCD Cards" for interactive lecturing and polling. Now there is an "app for that." The instructor poses a questions and the class holds up their response. The teacher scans the sea of answers to get a quick pulse on student responses. If there are too many As, Cs, and Ds, when B was the correct answer, then there may be some confusion and a need to clarify.

The Center for Instructional Innovation at Western Washington University has created a *free* ABCD Cards app for iOS and Android . Students simply launch the app, tap their answer choice, and hold up their answers. The app removes the burden of printing the cards, and responses
might even be easier to see for instructors in large rooms. Visit for more information.

Some discipline-based professional or scholarly associations have developed freely available teaching guides for faculty in that discipline e.g., the Mathematical Association of America's Instructional Practices Guide (, the American Psychological Association has several free books and collections of materials about teaching psychology.

Answers questions on issues such as grading and course scheduling.

Penn State's IT Accessibility Group created this repository of syllabus templates that allow instructors to more easily create an accessible syllabus. The templates are fully editable Microsoft Word files that include accessible headings styles in several fonts, sizes, and text alignments, an accessible default table format showing visible headers and sufficient color contrast, an image of the Penn State shield embedded with alternative text, and instructions on how to use the templates.

This journal focuses on various ways to support and strengthen the teaching of academic writing. From the journal's Website: "Across the Disciplines, a refereed journal devoted to language, learning, and academic writing, publishes articles relevant to writing and writing pedagogy in all their intellectual, political, social, and technological complexity."

We include this article in our repository to demonstrate that faculty have been concerned about and practicing active learning in large courses for decades. This is a classic from 1987 by Peter Frederick in a volume edited by well-known champion of excellent teaching and Prof. Emerita at Penn State, Maryellen Weimer. Teaching Large Classes Well. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 32: 45-56. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Frederick discusses interactive lectures, using questions to involve the class, asking specific questions (rather than "does everyone understand? which no one wants to answer), using small groups, using problem-solving to foster critical thinking, debates, simulations, and role playing. While his examples might be a bit dated, this still makes a lot of sense and provides useful ideas to adapt for the 21st century.

Active Learning Spaces and Active Learning Classrooms, the built environment for learning, is a growing field and of increasing interest to faculty teaching in newly (re)designed classrooms and institutional space planners. This list of resources was collected in March 2017 by Michael Palmer of the University of Virginia's teaching center from colleagues in the professional society of faculty developers, the POD Network.

Active learning strategies suitable for use in a variety of classrooms.

Active Learning, Strategies for Success is written for instructors who are not practiced at teaching actively. It was created after hearing from faculty "That active learning stuff doesn't work for me. I tried it and the students hated it!" Following a 4-step process can help ensure that your early attempts at active teaching are more successful. These steps have been used by hundreds of faculty to effectively introduce students to active learning. For suggestions of activities look for "Interactive Learning" in the repository search box.

Strategies for adapting face-to-face assessments for online, flexible, or mixed-mode learning environments. This document was offered as a web resource for faculty teaching online, flexible, or mixed-mode courses during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is available here for archival purposes.

Strategies for adapting face-to-face assessments to a synchronous, remote course environment, arranged by some of the common course formats and course types. This document was offered as page three 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.

This document is an example of a survey that can be given to administrators of student teacher programs to determine the student's performance. This example is from Penn State Berks.

A course redesign tool developed by the UC Berkeley Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management in partnership with the UC Berkeley Center for Teaching and Learning. This tool supports instructors to develop anti-racist approaches to course design and teaching practices through an accessible and user-friendly model to consider how their instructional choices impact student outcomes. The tool is meant for self-assessment, not to assess score courses or instructors.

An agenda and outline of a workshop topics on an academic resume, a teaching philosophy and an electronic teaching portfolio. This workshop is intended for graduate students who are teaching.

This rubric for educators presents four traits focused on areas unique to the capabilities and limitations of AI as well as ethical considerations for the use of AI. Prepare your assignments for the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by reviewing and revising writing prompts before sharing with students.

This is a matrix that can be used to align course assignments with program goals for faculty working on program assessment.

Link to a blog post by David Clark providing definitions of terms most commonly associated with alternative grading, including specifications grading, ungrading, and standards-based grading.

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

Instructional development philosophy written by Dr. Angela Linse, executive director of the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence

Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) Guides
Discovering the Art of Mathematics includes a library of 11 inquiry-based books freely available for classroom use. These texts can be used as semester-long content for courses or individual chapters can be used as modules to experiment with inquiry-based learning and to help supplement typical topics with classroom tested, inquiry based approaches (e.g. rules for exponents, large numbers, proof). The topic index provides an overview of all our book chapters by topic.

A list of resources on the intersections of artificial intelligence and academic integrity currently available at Penn State, including websites, videos, and interest groups.

This is a link to a Penn State produced resource on Artifical Intelligence, Pedagogy, and Academic Integrity. It has information and resources on this topic and includes guidance for working with students and adapting to these tools.

Considerations for using AI (artificial intelligence) tools in our teaching: when planning a course, when planning an assignment, when considering implications for equity, accessibility and academic integrity.

This worksheet was developed for faculty involved in program assessment. The document will help program faculty link program learning objectives with appropriate assignments that can be used as evidence that students have achieved those objectives.

This is a great online resource from the University of Texas at Austin. It contains accessible information on university level course assessment.

This PowerPoint slide shows an example of evidence resulting from the learning outcomes assessment process at the course level (accounting in this example). It shows the extent to which students achieved the learning objectives of the course. This information can also be used to assess course learning objectives or course learning outcomes at the program level.

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.

This is a diagnostic survey for undergraduate, non-science majors taking their first astronomy course. It was developed by the multi-institutional Collaboration for Astronomy Education Research (CAER) including, among many others, Jeff Adams, Rebecca Lindell Adrian, Christine Brick, Gina Brissenden, Grace Deming , Beth Hufnagel , Tim Slater, and Michael Zeilik. The first 21 questions are the content portion of the test, while the final 12 questions collect demographic information.

The current violent international conflict in Israel and Gaza may cause your students to be concerned about their safety and that of family and community members. The tensions may lead to increases in hate crimes against Jews and Muslims around the world. The conflict could also trigger strong emotions and opinions, which may impact your students. This resource provide guidance about course discussions of the conflict and how to avoid (or confront) antisemitism and Islamophobia.

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