Penn State University


Our consultants offer workshops on a variety of teaching and learning topics that are customized to needs of the requesting unit. Below are examples of commonly requested workshops. If you don't see your topic here, please do not hesitate to send us a request.

Workshop Categories and Topics

Are you interested in one of these or any other teaching topic?

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Planning for Learning

Creating a Learner-centered Syllabus

A syllabus is the first step in creating a successful student learning experience. In this workshop, we discuss the elements of a learner-centered syllabus that will connect students to your course and improve their sense of belonging.

Universal Design for Learning

Discover and practice core Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles that address variability among your students including challenges posed by time, distance, or disability. Includes UDL-inspired course activities created by Penn State faculty to spark ideas for use in your own face-to-face, online, or hybrid courses.

Decipher Disciplinary Thinking: How Students Think and Learn in Your Field

When you teach, you do more than cover content. You help students develop thinking processes specific to your discipline. You and your colleagues will use an established framework, Decoding the Disciplines, to critically analyze your assumptions and teaching practices.

Transparency in Assignment Design

Do your students not read the instructions or seem miss the point of the assignment? Using a simple, research-based, three-part framework, you can improve the alignment between your intentions and what you ask students to do. Come with an assignment and ready to work!

Student Engagement

Student Engagement Techniques

Discover and practice proven Student Engagement Techniques grounded in active and collaborative learning techniques. Participants will leave with ready-to-use classroom activities and assignments for immediate use.

Motivating Students

Do your students seem to lack a strong work ethic, enthusiasm, and a general desire to learn? Poor student motivation can be a barrier to learning. Learn about research-based strategies for increasing student motivation.

Lectures That Keep Students Engaged

Design instruction that will keep your students engaged, focused and learning throughout the class session.

Addressing Student Disruptions

All instructors encounter challenging student behaviors that have the potential to disrupt a class. We discuss scenarios and identify strategies for addressing them before, during, and after they occur. We also discuss how best to communicate behavioral expectations to students.

Creating Inclusive Courses

This workshop introduces strategies for creating courses in which all students are able to learn. We discuss why these practices are inclusive and why inclusion is critical for student success. We also consider research findings that indicate which contexts and actions create exclusive environments for students.

TA 101

Participants review case scenarios commonly encountered by teaching assistants and discuss effective ways to handle each scenario. Scenarios might include, late students, students who have not prepared for class, addressing student complaints, answering unexpected questions, making errors in front of students, working with the instructor, and holding office hours. We regularly integrate discipline-specific scenarios.

Large Courses, Big Challenges: Strategies for Instructor Success

Large course can present big challenges to instructors and students alike. Learn about strategies designed to encourage student participation and course civility. This session is designed for people teaching classes of 40-1000+.

Working with Student Groups & Teams

Participants will examine several different approaches to group work and teaming. We will discuss methods for creating teams, strategies for monitoring team progress, and approaches to assess teams and their work.

Assessing & Reflecting on Learning

Writing and Analyzing Multiple Choice Tests

Multiple choice tests are easy to score, but difficult to write well, particularly if you want to assess critical thinking. Learn about strategies for writing effective multiple choice questions and use statistical information to improve your question-writing.

Getting Through the Stack: Grading that is Efficient & Effective

Grading can be time consuming and frustrating and instructors might spend hours writing comments that students do not read or implement. Participants will learn about more efficient and effective approaches.

Using Rubrics to Improve Grading

Do you dread grading student essays? Do you worry about grading written work consistently? Do your students ever complain that they ”don't know what you want?” A scoring rubric might be the answer.

Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE)

The Student Ratings of Teaching Effectiveness (SRTE) is Penn State's instrument for gathering feedback from students at the end of a course. Because SRTEs can influence personnel decisions, faculty have questions and concerns about them. This is a chance to ask your questions and discuss and what we know from research.

Teaching and Learning Scholarship (TLS) Workshops

  • Introduction to Teaching and Learning Scholarship
  • Integrating TLS into your Teaching Practice
  • Lessons Learned from TLS
  • Developing a Teaching and Learning Scholarship Project
  • Doing Teaching and Learning Scholarship
  • An Editor’s Perspective on TLS
  • Starting or Managing a Collaborative TLS Project
  • TLS Grants

TLS Workshop Series

(certificate of completion available)

  • Developing a Research Question
  • Designing Your Study
  • Analyzing Your Data
  • Publishing Your Work

Professional Identity

Impostor Phenomenon

Impostor Phenomenon is common in academia. People suffering from it believe that they are inadequate or do not belong, despite evidence to the contrary. They tell themselves “I am a fraud and and soon everyone will soon know. This belief can have a profound impact on instructor and student well-being and performance.

Writing a Powerful Teaching Philosophy Statement

A teaching philosophy statement is a powerful catalyst for reflecting upon your teaching. Reflect on your values and goals, describe how you enact them, and discuss how that impacts students' learning.

Penn State University