News & Announcements

Recruiting Applicants for Graduate Research Assistant

We have an opening for a Graduate Assistantship for the Spring 2018-19 semester. The person in this position will focus on supporting the work of the Faculty Development Resources (FDR) working group, which is part of Penn State`s Transforming Education strategic goal.

Responsibilities:

  • Conduct semi-structured face-to-face or video interviews (using the FDR interview protocol) with faculty from multiple Penn State locations and varied disciplines.
  • Review interviews for accuracy (after processing by transcription service) and conduct qualitative analysis of interview transcript data.
  • Conduct a systematic, comprehensive literature review related to entry points and pathways faculty members take to improve and/or innovate teaching and students' learning (with and without technology and across multiple instructional modes).
  • Benchmark with other institutions, including our Big Ten peers, about whether and how they provide a centralized resource for faculty development information, people, services, and technology.
  • Support the work of the FDR working group, including attending and contributing to group meetings.

Required qualifications:

  • Status as a doctoral student who has completed all coursework and will have passed all aspects of comprehensive exams before January 1, 2019;
  • Experience with qualitative research methods, specifically semi-structured interviews
  • Experience with qualitative data analysis
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work independently and with members of the FDR working group

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience in organizing, designing and conducting an online survey, a possible follow-on project to the interviews described above
  • Experience talking about university teaching across disciplinary boundaries
  • Ability to conduct a Zoom video conference meeting

To apply, visit Penn State's job site, https://psu.jobs/job/83717. Your application packet should include a cover letter describing your experience with conducting interviews and analyzing qualitative data; a CV; contact information only for two academic references familiar with your research skills; and the Institute's Conditions and Requirements Form.

Application review will begin November 19, 2018. We can only consider hiring graduate students who meet the Schreyer Institute’s Graduate Assistantship Conditions and Requirements and who sign and submit the form with their application.

Does ‘High-Impact’ Teaching Cause High-Impact Fatigue?

By Jane S. Halonen and Dana S. Dunn | NOVEMBER 27, 2018

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently posted an article asking this question. Don't let the negative headline discourage you from reading this article. It includes some great ways to reduce the workload associated with some high-impact practices – HIPs, as they’re known. These are good practices in general, not solely for HIPs, and its a quick read!

Accepting Applications for Faculty Consultant

We have an opening for an experienced faculty developer on a continuing, full-time faculty appointment (non-tenure track). The successful candidate will be committed to teaching enhancement and its advocacy, have relevant teaching experience, and experience in faculty development. Salary and rank will be commensurate with experience.

Candidates with experience of student success initiatives that integrate how faculty can enhance student persistence, achievement, and graduation rates will receive priority.

The Institute is based at the University Park campus in State College, PA, but is responsible for working with over 5,800 faculty and graduate students teaching 90,000+ students at more than 20 different locations throughout Pennsylvania.

Responsibilities:

  • Work with faculty and TAs as they develop face-to-face, blended, and online courses
  • Collaborate with a variety of faculty and academic units design and develop curricula, learning activities, student feedback, quizzes, and exams
  • Design, present, and evaluate workshops, seminars, and other teaching and learning activities
  • Develop materials and resources that encourage use of effective and evidence-based teaching and evaluation strategies
  • Partner with other Penn State faculty to conduct and advance teaching and learning scholarship
  • Develop and provide leadership for projects related to the priorities of the university and the Institute
  • Extend the Institute’s outreach to and personal interactions with other faculty
  • Serve as the faculty liaison to designated academic departments and other teaching and learning support units

Academic Expectations:

  • Academic and scholarly competence and credibility
  • Teaching experience at the university level
  • Contributions to teaching and learning scholarship
  • Active participation in national organizations focused on post-secondary teaching and learning

REQUIRED:

  • Experience working in a teaching center or relevant consulting and workshop experience
  • Excellent interpersonal and consultative skills, oral and written communication skills, and team skills
  • Initiative and flexibility
  • Evidence of success in post-secondary teaching

Preferred:

  • Experience working with faculty from a variety of academic cultures and disciplines
  • Understanding of the variability in teaching missions across a multi-campus institution and the impact that has on faculty roles and teaching challenges
  • Knowledge of diverse student populations and issues faced by those from underrepresented groups
  • Knowledge of student learning and faculty development literatures

Degree qualifications: Ph.D. preferred, Master’s required. Applications should include a cover letter, CV, faculty development philosophy statement, and the names and contact information (only) for three references. Submit applicants through the Penn State Jobs website. Screening will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

What College Students Learn from Teaching Others

Larkin N. Hood, The Pennsylvania State University

This article describes what undergraduate students learned from participating in a museum docent program at a large, public university on the West Coast of the United States. The majority (93%) of students report an increase in their ability to effectively communicate specialized knowledge to museum visitors in one or more of the following ways: 1) identifying what visitors know and adjusting their explanations accordingly; 2) translating technical information to visitors; 3); communicating information in an active, hands-on manner; 4) confidently communicating their knowledge to others. Students reported personal and professional benefits as well. In addition to this focused observation approach, student reflections were analyzed for two pre-identified themes. Benefits reported by student docents can be realized by other undergraduate students teaching in contexts other than a museum, as long as students doing the teaching receive frequent feedback, fulfill an authentic need among those whom they teach, and take time to reflect on their teaching experiences. Archaeologists who want their students to achieve key learning goals such as effective communication can help students reach these goals by providing them with opportunities to teach what they have learned to others.

To read the full article, visit the Journal of Archaeology and Education's website.

To Teach is to Learn: Laurie Grobman, professor of English at Penn State Berks, talks about her "anything is possible" lesson

The mantra that "anything is possible" is the lesson that award-winning professor, Laurie Grobman, brings to her teaching. She encourages other educators to experiment as instructors, whether in the classroom or, especially by stepping outside of the classroom, as she so often does, by working with community partners.

Realizing the optimistic concept that anything is possible, is key for success in engaged scholarship, according to Grobman. This can be tricky, she admits, because students crave and have grown used to structure and predictability in the classroom. Sometimes, however, a greater lesson can come from ambiguity, Dr. Grobman has found.

Students at all levels can handle working outside of the classroom but it works better with upper level students when it is less structured, she notes.

In this podcast, Grobman describes how she keeps her "anything is possible" mantra in mind as she brings students on learning adventures that are likely to stay with them the rest of their lives.

Listen to the conversation with Grobman. This podcast is part of the To Teach is to Learn series produced by Nichola Gutgold. You can find the full collection by searching Gutgold in the Schreyer Institute's Tools & Resources Repository.

Fifteen Years of Bringing Theory to Practice: An Infographic

Since its launch in 2003, Bringing Theory to Practice (BTtoP) has awarded nearly 600 grants to 359 institutions, published seven books, and hosted nearly two dozen national convenings. In the process, they’ve brought together a remarkable community of educational innovators. They’re proud of the range of contributions that BTtoP has made to renewing the core purposes of undergraduate education.

Now on the cusp of a new chapter of work, as they develop new initiatives and strategies building on the achievements of their first fifteen years. Yet they’ve been struck that—even among our participants and friends—the extent of BTtoP’s contributions isn’t fully known. As they lean into their next chapter, they thought it would be helpful to look back and provide an infographic overview of what BTtoP has done. It offers a vivid snapshot of the grants, research, convenings, publications, innovation, and community building that Bringing Theory to Practice has supported.

If you are interested in delving deeper into their work, please contact info@bttop.org. And if you are interested in joining the conversation about the future goals, projects, and priorities of Bringing Theory to Practice, you're invited to fill out their feedback survey.

Graphical representation of data presented in the article.

SRTEs Go Mobile!

This semester students can choose to submit SRTEs using the new mobile friendly web version for phones and tablets. No app download is necessary, upon sign-in students will see this option when they have active SRTEs to complete. Students may find it convenient to respond to open-ended questions using the voice-recognition built into their mobile devices.

Screen shot of mobile icon from SRTE tool. 
Screen shot of Mobile SRTE icon.

When students choose the mobile option, they will see only one question at a time, rather than the entire SRTE form on their screens.

The regular web version SRTE is still available for students with laptops or without mobile devices.

Faculty will also be able to use the mobile version to check response rates for courses with active SRTEs. Those faculty who are concerned about response rates will be interested in taking advantage of this new functionality by asking students with mobile devices to complete their SRTEs during class.

Faculty: please remember that if you set aside class time for students to complete the SRTE, you need to leave the room.

Workshops & Seminars