Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence offers short courses this summer

April 16, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence will offer four short courses and events for faculty during summer 2021. Space is limited for some courses and events and deadlines to apply are coming up in late April and early May.

Take Action for Student Learning

This four-week, online course provides an opportunity for faculty from all disciplines to apply the Decoding the Disciplines framework to engage, motivate and foster deep learning in their students. Participants will identify and unpack their own discipline-based knowledge in order to help their students overcome a specific learning challenge. They will then re-design a learning activity to address the challenge.

This course is entirely online. Meetings will be on the following Tuesdays and Thursdays: June 1, 3, 8, 10, 15, 17, 22, 24.

A Qualtrics application, which can be found here, is due by May 7. More information on the “Take Action for Student Learning” can be found here.

2021 Course Design Academy: (Re)design a Course This Summer

The Course Design Academy is one of the Schreyer Institute’s signature programs and will be delivered virtually during summer 2021.

This course will guide faculty as they design a new course or redesign a course they’ve already been teaching. During the month of June, faculty will have the opportunity to work with design coaches and peers from across Penn State. Participants will be able to develop a course syllabus —and other artifacts such as draft assignments — that integrate advanced design principles along with evidence-based practices in teaching, learning and assessment.

Synchronous sessions will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Mondays and Fridays from June 1 to 25, and Aug. 4.

Space in the course is limited and applications are due by April 30. Information on how to apply can be found at

2021 Teaching and Learning Scholarship (TLS) Academy: Grading Differently

This series of summer sessions will help faculty re-think grading and explore alternatives to conventional grading practices such as “spec” grading, contract grading, un-grading and other variations.

Participants are asked to attend all three summer Zoom sessions from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on May 27, June 3 and June 17. In addition to the three sessions, the Schreyer Institute will offer optional check-ins throughout the summer, and monthly check-ins with the participant group throughout the 2021-22 academic year.

Full-time faculty should apply here by April 30. More information can be found at

Writing about Teaching Virtual Writing Group(s)

Faculty are invited to join virtual writing groups during summer 2021. These mostly informal groups meet periodically to set aside dedicated writing time and hold each other accountable for moving forward with research projects related to teaching and learning. Groups will be formed based on interest and availability.

To see what writing groups are like, guests are invited to sit in on the current group, which meets every Friday from 1 to 3 p.m. until the end of the spring 2021 semester. 

Interested faculty should fill out this survey.

Questions can be directed to Adam Smith or Laura Cruz.

The Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence is part of the Penn State Office of Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at

Last Updated April 16, 2021