Mini-courses in College Teaching

Course Development Seminar

If you’re designing a course to teach here at Penn (or another institution), or for a job market sample and you’d like some structure, feedback and camaraderie to keep you on track, consider signing up for CTL’s Course Development Seminar.
This program will meet in Spring 2017 on six Mondays from 12-1:30pm at CTL in Van Pelt Library. As a group, we will work on articulating course objectives, identifying content/readings, designing assignments/assessments and crafting course policies. After the first meeting, each session will require all participants to submit an element of their course. It is open to doctoral students and post-docs in any discipline.

Meeting days: 2/20, 2/27, 3/13, 3/27, 4/10, 4/24

To sign up or for more information, please email Ian Petrie.

Active Learning in STEM Courses

When implemented effectively, active learning techniques have been shown to improve learning outcomes. This four week mini-course is designed to help participants explore active learning and consider how to effectively implement these techniques in various classroom settings. This course is intended for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in utilizing these techniques in recitations or their own courses, now or in the future.

CTL will offer one section in the Summer 2017. For more information contact Julie McGurk.

Here is the syllabus for the course: Syllabus for Summer 2015

Evidence-Based Teaching

This five-meeting mini course is designed to give graduate students and post-docs an introduction to research applicable to student learning which may be translated into concrete teaching strategies across the disciplines. As a group, we will read and discuss a selection of research articles and book chapters concerning such topics as the effective use of class time, assessment strategies, student study habits and note-taking.

CTL will offer one section in Summer 2017. For more information contact Ian Petrie.

Online Teaching

This four-meeting mini course is designed to introduce graduate students to online teaching, considering both how to teach a course that is fully online and how to use online content and digital pedagogies in their face-to-face course. The sessions work to help graduate students prepare not only for online and technology-enhanced teaching at Penn, but also in their future careers as faculty in an increasingly digital academy.
This will next be offered in Fall 2017.

Here is a draft of the syllabus for Fall 2016.


Course in College Teaching

The Course in College Teaching is a ten-session seminar intended to prepare postdoctoral fellows and graduate students nearing the job market to teach college courses and to help them develop as instructors. The course will provide a structured series of workshops and discussions to help PhD students or postdoctoral fellows with little or no teaching experience. (Note: except in fields like design where a masters is a terminal degree, the Course in College Teaching is not appropriate for masters students.) Each session will use practical, hands-on activities to help students reflect on their own teaching goals and style. Students who complete the course will consider concrete ways of organizing, preparing for and teaching a course. Students will also create a portfolio of teaching materials – from sample assignments to in-class activities to syllabi – that they can use on the job market and to prepare them for their future as teachers.

CTL will offer one section of this course in Fall 2017. For more information contact Cathy Turner.

Here is a sample syllabus: Fall_2016_CCT_syllabus.docx

Teaching with Digital Tools

This mini course will introduce graduate students to a range of tools that they might use for teaching and provide a test kitchen where they can try tools, design assignments and lessons, and get and give feedback on their teaching ideas. The seminar is geared both toward students who are novices in digital environments and students with a good bit of experience in the hopes that instructors with a range of different experiences can help each other develop effective ideas for incorporating digital tools into their classes. By the end of the four-week session, students will have some familiarity with a range of digital tools and have designed a complete assignment that they might use in a class.

For more information contact Cathy Turner