Templates, Tools, and Resources

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Faculty Manual for Online Teaching at Penn State (March 2017)
This manual for faculty who teach online is intended to serve as a template that academic units across the University can adapt for their own use. Once customized, the resulting manual will provide faculty with important unit-specific information about best practices, policies, and procedures related to online teaching and learning. Below are links to how several units have adapted this resource for their own needs.

Mentoring Program Template
An effective faculty mentoring program can help faculty members share and acquire the professional skills and attitudes for personal, career, and institutional success. This information is adapted from a resource created by World Campus Faculty Development in 2011 and can be adapted for your local use (e.g., Faculty Center, Penn State Harrisburg’s adaptation: Mentor Program 4-29-15).


Checklist for Administrator Review & Approval of Online Courses
The Faculty Engagement Subcommittee of the Penn State Online Coordinating Council designed this form to guide you through the initial review of an online course that has been developed by a faculty member from your unit in collaboration with a learning designer. The materials typically reviewed at this stage include a course outline/syllabus and sample lessons.

Course Revision Worksheet
There are many reasons that might lead to the need for an online course revision. The Faculty Engagement Subcommittee of the Penn State Online Coordinating Council designed this worksheet for use by course development teams to communicate the reasons for a course revision, the specific course items in need of revision, the percentage of revision needed for each course item, the personnel who need to be involved in those revisions, and the total percentage of effort that will be required. This information can then be used to assign the appropriate resources to the course revision project.

Ed Tech Advisor (ETA)
The Ed Tech Advisor (ETA) was created to help faculty and staff discover technology tools that will help them accomplish their teaching and learning goals. Trying to accomplish something and not sure what the best tool is for the job? Let the ETA help you!

Faculty Competencies for Online Teaching
The Faculty Engagement Subcommittee of the Penn State Online Coordinating Council developed this document detailing pedagogical, technical, and administrative competencies for online teaching.

Faculty Peer Review for Hybrid Courses at Penn State
The Faculty Engagement Subcommittee of the Penn State Online Coordinating Council designed, implemented, and assessed this peer review process for hybrid courses. The work is based on the “Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education,” a summary of 50 years of higher education research that addressed good teaching and learning practices.

Faculty Peer Review of Online Teaching
To address the need for online course peer review in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, the Dutton Institute designed, implemented, and assessed this peer review process for online teaching, a Peer Review Guide for Online Teaching at Penn State.

Faculty Self-Assessment for Online Teaching
The Faculty Engagement Subcommittee of the Penn State Online Coordinating Council developed this faculty self-assessment for online teaching. This tool is available for individuals to use as a self-assessment for their readiness for online teaching.

Hiring Guidelines
The Faculty Engagement Subcommittee of the Penn State Online Coordinating Council developed these documents to help guide the hiring process for online program lead faculty, course authors, and course instructors. Also included are a list of sample interview questions for online instructors.

“iStudy for Success” Tutorials
The iStudy tutorials are designed to advance students’ knowledge and skills in areas that can promote overall academic achievement, such as studying, communicating, and career planning. Faculty can incorporate these modules directly into their online course materials for their students to use.

Managing Your Online Class
A comprehensive to-do list to aid instructors when delivering a class online, from before the course begins to after it ends!

Penn State Quality Assurance e-Learning Design Standards
These standards provide a measure of quality assurance for online courses in order to serve the needs of Penn State students.

Resources for Faculty

Extensive information about accessibility and usability at Penn State.

Copyright Agreement for Instructional Materials and Courseware Commissioned by The Pennsylvania State University
This document is the official copyright agreement for instructional materials and courseware that are created as “works for hire” by Penn State.

Copyright and Creative Commons in Education and Training
This website by Penn Stater Stevie Rocco provides valuable information and resources about finding and using materials from the Internet.

Faculty Toolkit, Penn State Harrisburg
A collection of resources for faculty compiled by the Faculty Center for Teaching & Instructional Technology at Penn State Harrisburg.

A Penn State glossary of terms related to e-learning and distance education.

Hybrid Learning @ Penn State
This website is a resource where you can learn about hybrid learning at Penn State. The intent is to support a community and provide a repository for the commonwealth campuses / colleges and the former Video Learning Network to maintain resources and best practices in hybrid learning with or without a videoconferencing component.

Interface Task Force Best Practice Recommendations
This report provides recommendations of best practices to be used for the Canvas implementation. These recommendations are based on the results of a large survey of students that examined the impacts of inconsistent user interfaces on student learning experiences, and an audit of courses by multiple eLearning unit.

MOOCs at Penn State (Massive Open Online Courses)

State Authorization Regulations
The Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants all states the authority to regulate education within their boundaries. In 2011, the University’s Office of General Counsel charged Outreach and Online Education (OOE) with securing and maintaining state authorization compliance due to the presence of the World Campus in all 50 states. Penn State faculty and staff can learn more about that work and state authorizations in general via the link above.

Strategic Plans
The following sites outline components of campus and college strategic plans that relate to online teaching and learning: Notes on PSU Online Campus Strategic Plans and Notes on PSU Online College Strategic Plans.

University Libraries “Library News for the Penn State e-Learning Community”
Library News for the Penn State e-Learning Community is a monthly newsletter from Library Services to Penn State Online and the World Campus. This newsletter, written for for the e-Learning Community at Penn State, with particular focus on services and resources for Instructional Designers and Instructors and Faculty, features new databases and tutorials, library “tips and tricks,” and other information from University Libraries.

World Campus Faculty Development
The World Campus Faculty Development team is dedicated to serving the professional development needs of faculty teaching online, face-to-face, via the Video Learning Network and every combination in between!

Resources for Students

“Are You Ready to Be an Online Learner?”
The Penn State Online Coordinating Council’s Faculty Engagement Subcommittee has created this page for learners new to the online learning experience. It outlines the qualities and skills needed to be a successful online learner, and includes a self-evaluation questionnaire and links to relevant resources.

University Libraries
Students enrolled in online courses — whether residing on campus or off — are able to access much of what the University Libraries have to offer, including printed and electronic materials, books, and assistance from librarians.

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