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Project #120

Promoting Excellence in Teaching through Online Faculty and TA Development

The promoting Excellence in Teaching through Online Faculty and Teaching Assistant (TA) Development project created online faculty and teaching assistant development modules that focus on important instructional processes (e.g., providing effective feedback, scaffolding learning, checking comprehension, posing engaging discussion questions, and designing appropriate assessments) in common instructional situations such as:  lectures, labs, class discussions, office hours, distance and blended formats, and written work.


  • Administered a needs analysis that identified the topics for two online self-access professional development modules. The analysis included the points of view of 170 department chairs, faculty, and TAs from a variety of programs and 510 students, allowing the content of these modules to be tailored to the real needs of “instructional personnel” at PSU.
  • Developed two multi­-step online self-access learning plans featuring classroom video and online environments. The online modules focused on student engagement and teaching with technology, both topics determined based on the initial needs analysis.


The faculty and TA online modules developed through this project provide a place- and time-independent format of professional development. The topics of the modules are based on a needs assessment of PSU faculty and students and are therefore highly relevant.  It is our hope that this will encourage faculty and TAs to reflect on their teaching and identify concrete ways to improve their practice. In particular, the modules seek to reach faculty and TAs who do not currently take advantage of services offered through the Office of Academic Innovation. Faculty and TAs who have completed the online modules should have a better understanding of how to engage students and make effective use of instructional technology.  The modules can be accessed by creating a free LearnerWeb account at


For more information, please see the project End-of-Project Report, Project Artifacts and Final Expenditure Report.


  • Nike Arnold - Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


  • Kathy Harris, Assistant Professor, Applied Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Steve Thorne, Assistant Professor of Second Language Acquisition, World Languages and Literatures, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Christof Teuscher, Assistant Professor, Maseeh College of Engineering & Computer Science
  • Glen Sasek, Learner Web Technology Director, Applied Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
  • Will Caston, PSU Student
  • Zapoura Newton-Calvert, Capstone Instructor, University Studies, Office of Academic Affairs
  • Janelle Voegele, Director, Teaching, Learning and Assessment, Office of Academic Innovation
  • Keith Walters, Professor & Chair, Applied Linguistics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences



Project Management Plan

Project Plan

Status Reports

Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

Original Proposal