Erica C. Fleming
Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning
Penn State College of IST
My first academic job was teaching writing courses. For seven years, I taught first-year composition and professional writing for the Program in Writing and Rhetoric in the English Department at Penn State. I constantly sought to improve my teaching through professional development and research on best practices. Most notably, I spent the summer of 2017 revising my Business Writing courses to a blended format with overwhelmingly positive results.
In the College of IST, I teach three sections of IST 389: Leadership and Technology for Instruction each semester. This course prepares undergraduate Learning Assistants (LA’s) to partner with faculty and students in the classroom. The course focuses on the science of learning, coaching strategies, providing feedback, evaluating work, and facilitating teams. I revised this course to incorporate the Universal Design for Learning framework, both to help my students feel more included in the classroom and also to model positive teaching strategies that I hope my LA’s will take with them into their own classrooms.
In fall 2023, I had the opportunity to develop and teach IST 130: Emerging Technologies and Popular Culture. This course focuses on Generative AI and different art forms (visual art, writing, music, interactive art). The class is a General Education: General Arts credit and it enrolled more than 300 students from across all disciplines at Penn State. I was able to create engagement opportunities that support student learning and sustain interest in a large enrollment course. Additionally, I supervised a group of 8 course assistants who facilitated student engagement, provided technical assistance, managed course communication, and offered feedback on assignments. This allowed me to put into practice many of the things I teach IST faculty about working with course assistants in the classroom.
This is a video lecture on effective peer review that I used in my Business Writing course. I created these video lectures for a blended version of the class; students would watch lecture content during “online” class days, and in-person class time was reserved for discussion, writing, and interactivity.