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Learning Design : Home

Info about Learning Design Team

We provide and innovate in learning design for research and critical information navigation. We foster the use of new technologies and techniques for teaching and learning.

Spaces, Materials, and Equipment

Our spaces, materials, and equipment play an active role in advancing campus learning, enabling new kinds of teaching and allowing learners to explore new technologies and research practices.

We lend equipment and offer spaces for media production, immersive technology, and making.

Services and Programs for Faculty, Students, and Staff

Learning Design services and programs are communicated to our learners, easy to access and use, clear in their purpose, and resonant with their audiences. Our programs focus on and partner with undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, librarians, and community members across Philadelphia. Our programs include:

  • Instructional Design and Teaching Collaborations - We work with faculty and instructors to develop and teach new assignments, technologies, and strategies.
  • Critical Writing Program Collaboration - We work with the Critical Writing Program to foster students' research skills.
  • Library Lounge Tutorials - We work with faculty and librarians to create custom training modules and videos.
  • Level Up - We work with students to teach their peers research tools, design and media production, and making.

Course Profiles

The Learning Design team has worked with faculty and classes across campus to design and support assignments that make use of equipment and software available through the library.  Learn more about how some courses incorporated tools and resources from the Penn Libraries: 

Studying Teaching and Research Behavior

We study teaching and research behavior at Penn and keep up with emerging trends in information literacy, pedagogy, and learning technology.  Our team members shape the library-based teaching and learning landscape at Penn and beyond. Here are a few examples of our work:

Learning Design Team

The TRL Learning Design team:

  • Serves as a conduit and incubator for new learning methodologies and technologies
  • Empowers faculty, librarians, and other instructors to become more effective teachers
  • Prepares students to be technologically adaptive and information literate researchers, to be engaged and critical thinkers and doers at Penn and beyond
  • Extends the possibilities of new research practices and technologies to Penn and the larger Philadelphia community

We do this by providing space, access to technology, training, teaching support, and student, faculty, and librarian programs.  

Our Values

  • We work across the libraries and the university as partners.
  • We believe that good initiatives include research, assessment, and engagement.
  • We believe inclusive spaces, programs, and initiatives build stronger outcomes and a better environment for everyone

Kayt Ahnberg

Student Engagement Librarian

Katherine provides ongoing design, implementation, and evaluation of Commons instructional offerings and student assistance services focusing on undergraduates. She serves as a liaison to partners around campus that are integral to the library's core student services.

Dorothy Espalto

Digital Media and Design Specialist

Dorothy combines her skills in design, communication, and project management to support the Libraries' outreach and engagement efforts.

Katie Rawson

Director of Learning Innovation

Katie Rawson leads the Learning Design team. Contact her to explore course collaborations, new programs and services, Level Up, and the Librarians Teaching Institute.  Also happy to talk about pedagogy, technology, and food culture.

Chava Spivak-Birndorf

Emerging Technologies Librarian

Chava coordinates Education Commons services, including 3D printing and other technology resources for teaching and collaboration. Chava moved to the Education Commons from the Weigle Information Commons, where she worked as an intern, providing support for NVivo, web design, coding, and developing an online presence.

David Toccafondi

Media Lab Manager

David Toccafondi manages the Vitale Digital Media Lab. He is a Penn alumnus, and has worked at the Library in various capacities since 1995.