R. Neill Johnson, Ph.D.
Since 2010, Johnson has been the director of Penn State Learning, where he has taken a learning communities approach to undergraduate peer tutor development. He is currently working on a project with the Department of Statistics to assess the effects of teaching assistants and tutors sharing their mathematical authority by answering student questions with questions and by teaching students to work through problems at the board with the help of their peers. Johnson is also part of an interdisciplinary working group at Penn State that is designing a summer bridge course for minority science and engineering scholarship students that introduces them to primary research on effective learning strategies and how to apply these strategies in their other courses. Course modules have been designed for easy adaptation by other faculty to first-year seminars and tutor/learning assistant preparation programs.
Prior to joining the staff of Penn State Learning, Johnson worked for fifteen years in faculty development, serving most recently as director of instructional development and research at the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence. Co-author of The Penn State Teacher II, Johnson has also published on multicultural teaching and tutor preparation. From 2004 to 2006, he represented Penn State on a three-year American Association of Higher Education/Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching team investigating the scholarship of multicultural teaching and learning. His other research interests include writing across the curriculum, reading skills development, e-Portfolios, and problem-based learning.
Johnson holds a Ph.D. in English from Penn State and B.A and M.A. degrees in English from the University of South Carolina. His undergraduate teaching includes first-year composition, technical writing, and writing-intensive literature courses. He has also taught College Teaching, a higher education course for graduate students of all disciplines, and numerous other short courses and workshops for faculty and future faculty.
Photo: Brooke Baker