Fischer Speaker Series

Fischer Speaker LogoThe COIL Fischer speaker series is an opportunity to engage the Penn State community and beyond with world-class scientist, researchers, industry leaders, and theorists on a wide variety of topics impacting innovation in education and the transformation of the educational process. Funded by a gift from Dr. Richard and Claudia Fischer, this speaker series is delivered in a hybrid format with a live audience as well as live-streaming to a world-wide audience. Speakers are invited to visit the Penn State campus and interact with students, staff, and faculty in both formal and informal gatherings. The COIL Fischer talk is generally hosted in the Foster Auditorium on the University Park campus in State College, Pennsylvania.

All Fischer Speaker Series events are recorded and archived and can be found on our YouTube Channel. Below you will find a listing of all posts on our website related to the Fischer Speaker Series events, both past and present. For a list of only upcoming events, please visit

The COIL Fischer Speaker Series is co-sponsored and hosted by Penn State Libraries

Originally Held: September 8, 2016

The steady drumbeat of critiques against higher education’s value as both a public and private good have led many university leaders to ask—where must we do a better job articulating the value of what we offer to students, employers, and our communities, and where must we innovate to meet the needs of a changing world? This… Read more »

Originally Held: August 9, 2016

In this COIL Fischer Speaker Series presentation, Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning, confronts and uncovers some of the “scary monsters” and “super creeps” hidden within new and emerging, unbundled models of higher education. Who are the scary monsters? Where can they be found? What nightmares are they telling us about the… Read more »

Originally Held: April 4, 2016

The Open University (OU) is a global leader in quality online, open and distance education with more than 180,000 students and 8,000 faculty and staff. Like many organizations, the OU is embracing data and learning analytics as an increasingly important approach for understanding learner behaviors. During this Fischer Speaker Series event, Dr. Tynan explores… Read more »

Originally Held: October 29, 2015 (as part of our Competency-Based Education Meets Higher Education event)

During this COIL Fischer Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Marni Baker Stein shares insights gained from her role in leading the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning. In that role, Dr. Baker Stein led the development of the first system-wide personalized, competency-based education program aimed at learners from… Read more »

Originally Held: October 19, 2015

Higher education is facing a crisis of access, quality, and outcomes. Across the country, universities have invested in similar initiatives to reform their models of course design, delivery, measurement, and improvement. Penn State, a Founding Investor of Unizin, has been active in exploring solutions to these issues as well. Unizin, a University-owned consortium focused on improving… Read more »