2019-2020 Annual Report

2019-2020 annual report from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Teaching Academy 

Mission: We promote, recognize, and support excellence in teaching and learning across the UW–Madison community.

Who we are: The Teaching Academy is composed of approximately 500 volunteer faculty, instructional staff, and graduate students who are recognized by their peers for sustained, demonstrated teaching excellence. Our membership is strengthened by affiliates who teach in classroom, clinic, or field settings around the state.

In collaboration with the Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning our key accomplishments are as follows: 

Accomplishment 1: We made significant changes to the nomination process (including bylaw changes) by offering three pathways for membership as a Fellow and Future Faculty Partner with the goal of removing barriers and expanding the reach of our mission to recognize excellence in teaching. Additionally, we streamlined the application process for Affiliates and Clinical Affiliates.

Accomplishment 2:  To increase our shared governance, a Future Faculty Partner we added a co-chair to the Executive Committee, and modified the composition of the Executive Committee to be more representative and balanced, with 5 Future Faculty Partners, 5 Academic Staff, and 5 Faculty Fellows. Similarly, we participated actively in the search for the new VPTL, submitting an amicus brief to the search committee and actively participating in four events with the two candidates (Executive Committee members participated in Q & A  during these online events).

Accomplishment 3: We expanded our reach and contributions to the larger campus community, and we maintained robust participation in our annual events (Figure 1). We strengthened our engagement in policy discussions through active participation in meetings of the Collaborative for Advancing Teaching and Learning. We are growing the UW Madison Teaching Academy as depicted in Figure 2 below.

Accomplishment 4: We sustained and continued to expand collaborative relationships through engagement with the health sciences programs. We developed an introductory video discussing the benefits of becoming a member of the Teaching Academy, the three tracks to become a member, and the ways in which the clinical affiliate can be a starting point for early career educators. 

Accomplishment 5: We responded to COVID-19 by increasing access to campus resources, including resources specifically for Teaching Assistants, through a centralized hub that connects users back to central campus efforts, as to not duplicate ongoing work. 

Accomplishment 6: We fostered inclusivity across learning environments, with a focus on diversity and educators at all levels of experience. The fall and winter retreats emphasized inclusivity and diversity and were open to the public; the Members Only Roundtables (MOR) and Undergraduate Chat, Learn, and Share Space (UCLASS) continued to broaden its reach with events for tutors, and a planned UCLASS event with the Athletic Department and the FIG program (postponed because of the pandemic response), and the Teaching Academy had representation (Adrian Treves) on the Committee for Disability Access, including as Co-Chair for Instructional Access. 

Accomplishment 7: We responded to COVID-19 by shifting priorities and planning for virtual events for the rest of 2020. We established a collaborative relationship with the Teaching Assistants Association (TAA), wherein individuals who request resources or support for teaching through the TAA are now referred directly to the Teaching Academy website and the Executive Committee co-chairs for additional support and follow-up.

Accomplishment 8: We committed to revive and expand our Feedback on Teaching (FOT) initiative. The purpose of FOT is to match feedback partners for the purpose of building a strong, interdisciplinary community of engaged teachers across campus, and to foster a culture of peer feedback and collegiality in teaching and learning. Members of the Teaching Academy and from the Collaborative are working in partnership to lead this renewed effort.

Figure 1: Attendance at 2019-2020 Teaching Academy Events

Date Event Description Number Registered Number Attended
7/25/2019 Members Only Roundtable 15 10
8/20-21/2019 TA LEaP 83 32
8/22-23/2019 I LEaP 95 53
9/8/2019 U CLASS no pre-registration 210
9/27/2019 Fall Retreat 2019 200 122
11/4/2019 Members Only Roundtable no pre-registration 20
1/14-15/2019 LEaP 100 53
1/31/2020 Winter Retreat 133  98*
1/31/2020 Induction 22 Inductees plus guests 22 Inductees, 53 with guests
3/11/2020 Members Only Roundtable no pre-registration cancelled
3/31/2020 FFP Meetup no pre-registration cancelled
4/23/2020 FFP Meetup no pre-registration cancelled

*Includes day-of attendees who were unable to register because registration capacity met

2019 UWTA new membership tracking

Figure 2: Teaching Academy Membership by Year

Long-range Goal: To forward our mission of recognizing, promoting and supporting teaching and learning, we anticipate continued growth in our membership and through supporting excellence in teaching and learning by continuing to offer successful events and high-quality programs. We will continue to engage in quality improvement and program assessment to evaluate programming effectiveness, cost-efficiency and inform strategic planning.  We will review and appraise our programming to ensure we continue to align with the VPTL vision and promote the four core areas of intellectual and personal growth of the Wisconsin Experience. 

Tentative Short-Term Goals for FY 2021

  • Improve efficiency and expand effectiveness of program data to inform decision-making by streamlining assessment processes through software or other existing technologies and reducing manual effort.
  • Partner with health sciences programs to host teaching and learning event(s) or members only meeting(s) (MOR) in spring 2021.
  • Support teaching and learning and provide high-quality remote learning experiences to our members and participants by offering Teaching Academy events and meetings virtually.
  • Engage graduate student educators through Future Faculty Partner (FFP) meetings hosted at least twice per semester virtually or face-to-face.
  • Further develop educators through the Feedback on Teaching (FOT) initiative. Although the pandemic response slowed FOT progress to our FY20 goals, we remain on track for FY21 goals, which include (a) shifting initial focus to support online, hybrid and remote teaching, and (b) addressing how FOT can bridge the gap between formative feedback from observer to instructor and the summative feedback that supervisory individuals and bodies may one day need on teaching effectiveness.
  • Initiate discussions for developing leaders in teaching and learning to mentor emerging faculty, instructors, and teaching assistants. 

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