Summer 2020 Newsletter

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We’re back!  These last few months have presented challenges to all of us, and we’ve all been learning as we go along.  We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter, which includes updates, and multiple ways of staying connected with the Teaching Academy.

This month: The Academy Forum includes response from more than a dozen academy Fellows, and Affiliates, reflecting on some of the positive aspects of our journey in remote instruction.

Upcoming Events | What’s happening in the Academy?

  • Members Only Roundtable: The spring MOR was postponed due the unavailability of a presenter. Watch your emails / the newsletter for updates about how the MOR will take place in Fall. 
  • Teaching Academy Fall Retreat:  The event will take place in an online format. We aim to capture the flavor of an in-person event, with both a plenary and breakout sessions.  Details to follow.
  • Active Teaching Labs: A program of ATLs will be offered throughout Summer 2020, focused on remote instruction.

Share events, workshops, news, or other notices for Teaching Academy members at 

Changes to the Nomination Process

This spring the Executive Committee adopted changes to the language of our nomination process.  Previously, nomination packets included “student letters of support”.  Out of concern that this could be seen to exclude those who do not work directly with “students” in the traditional sense, this was amended to read “two student letters of support from students/learners at any level”. In addition, this definition of learner was added:

“The Teaching Academy recognizes excellence in teaching and learning occurs in a variety of spaces and methods. For the purpose of nominations of Fellows, the term learner is a broad term to include students at various levels of learning and students in a variety of environments (e.g. traditional classrooms, clinical and experiential settings, through mentoring and instructional support, and professional development courses). We welcome nominees who work in traditional classrooms, clinical practice, field instruction, or instructional support with learners at any level.”

It is our hope that this will make the nomination process more inclusive, and reflective of the variety of roles through which excellence in teaching and learning is promoted across our university.  If you have questions about the changes, please be in touch!

— Dan Pell   

Congratulations | Recognizing excellence

The Teaching Academy congratulates these Fellows and FFPs who were recognized with a Spring 2020 University Housing Honored Instructors award.

William Aylward, Classic & Ancient Near Eastern Studies; Harry Brighouse, Philosophy; Krist Burkholder, Human Development and Family Studies; Duncan Carlsmith, Physics; Jonathan Gallimore, Psychology; Ralph Grunewald, English; Jamie Henke, Music; Jeff Henriques, Psychology; Jonathan Martin, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences; Richard McFarland, Anthropology; Larry Shapiro, Philosophy; Catalina Toma, Communication Arts; Barry Vanveen, Electrical and Computer Engineering; Thomas Worth, Political Science; John Zumbrunnen, Political Science

Seeking New Members: Apply to become a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy, or nominate a colleague who has demonstrated excellence in Teaching & Learning at UW-Madison. Apply

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The Academy Forum  | Share ideas with other members

Member Responses

The answers were selected from contributions by Academy members to question posed in the March newsletter. Click here to view a printer friendly version and read all the responsesThank you to all our readers and contributors!

What is one thing you enjoy about teaching/working remotely?

I enjoy being challenged to utilize new and different tools and technologies to engage with different student, faculty, and staff audiences across campus and beyond.  Claire Barrett, Fellow, UHS Prevention & Campus Health Initiatives

Learning and using a new skill set. I think the knowledge and skills I’m developing are helping me to become a better and more adaptable instructor. — Casey Gallimore, Fellow

Being around my kids and family. having meals together! having a little more time to read — Justin, Affiliate, SMPH

I enjoy seeing some students, who are reticent to raise their hand in an in-person class, become more willing to participate in classroom discussions via chat. — David Baum, Fellow, Department of Botany

The flexibility of being able to be wherever I need to be (office, home, etc) is a good option to have, particularly when we return to a normal world where travel is possible again. — Dipesh Navsaria, Fellow, SMPH

What is one habit you have formed that helps you work from home more effectively?

I now wear a fitness watch to remind me to get up and move around because I no longer have a scheduled bike commute. — JohnM, Fellow, working remotely

I schedule a later afternoon walk each day after work. It helps to provide a deadline for me to wrap up my work each day and ensures that I’ll get some time away from screens and (often) in the sunshine. — Claire BarrettFellow, UHS Prevention & Campus Health Initiative

Record all of the lectures for the week before the week’s classes begin so that students have all the material available whenever they have the time to sit down with the course material. — Jeff Henriques, Fellow, Department of Psychology

I dress for work. My partner laughs at me that on average I dress better now than before. That’s true. It helps separate work from other activities and keeps days from devolving into an indistinguishable porridge. — Eric, Fellow, L&S

I have started using Microsoft Planner to help organize my tasks. I make it a habit to continually update Planner with new tasks and to check off completed tasks. — Patrick, Fellow, Kinesiology Department

Staying off the computer as much as possible. — Ahna, Fellow, CALS/SMPH/ART/LIFE Sciences Communication

Have you changed or learned something from this experience that you think you’ll take forward once you return to your ‘normal’ teaching/work routine?

This experience has reinforced the importance of inclusive teaching. Moving forward I think I’ll be more focused on critically examining the ways in which I teach to make sure the learning experience is inclusive for all learners. — Casey Gallimore, Fellow

Learning to let go of things a little and be more flexible. being present and accepting to my moods/thoughts. staying connected with people whom I haven’t talked to for a while. — Justin, Affiliate, SMPH

Meetings don’t need to take an hour and email may not be the best way to communicate. I’m amazed at how much I can accomplish via quick texts and short messages in Teams. I’ve also become a bit too attached to my cell phone.  — PMcG, Fellow, Nursing

(…)I learned that most students really struggled with time management and spreading out their coursework. I am considering adding assignments at the beginning of the semester that will help students organize everything and stay on top of their course work. Hopefully, this will prevent them from going into triage mode. — Jonathan Gallimore, Affiliate, Department of Psychology

I now better understand the wisdom of encouraging colleagues to stay home when ill, both for their benefit and the benefit of others. The same applies to me! — Cathy Middlecamp Fellow   Nelson Institute

Thank you to this issue’s guest editor, Sandrine Pell.

This is a space waiting for YOU to fill it! This is a chance to share ideas and inspiration with Fellows, FFPs, Affiliates & partners across campus! Why not take 5 minutes to share a few thoughts right now?

Contribute to the NEXT Academy Forum:

  • How have you sought feedback from students on their experience of remote instruction? What were students’ top requests based on that feedback?
  • How do define a classroom community? How can this be built in both shared physical and shared virtual spaces?
  • What has been your funniest or most embarrassing remote class or meeting experience?

Submission Deadline: Please submit your answers by August 16.
Responses included in the newsletter will typically be less than one paragraph, but in some cases we may include a longer response. Responses may be edited for brevity and to fit the format of the newsletter

Get involved! | Ways to contribute to the Academy’s ongoing activities

Active Teaching Labs —
Improve campus teaching by helping to plan, organize, and facilitate instructor-to-instructor sharing of experiences using technology to teach better.
Newsletter & Academy Forum —
Join the planning committee, contribute to the forum, act as guest editor for the Academy newsletter
Fall Retrea​t | Winter Retreat —
Join the committee to plan, organize & facilitate campus-wide teaching development events 
U-Class —
Explore teaching and learning from the student perspective by attending our U-CLaSS sessions
Analytics Committee —
Help ensure that we are capturing the right information to determine who our programs are reaching, whether participants find them valuable and, most importantly, if there was something they learned through participation.
Affiliate/Clinical Affiliate —
Teaching experiential courses, from clinic to fieldwork? Become involved in growing the clinical affiliate or affiliate program 
Nomination Committee —
We are seeking Fellows (Faculty & Academic Staff) and FFPs to help review nominations.  Honor great campus educators & promote excellence by helping to review nominations to the Teaching Academy.   
Executive Committee seeks FFP Members —
The Executive Committee spearheads all major Teaching Academy events and activities throughout the course of the year, providing invaluable insight and experience to the larger Teaching & Learning community. 
Feedback on Teaching (FOT) Committee —
This joint effort between the Teaching Academy and the Collaborative for Advancing Learning & Teaching offers an opportunity for a graduate student to participate in scaling up and implementing a new program across campus.