September 2020 Newsletter


As you navigate the challenges of this unprecedented semester, we hope you still find time to read and enjoy this month’s newsletter, which includes updates, and multiple ways of staying connected with the Teaching Academy.

New this month: The Newsletter has added a new Clinical Teachers’ Corner section for our clinical educators. Thank you Sara Scott and Barbara Anderson for putting this together! We’re also honored to feature a critical reflection on time-limited tests from Prof. Morton Ann Gernsbacher.

Have questions or comments about the newsletter? Dan Pell (, Editor


  •  Teaching Academy Fall Retreat: Friday, October 2, 9 – 11 am.   Caitlyn LoMonte (she/her/hers), Program Director of Social Justice Education at the Office of Inclusion Education will lead a workshop on the theme of creating a more inclusive climate on campus and growing our capacity to create change. This workshop will offer participants the opportunity for reflection on their own positionally and connection to systems of power and privilege by exploring what an inclusive community can look like and how individuals can incorporate principles of social justice into the Wisconsin Experience.
  • Active Teaching Labs: A program of ATLs will be offered throughout Summer 2020, focused on remote instruction.
    • Sep 09:Challenges in hybrid (F2F & Remote) synchronous instruction – How to be equitable between synchronous virtual and F2F students! | Register
    • Sep 16Adapting discussions to an online medium: How are you taking advantage of the possibilities to enhance and transform your vanilla discussion?| Register
    • Sep 23: Adapting the Wisconsin Experience for Fall Teaching: More important than ever, strategies to foster empathy & humility, relentless curiosity, intellectual confidence, and purposeful action into your courses. | Register
    • Sep 30: Engaging students in remote instruction – continuing to build on previous conversations and strategies for increased student engagement | Register
    • Oct 07: Assessment: Remote Proctoring | Register
    • Oct 14: The Art of the Breakout Group – Fostering student-to-student learning in the remote environment. | Register
    • Oct 21: Feedback tools in Canvas – Making meaningful comments on student work and helping students find feedback | Register

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


Nominate a colleague to recognize them for excellence in Teaching & Learning at UW-Madison! Apply yourself to become a member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy! We welcome nominees who work in traditional classrooms, clinical practice, field instruction, or instructional support with learners at any level.  Membership



This month we feature this contribution from one of our members, Prof. Morton Ann Gernsbacher.  Thanks Morton!

Download the PDF handout here.

Four Empirically Based Reasons NOT to Administer Time-Limited Tests 

Morton Ann Gernsbacher, PhD
Vilas Research Professor & Sir Frederic Bartlett Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
(excerpted from a peer-reviewed journal article by Gernsbacher, Soicher, and Becker-Blease available at [paywalled] and [open-access] and supported by open-access materials

Time-limited tests are less valid. For nearly a century, we’ve known that students’ test-taking pace does not validly reflect their knowledge and mastery.  Some students work slowly and perform well; others work quickly and perform poorly, and all variations exist in between. The extensive empirical evidence against the belief that “the best students take tests the fastest” comes from thousands of students taking all types of tests (e.g., open vs closed book, multiple choice vs essay) and taking tests in a wide range of academic subjects (e.g., math, science, language and literature).

Time-limited tests are less reliable. Statistical estimates of time-limited tests’ reliability are artificially inflated. The inflation is due to artifactual consistency in students’ rate of work rather than authentic consistency in students’ level of knowledge. Many instructors place time limits on their tests purely for administrative purposes. However, time limits introduce a “spurious … contribution” (Wilhelm & Schulze, 2002) that can “skew measures” (Henderson, 2005) to produce “severe problems” (Peterson, 1993) and alter the “construct the test intends to measure” (Lu & Sireci, 2007).

Time-limited tests are less inclusive. Time-limited tests exclude students with documented disabilities who, because they are legally allowed additional test-taking time, are most always literally excluded from test-taking classrooms. However, if instructors believe that their tests must be administered with a certain time limit for non-disabled students, then additional time is more likely to be a modification that should be provided to all students, rather than a disability-specific accommodation provided to only students with disabilities.

Time-limited tests are less equitable. In addition to excluding students with documented disabilities, time-limited tests can also impede

• students who are learning English;

• students from underrepresented backgrounds;

• students who are older than average; and

• students with disabilities who encounter barriers (e.g., stigma and financial expense) and therefore forego obtaining the documentation required to receive disability accommodations.



We’re excited to present this new newsletter section devoted to Clinician-Educators.

We’re excited to present this new newsletter section devoted to Clinician-Educators.
September Feature: 

Learner Climate & Orientation

As new learners are entering your clinics and classrooms, it’s imperative to make sure we create a positive learning climate! The Learner Climate & Orientation page has just the resources and ideas to implement this in your practice. EXPLORE HERE.


Clinical Teacher Learning Community

SMPH Faculty Central


Moving Education Online: 

Online Learning Best Practices

Online Learning Tools

Equity & Justice Resources

for Educators

COVID-19 Resources

Coming Soon: Telehealth Resources

The Office for Faculty Affairs & Development is currently developing a resource page to support faculty and staff that will be welcoming trainees into the telehealth environment. We will include links as soon as the page is ready to go!

Questions? Announcements for the next issue? Email Sara Scott (








The Academy Forum 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?

Read the Summer 2020 Member Responses

Click here to view all the responses from the summer newsletter. Thank you to all our readers and contributors!

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?

Answers to these questions will be published in the October Newsletter.

Submission Deadline: Please submit your answers by October 9, 2020.
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. 


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.