February 2024 Newsletter

Teaching Academy bannerWelcome to our February newsletter! With spring semester in full swing, we hope you find time to read and enjoy this month’s newsletter, which includes updates and multiple ways of staying connected with the Teaching Academy.

This month, we look back at community events in the Teaching Academy. Explore applications of AI in the classroom: the Retreat Recap makes it easy to review the individual presentations from the Winter Retreat on AI: Teaching & Tools. Students from the Posse Program give a learners’ eye view of interaction, communications, and student learning: read a summary of their Fall 2023 U-CLaSS discussion. Also from the students’ perspective, take a few minutes to watch an engaging student-created video about Linguistic Diversity and Belonging at UW-Madison (from the Language Institute). And…get set for spring (or summer!) with professional learning opportunities in the Center for Teaching, Learning and Mentoring, the Delta Program, and the Discussion Project.

Questions or comments about the newsletter? Contact Dan Pell and Sarah Pultorak, Editorseditor-uwta-newsletter@g-groups.wisc.edu 


Upcoming Events | What’s happening in the Academy?

Teaching and Learning Meetups

  • Teaching and Learning Meetups. Open to all! First and Third Thursdays, 4-6pm at the Memorial Union in the Rathskeller. We’ll grab a table or two for informal conversations. Look for the “T&L Meetup” table tents. Come connect with other educators who are passionate about teaching and learning. Bring a question or comment you’d like to talk about, or just jump into conversation at hand. Food, coffee, and other beverages nearby. Join us! Questions about the T&L Meetups? Contact John Martin johnmartin@wisc.edu

2024 Winter Retreat Recap | AI: Teaching & Tools

On February 2, 2024 over 230 instructors, staff, and graduate students gathered in the DeLuca Forum and on Zoom for the Teaching Academy’s 2024 Winter Retreat – AI: Teaching & Tools. Seventeen speakers from a wide range of disciplines shared anecdotes, stories and experiences of diverse ways in which AI is already being used in education to support teaching and student learning.

Missed the event? Want to look back?

Thank you to our speakers! — John Zumbrunnen, Vice-Provost for Teaching & Learning, Wendy Fritz, School of Business, Kaiser Pister, Computer Sciences, Andy Kuemmel, Computer Science, Lauren Rosen, UW Collaborative Language Program, Anthony Orzechowski, Engineering Professional Development, Emily Hall, Writing Center, Syed Abdul Hadi, Wisconsin Center for Education Research, Roey Kafri, Curriculum & Instruction, Duncan Carlsmith, Physics, Andrea Hicks, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Lynne Cotter, Journalism & Mass Communication, Nathan Jung, Technical Communications Program, Jan Miernowski, French, Debra Deppeler, Computer Science, Dan Pell, Center for Teaching, Learning and Mentoring, Adam Gratch, Law School, Kaitlin Sundling, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Thank you to the Volunteers and Planning Committee! — Angela Kita (Co-Chair), Christine Rybak, Dan Pell (Co-Chair), Franklin Hobbs, John Martin, John Parrish, Karen Hershberger, Karin Spader, Kelly Copolo, Lisa Jong, Mary K. Thompson, Peter Van Kan, Tim Dalby

Questions about the Retreat? Want to help plan? Contact Angela Kita & Dan Pell retreats-uwta@g-groups.wisc.edu


U-CLaSS Recap | Conversations with Students in the Posse Program

U-CLaSS (Undergraduate Chat Learn and Share Space) chats give students the opportunity to talk with instructors about common issues, challenges and possibilities in teaching and learning. … Students are also encouraged to share their perspectives on what works and what doesn’t work for them in the classroom on issues ranging from assignments and learning activities to assessments.

These comments come from conversations with Posse Program students at a “lunch & learn” event on Nov 2, 2023.

What students say about instructors as experts

Teach new concepts in a truly step by step fashion, make sure you start with the basics, and make sure you identify each step. Make sure you as the expert are not passing over steps that you know, but that the students may not be aware are involved in the process.

Be careful about going off on expert level tangents during lecture. If you do decide to include information not directly related to the content at hand, make sure you know that students will be able to understand that expert content. More importantly, make sure that anything you discuss that is a tangent to the course content does not end up on an assignment or exam. Those tangents you present won’t be covered in discussions led by teaching assistants, and if you teach a course with multiple sections and instructors that share the same exam those tangents won’t be covered for those students.

Reaching out to students

Survey students before setting office hours so that the times you offer will work for you as the instructor, but also for as many students as possible in the class.

Students want to be able to connect directly with their professors about course content, not just the teaching assistants for the class.

8 Tips about Student learning (from the students’ perspective)

  1. Survey students at the start of class to find out what they may already know, and more importantly what they may not know, or may have misunderstandings about that you can then emphasize and/or correct when teaching the class.
  2. Be mindful of “balance” in your course. Consider the balance within your course between assignments and exams. Consider the balance between workload in your class and other courses in your major, and be aware that students are taking other classes as well.
  3. Consider providing study guides or practice problems. Problems should be similar to what will be on exams.
  4. No class should be assessed only with exams.
  5. Students welcome activities in class as opportunities to use what they need to learn.
  6. Provide short pauses during class.
  7. In cases where multiple instructors teach different sections of the same course but all use the same exam, make sure that everyone covers the same material that is on the test.
  8. The format of assessment should match the type of questions you ask, and answers you expect. If you expect specific answers you should ask specific questions rather than broad essay questions.

Questions about U-CLaSS? Contact Jamie Henke jamie.henke@wisc.edu 



Member FYI | News, Events, Training, and Learning Opportunities

The Language Institute | Students Reflect on Linguistic Diversity and Belonging

The Language Institute, along with the Language Ideologies and Linguistic Discrimination working group, has created a short video, “Languages and Linguistic Variation on Campus” based on “student-on-the-street” interviews with UW-Madison students. Interviewees reflect on the ways in which they experience linguistic diversity on campus and how those experiences interact with their feelings of belonging. The video was the brainchild of Martiniano Etchart, a doctoral student in Second Language Acquisition and Spanish Linguistics. Please share the video with your networks!  | VIEW THE VIDEO

Questions about the Language Institute? Contact Dianna Murphy, diannamurphy@wisc.edu


Delta Program | Seeking Observation Opportunities for Grads & Post Docs

This spring the Delta Program is offering a course entitled “Actively Learning About Active Learning” to help graduate students develop a better understanding of the uses and benefits of active learning in the college classroom. This course is being taught by Teaching Academy Fellows Jamie Henke and Jeff Henriques. In addition to helping students develop their own learning activities, students are asked to observe different instances of active learning as these strategies are currently implemented across the UW-Madison campus.

To support the course, the Delta Program is looking for instructors to open up their classes and allow students to observe as they facilitate active learning. If you are willing to allow students to observe active learning in your class, please fill out this brief survey about your course and availability.

Questions about the Delta Program? Contact Jess Maher jessica.maher@wisc.edu 


The Discussion Project | Sign up for Summer 2024

The Discussion Project has in person courses open for August 2024! A free three-day in-person course, The Discussion Project supports UW-Madison instructors and leaders in designing and implementing high quality classroom discussion. Over 900 UW instructors have taken The Discussion Project from every school and college on campus. We hope you can join us! | REGISTER

Questions about the Discussion Project? Contact discussion-project@education.wisc.edu 

Have something to share? Academy members work in diverse roles and learning environments across our university. If you have news, events, training, or opportunities you would like to share with the Academy, contact Dan Pell & Sarah Pultorak  editor-uwta-newsletter@g-groups.wisc.edu Messages received by the second Monday of the month may be included in that month’s newsletter.


CTLM Updates | Engage with the Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring

Call for Nominations: Awards for Mentoring Undergraduates

These annual campus awards provide $2,000 for supplies and expenses to recipients for excellence in undergraduate mentoring in research, scholarly, and creative activities. Eligible nominees include graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, academic staff, and faculty. | LEARN MORE  | Deadline: March 1

Course Design Institute

  • May 13-15 at the Pyle Center

Organized by the Center for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring (CTLM) with campus partners, this 3-day immersive experience will guide you through the course design process with an emphasis on active learning and equitable, inclusive teaching. It is open to both individual instructors and instructional teams. | LEARN MORE & APPLY

Looking to reflect on your teaching? Want self-guided resources?

If you’re not sure which of the above opportunities is right for you or you’re looking for a different kind of engagement or instructional support, please contact CTLM with your request – we look forward to working with you! To learn more about these programs or to register, visit the CTLM’s Professional Development Opportunities


Feedback on Teaching | Want to be observed in your teaching?

The Teaching Academy’s Feedback on Teaching (FoT) program offers a formative review of your instructional approaches from an invited observer, followed by a peer-to-peer conversation on how to improve student learning. Want to observe?  The Teaching Academy’s Feedback on Teaching (FoT) program is looking for academy members to serve as peer observers. | REGISTER AS A PEER OBSERVER

Please contact teachingacademy@provost.wisc.edu if you are interested in volunteering. 


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Learning Community Update | Clinical Teachers’ Corner

Share your experience! Do you have ideas for continuing education? Would you be interested in presenting your work to other clinical teachers? The UW Interprofessional Continuing Education Partnership (UW ICEP) is looking for faculty who are interested in developing new continuing education programs.

New Course: Education Essentials is a collection of modules aimed at developing key skills for all interprofessional health science teachers, in various teaching settings.  How modules are utilized is flexible–one or more modules to all of them–to meet the various needs of our teachers based on their activities, schedules, and priorities.

Registration is free and modules can be completed at your own pace.| LEARN MORE & REGISTER


Questions? Topics you would like to see? Announcements for the next issue?  Contact Sara Scott sfscott@wisc.edu

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Join us! Honor a colleague! | The Academy is seeking nominations

Now is the perfect time to honor a colleague or nominate yourself. Our mission is to promote, recognize and support excellence in teaching and learning among faculty, staff and students across campus and beyond. The Teaching Academy welcomes nominees who work in traditional classrooms, clinical practice, field instruction, or instructional support with learners at any level.

There are three types of membership: Future Faculty Partner (FFP), Fellow, and Affiliate. Learn how to become a Member

Are you an FFP who has moved on to another position in the University?  Contact teachingacademy@provost.wisc.edu to change status from FFP to Fellow.


Leadership Opportunity | The UWTA Executive Committee Seeks Members

The Executive Committee (EC) of the Teaching Academy is looking for Future Faculty Partner (FFP) members and Faculty members.  EC membership is evenly divided between Faculty, Future Faculty Partners and Academic Staff. Executive Committee members do not need to be long-term members of the Academy before joining the ExComm. The EC meets monthly. FFPs: take advantage of this opportunity to engage in leadership, networking, and collaboration with other active members of the Academy!

Contact Ailea Merriam-Pigg (FFP Co-Chair) merriampigg@wisc.edu and John Martin (Academic Staff Co-Chair) johnmartin@wisc.edu for more information. 


Join a Committee

  • Affiliate/Clinical AffiliateTeaching experiential courses, from clinic to fieldwork? Become involved in growing the clinical affiliate or affiliate program. Contact teachingacademy@provost.wisc.edu
  • Analytics CommitteeHelp ensure that we are capturing the right information to determine who the Academy’s programs are reaching, whether participants find them valuable, and most importantly, what was learned through participation. Contact teachingacademy@provost.wisc.edu 
  • Fall Retrea​t | Winter RetreatJoin the committee to plan, organize & facilitate campus-wide teaching development events. Contact retreats-uwta@g-groups.wisc.edu 
  • Feedback on Teaching (FoT) CommitteeFoT offers an opportunity to participate in scaling up and implementing a new peer observation program across campus. Contact teachingacademy@provost.wisc.edu 
  • Member+ EventsWe are seeking Fellows who are interested in organizing one-per-semester roundtable discussions among members on issues surrounding teaching & learning. Contact claire.barrett@wisc.edu 
  • NewsletterJoin the planning committee, contribute to the forum, act as guest editor for the Academy newsletter. Contact editor-uwta-newsletter@g-groups.wisc.edu
  • Membership CommitteeWe 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. Contact johnmartin@wisc.edu
  • U-ClassExplore teaching and learning from the student perspective by attending our U-CLaSS sessions. Contact jamie.henke@wisc.edu 
  • Teaching Academy Facebook Group: Are you on Facebook? So is the Teaching Academy! Join other Higher Ed teaching and learning enthusiasts for thought-provoking questions, shared resources, and asynchronous community connections. Contact johnmartin@wisc.edu