Save the Date: Spring Members Only Event

“Balancing Teaching and Research: Career, Classroom, and Institutional Accountability”

The UW-Madison Teaching Academy invites you to attend our Spring Members Only Event. The event will occur on Tuesday April 18th from 5:30 to 7:00pm in the Steenbock’s Private Dining area. The Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Dr. Jo Handelsman, and Associate Professor and MTLE Co-Director, Nick Balster, will speak on the topic of “Balancing Teaching and Research: Career, Classroom, and Institutional Accountability.”

RSVP for the event here.


Apply to Become a Fellow or FFP by February 15th!

The Teaching Academy is now seeking nominations to select teacher, scholars, and graduate students as Fellows and Future Faculty Partners in the Teaching Academy at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Nominees should be outstanding faculty, staff, or graduate students actively involved in teaching on this campus, who advance teaching and learning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Membership in the Teaching Academy is an honor bestowed on individuals who have demonstrated teaching excellence, are recognized and nominated by their peers, and are committed to advancing the mission of the Academy.

Please consider self-nominating or nominating colleagues who have a minimum of three years (or semesters for FFPs) of experience as an educator at UW-Madison who have:

  1. demonstrated teaching excellence
  2. demonstrated substantial service or leadership in education at UW-Madison, and
  3. expressed a willingness to be active participants in Teaching Academy events and governance.

Download this Application Checklist, compile and combine the required application documents, and upload your completed application using this form. Applications are due February 15, 2017. Nomination packets used for campus teaching awards may be submitted as Teaching Academy Fellow Nominations without the need to remove superfluous information (letters of support, students evaluations, etc.), this extra information is, however, not necessary for the Teaching Academy screening process.

Please submit one completed combined application document, as incomplete materials will result in disqualification. Note that the nomination committee reserves the right to request further information.

If you have any questions about any parts of the application process, please contact Shauntal Van Dreel at

Instructors Needed for Fall 2017 Wisconsin Experience Seminar

The Center for the First-Year Experience is seeking qualified and passionate instructors to teach the Wisconsin Experience Seminar (Counseling Psychology 125) in fall 2017. 
The Wisconsin Experience Seminar is a 1-credit, extended-orientation, first-year seminar designed to help new students (freshmen and transfers) make a successful transition to academic and student life at UW-Madison. Instructors co-teach the class with an Undergraduate Teaching Fellow, participate in a community of practice to enhance their teaching skills, and are compensated for their time and effort.
To apply, please complete this application form with a cover letter, resume, and supervisor permission by Friday, January 20, 2017. More information about the course and instructor role is available at  

Top Ten List of Mistakes Instructors Make on Exams

The October U-CLaSS chat focused on gathering student feedback about examinations and developed a top ten list of mistakes INSTRUCTORS make in their exams. Check out the list below.

Top Ten Mistakes Instructors Make on Exams
1. Exams don’t correlate with course content.
2. Exam is written at instructor level of mastery rather than student level.
3. Exams include content students have not had a chance to practice prior to the exam.
4. instructors do not provide clear instructions on the exam. (Example: How long does a ‘short’ essay response need to be in order to correctly answer the question.)
5. instructors are not clear about exam formats at the start of the term. (Students take notes differently depending on the type of exam they expect in the course.)
6. Instructors write exams that are intentionally too challenging for most students in the class and then curve the results rather than write exams that truly assess what the students should know.
7. Lack of consistency from instructor to instructor, both within a course and on campus in general. (Definition of midterm versus quizzes can vary widely from one instructor to another.)
8. Too much weight for entire course grade rests on only midterm and final exams.
9. Exams are designed in such a way that time pressure is a factor. What does time pressure assess?
10. Lack of logistical preparation for exam; miscommunication between instructor and teaching assistants, late announcement of exam or exam location, exams schedule for time outside of class when students may be working, and exams late at night.

Successful First FFP Brown Bag Lunch

The first session of the FFP Brown Bag Series was held on November 1st and focused on “Promoting Effective Teaching in Higher Education: From Good to Great!”

Engaging all students in learning is a central goal for any university course. However, all too frequently, the same few students dominate class discussions while the rest of the class sits in silence. As instructors seeking to design effective learning environments, we must consider: How can we create learning spaces that promote full participation for all students?

Presenter and FFP Laura Hamman, PhD candidate in Curriculum & Instruction, shared some techniques for designing instructional activities that engage all learners, including gallery walks, stand and deliver, go to your corner, write-pair-shares, chalkboard splashes, jigsaws, numbered heads together, and more! The first half of this session included a presentation and modeling of some of these techniques (with whole group participation!). Then, participants had the opportunity to discuss potential applications to their own courses and ask questions.

2017 Annual Spring Conference on Teaching and Learning Proposals

The UW-Madison Teaching Academy is pleased to announce the call for proposals for the 2017 Annual Spring Conference on Teaching and Learning. UW System faculty and staff are invited to submit proposals for the Annual Spring Conference on Teaching and Learning – At the Crossroads: The Future Landscape of Learning, which will take place April 20-21, 2017 at the La Crosse Center in La Crosse, WIsconsin.

The 2017 Spring Conference will bring together approximately 200 faculty, staff, and students across multiple disciplines to demonstrate the UW System’s commitment to excellence in teaching and student learning. This conference provides a forum to recognize, acknowledge, and share the expertise of faculty and academic staff who excel at teaching, value learning, and are committed to sharing their experience, knowledge, practice, and scholarship with colleagues. This year, the conference is an exploration of creative ways in which we are proactively responding to changes in higher education, the changing needs of students, and growth in our knowledge base of how students learn. The emphasis is on evidence-based assessment of student learning to identify and develop innovative approaches to pedagogy.

Please visit for additional information and to submit proposals. The deadline for the submission of proposals is November 7, 2016.

Please direct questions to

Fall Kickoff Highlights

Thank you to all who attended the 2016 Fall Kickoff!

View the slide deck from the event here. 14444648_245633095838662_1412446134362249159_oJust over 100 educators signed up to meet Friday, September 23 in Gordon Commons to discuss the role of student feedback in improving teaching.

The event focused on listening to know your students and how to implement student feedback into teaching & learning techniques.

The morning started off by looking at the Beloit Mindset List to gain an understanding of the mindset of current undergraduate students. Furthering this idea of listening to students, attendees discussed how they currently gauge student learning, while presenters introduced differing assessment techniques used to effectively gather student input.DSC_0019

The second half of the morning dedicated time to hear from several undergraduate students who rotated from table to table discussing what they would like instructors to know about them and conversely allowed attendees to convey what they would like students to know about them. Many of the undergraduate students are participants of the UW-Teaching Academy program, U-CLaSS.

The event closed with a discussion on peer feedback and how to workshop with faculty both within and outside of one’s own department to better teaching practices.



Supplemental ELO-Based Campus-Wide Course Evaluations

In 2012, the UW Teaching Academy formed an ad hoc committee to look at the course evaluation system. This committee, chaired by David Baum and including Janet Batzli and Jamie Henke (and later, Brian Yandell), continued explorations of potential approaches through Fall 2015, at which point a white paper was prepared. This white paper, Supplemental, ELO-based Campus-wide Course Evaluations, was widely distributed and modified through Mar. 3rd, 2016.

The UW-Teaching Academy executive committee endorses the approach laid out in the white paper. However, it is important to note that the detailed implementation recommendations are not as important as the principle that, through a process of consultation between administration and the three branches of joint governance, a mechanism is established that will serve the currently unmet needs to collect comparable data on learning outcomes in all classes taught at UW and to make summary data available to students and other UW stakeholders. With this in mind, the UWTA executive committee suggests a revised version of the resolution put forward in the white paper.

Recommended Resolution

Whereas UW-Madison has a need for course assessments that yield comparable data on course educational impact, for use in program assessment, and to help guide students in the choice of courses, yet such a system is not in place.

Whereas the Essential Learn Outcomes (ELOs) have been selected to define our overarching outcomes for what students learn in their time at UW.

It is hereby moved that:

  • A Joint Governance, ELO-based Course Survey Implementation Committee (ECSIC) be formed and charged with working with central administration to (a) develop a system that can collect data from all students each semester on the extent to which their experience improved their learning of the ELOs in every course, and (b) guide the development of a user interface and a code of practice for presenting the results of the survey to relevant UW stakeholders.
  • Central administration be asked to work with ECSIC during the design and implementation of suitable systems as quickly as possible

View the UW Teaching Academy Executive Committee proposal in full here.