University of Wisconsin–Madison

Fall Kickoff

Open to all! Fall in Madison is absolutely beautiful, and the Teaching Academy celebrates this time of year in Wisconsin with a Fall Kickoff. Each Fall, after the semester begins, we gather for a morning of conversations on themes in higher education teaching and learning. These topics help to prepare instructors and faculty for another successful year with undergraduate students and allow campus educators to discuss new updates in undergraduate education.

Past Kick-offs

2016: Are We Listening? Using Student Feedback to Improve Teaching
Just over 100 educators signed up to meet Friday, September 23 in Gordon Commons to discuss the role of student feedback in improving teaching. See the agenda here. See the slides here. See the activity sheet here.

2014: Reimagining Our World of Teaching & Learning
On Friday October 3, the UW-Teaching Academy held its 2014 Fall Kickoff in the Great Hall of Memorial Union. Our theme was “Reimagining our World of Teaching and Learning.” About 100 attendees gathered to share their innovative teaching stories and to hear what our invited speakers had to say.

2013: Enhancing Student Learning Through Feedback
On Friday October 4 about 100 instructors gathered at Union South to talk about enhancing student learning through feedback. Campus experts across disciplines shared research-based principles and experience-informed practices on how to provide effective feedback in diverse contexts (program). Video and Slides are available here. How can instructors give prompt and effective feedback to enhance student learning? At numerous points during a typical class instructors have the opportunity to give feedback to students about how well they did on assignments, papers, or exams, and how they might have done better. Students depend on such feedback to help them improve their future performance. This is why giving prompt feedback is listed as one of the seven “principles for good practice in undergraduate education” (Chickering and Gamson, 1987).

2012: Grading: From Philosophy to Feedback
On Friday, September 28th, from 8:30-1, about 140 educators gathered at Union South to explore the purposes of assigning grades to students and to generate discussions over alternative practices and how they align with our broader goals (program). This symposium premiered a short video in which UW faculty, staff, and students share their philosophy of grading; a plenary lecture by Professor James Wollack on testing and grading;  a presentation by Jocelyn Milner, Director of Academic Planning and Analysis, on grades and what they can (and cannot) tell us about student progress; a panel discussion on how grades are used post-graduation, and facilitated lunch discussions on grading practices such as curving, grading group work and contracted grading.

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