University of Wisconsin–Madison

March 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the March 2020 Newsletter!

We hope that this month’s newsletter can help you find opportunities that are available to connect with colleagues in our new remote learning environment. Share ideas and experiences in the Academy Forum, and see ways you can get involved in ongoing academy activities. The newsletter includes three sections giving you multiple ways of staying involved with the Teaching Academy.

This month: Active Teaching Labs move online! Responses from the January Academy Forum.


Upcoming Events | What’s happening in the Academy — remotely?

Active Teaching Labs are online! Join us from 10-11:30am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for facilitated sharing of remote teaching strategies — daily 90-minute sessions to address ongoing challenges that instructors, Teaching Assistants, and educational support folks face in remote instruction, and highlight emerging and innovative solutions.

  • TUESDAY, 03.31: Improving the remote student experience: Checking in with Students & Collecting feedback, Reducing Stress & Anxiety for Students & Instructors, Dealing with low student bandwidth/access, Course Rhythm for Remote Teaching, and other participant-generated topics on improving your students’ experience.
  • WEDNESDAY, 04.01: Better asynchronous collaborations: Activating online discussions, Staging better student collaboration, and other participant-generated topics on remote active teaching.
  • THURSDAY, 04.02: Lecturing and Alternatives: Lecture capture and alternatives, Making content consumable (segmenting, other strategies), Captioning, and other participant-generated topics on the theme.
  • FRIDAY, 04.03: Assessment Strategies & Asynchronous Options: Alternatives to Testing, Project-based learning, Presentation strategies, and other participant-generated topics on the theme.

Sadly, you’ll have to supply your own bagels and coffee for these virtual Labs that will meet synchronously in Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, through the Remote Readiness Canvas course.

Update on Teaching Academy Summer Institute (TASI): The Teaching Academy Summer Institute will not take place this year.  It has been a wonderful event.  However, as campus priorities change, and many of our partner units will be under new leadership, it is a good time to pause and assess how it fits into the larger campus professional development landscape.

Share events, workshops, news, or other notices for Teaching Academy members at teachingacademy.wisc.edu/teaching-academy-internal 


Seeking New Members | Recognize the excellence for your peers

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 hereteachingacademy.wisc.edu/get-involved/call-for-members


The Academy Forum  | Share ideas with other members

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

Contribute to the NEXT Academy Forum: go.wisc.edu/theacademyforum

  • What is one thing you enjoy about teaching/working remotely?
  • What is one habit you have formed that helps you work from home more effectively?
  • 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?

Submission Deadline: Please submit your answers by May 15.
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. 

Member Responses

The answers below were contributed by Academy members to question posed in the January & February newsletters. Thank you to all our readers and contributorsWe’d love to see more responses in May!

What tips do you have for making collaborative student projects successful?

I think it helps to collect student comments about the projects and then turn them back to the students. If students read other students saying “I liked the project because…”, “it was valuable because…” or “you should do this because…” that helps to get people to invest their energy in it.  And of course their more specific comments can help to improve the design of the project. — Tim Dalby, Division of Continuing Studies

Make sure all students in a group have a role and have an equal stake in the success of the project. — Dan Pell, DoIT Academic Technology

What is your favorite place *indoors* to read, rest or ruminate on campus during the winter months?

The Wisconsin Institute for Discovery building is a great place to be – there are a host of different environments to choose from, depending on my mood and how much i need to do. — Tim Dalby, Division of Continuing Studies

… the Shannon Sunset Lounge on the east side of Memorial Union – especially when the fire’s going. — Anonymous Fruitbat

The greenhouse at the back of Birge Hall. Oxygen and moisture are important for happiness and healthy for brain function. — Dan Pell, DoIT Academic Technology

What is something you have tried to do differently after attending the Teaching Academy’s Winter Retreat (1/31)?

I am trying to encourage people to add their pronouns to name tents and badges – not just on their email signatures. — Tim Dalby, Division of Continuing Studies

A simple thing: I added a link to the GSCC to all my Canvas courses. Great resource & great people! — Dan Pell, DoIT Academic Technology

View a printer-friendly version of the March 2020 responses.


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

Active Teaching Labs — john.martin@wisc.edu
Improve campus teaching by helping to plan, organize, and facilitate instructor-to-instructor sharing of experiences using technology to teach better.
Newsletter & Academy Forum — dan.pell@wisc.edu
Join the planning committee, contribute to the forum, act as guest editor for monthly newsletter
Fall Retrea​t | Winter Retreat — dan.pell@wisc.edu
Join the committee to plan, organize & facilitate campus-wide teaching development events 
U-Class — jamie.henke@wisc.edu
Explore teaching and learning from the student perspective by attending our U-CLaSS sessions
Analytics Committee — jkowalko@wisc.edu
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 — wenker@pt.wics.edu
Teaching experiential courses, from clinic to fieldwork? Become involved in growing the clinical affiliate or affiliate program 
Nomination Committee — wenker@pt.wics.edu
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 — jkowalko@wisc.edu
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 — jkowalko@wisc.edu