Teaching Academy Newsletter


Welcome to the February 2020 Teaching Academy Newsletter!

We hope you enjoy this month’s newsletter, which includes three sections giving you multiple ways of staying involved with the Teaching Academy. Attend upcoming events, share ideas and experiences in the Academy Forum, and see ways you can get involved in ongoing academy activities.

This month: Read a reflection on the 2020 Winter Retreat: “LGBTQ+, Solidarity & Inclusive Practices”.

Upcoming Events | What’s happening in the Academy?

  • Members Only Roundtable: Constructive Criticism of Teaching: How to give it, how to take it.  March 11, 2020 | 5:45 – 7:00 pm | 158 Birge Hall.  “How can we cultivate an attitude of constant self-improvement so as to be able to grow as a teacher through feedback? How can individuals giving feedback do so in such a way as to support improved educational outcomes for students without undermining the confidence of instructors?” Explore these and other questions
  • 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 TASI fits into the larger campus professional development landscape.
  • Active Teaching Labs: Join colleagues to share and learn tips, tricks, experiences, and new techniques on using technology for good teaching at twice-weekly discussions in partnership with DoIT-AT, at the Middleton building (1305 Linden Dr) rm120 Thu 1-2pm and Fri 8:30-9:45amMore info
    • Thu 03.05 Practical Applications for Rubrics For Online forums, Peer Review, and other collaborations. Register
    • Fri 03.06 Intra-departmental Collaboration  Team teaching, Canvas Commons, managing multiple sections of a course, lesson study (learning from students, redesign). Register
    • Thu 03.12 Pressbooks and Engage eTexts Create or have students create interactive eTexts! Register
    • Fri 03.13 Group Projects Structure projects so students bring interests and skills, and learn peers’ expertise. Register
    • Thu Fri 03.19 & 20 No Labs: Spring Break
    • Thu 03.26 Canvas for Small-to-Medium Classes Strategies targeted to classes with 10-40 students. Register
    • Fri 03.27 Canvas for Large Classes Strategies for attendance, groups, online discussion, and embedding content. Register

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

Winter Retreat Rewind

Thank you to all of the people who joined us from across campus for the Teaching Academy’s Winter Retreat on January 31, 2020. Warren Scherer and Tiffany Lee from the Gender and Sexuality Campus Center delivered a very thought-provoking session on gender inclusivity – we greatly appreciate their expertise and generosity in sharing with us.

Here are just a few of the reflections that participants shared with us during the session:

  •  In some instances, it may be difficult to find instances of diversity within your field. One way to bring greater awareness to the forces that affect gender diversity, is to be curious and engage in discussion about why that might be. For example, what kinds of things may have prevented a woman from becoming a well-known Baroque composer?
  • The Gender and Sexuality Campus Center is an excellent resource to list on a course syllabus for students.
  • Our choice of words can have unintended consequences. Rather than offering the selection “Other” on a form, consider using the phrase “Write-in.”
  • Many participants reflected on the complexity of pronouns:
    • Using one’s pronouns is becoming more routine and accepted on university campuses. We can practice solidarity and gender inclusivity by expanding this practice beyond the campus community.
    • Role model inclusivity by sharing your pronouns and make others aware that it is optional to share pronouns. This allows a person to share when they are ready to do so.
    •  In some situations, explicitly using pronouns can signal (“out”) your political leanings.
    • If you are unsure about a person’s pronouns (gender identity, etc.), and it is context-appropriate, you can ask “May I ask a question about your pronouns?” Ask a question about the question you have.
  • Despite best efforts, participants recognized that learning can result in missteps
    • ​Allow each other the grace to learn while recognizing that learning, particularly related to inclusivity, happens at the expense of others.
    • Identify someone who you want to learn and grow with; an accountability buddy with whom you can debrief both growth and missteps.

As we closed the Winter Retreat, Hazel Symonette left us with a very powerful message. Don’t sit back and wait for permission to do the right thing, and above all else, ensure that people know that they matter and belong.

If there is something from the Winter Retreat that you would like to share, please contact us!

— Jenn Kowalkowski jkowalko@wisc.edu 

Congratulations | Recognizing excellence

We are delighted to welcome Warren Scherer and Tiffany Lee of the GSCC as our newest Affiliate Members of the Academy.  Thank you for your inspiring teaching at the 2020 Winter Retreat!
Seeking New Members: 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 nowteachingacademy.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 your favorite place *indoors* to read, rest or ruminate on campus during the winter months?
  • What tips do you have for making collaborative student projects successful?
  • What is something you have tried to do differently after attending the Teaching Academy’s Winter Retreat (1/31)?

Submission Deadline: Please submit your answers by March 22.
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. 

View a printer-friendly version of the January 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
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.

You are receiving this communication because you are a UW-Madison Teaching Academy Member (Fellow, Future Faculty Partner, or Affiliate) and included on the “teaching-academy” distribution list. You are able to unsubscribe from this list by emailing “unsubscribe” to leave-teaching-academy@lists.wisc.edu. To resubscribe email “subscribe” to join-teaching-academy@lists.wisc.edu.


This post was authored by Jennifer Kowalkowski on 03/03/2020.