Part 10: Fall 2019 Labs

194 Building the Wisconsin Experience into your course — 10.04.2019

On October 4, 2019, participants of the Active Teaching Lab discussed integrating the Wisconsin Experience (WE) into course content and design. The focus was on how instructors and students perceive the Wisconsin Experience and how learning goals can be aligned with the WE.


  • Expand the learning environment. Beyond the confines of a lecture hall or seminar room, the homes, towns and places your students move through are vibrant classrooms of diverse experiences, cultures, and backgrounds. Incorporating learners’ lived places into assignments personalizes their learning. Reach out to community partners and organizations to discover other ways to “influence people’s lives beyond the boundaries of the classroom (Wisconsin Idea | Van Hise Beneficent Address, 1905).
  • Explore new options. New tools and options are rolled-out each day, enabling increasingly personalized ways to learn. What helps students achieve their (and your) learning goals?
  • Foster sharing and groupwork. Learning from others’ stories, perspectives, and experiences is fundamental to our own understanding of the world. Bringing together diverse thoughts and world-views can create empathetic problem-solvers, able to weave together multiple factors into the solutions they propose.
  • Connect to values. Traditionally, secular education has focused on students’ cognitive abilities, and avoided (rightly) grading a set of values. However, when students connect course content to their own values, they’re more successful (Harackevicz et al 2016, Cohen et al 2006).

For more information visit the session’s activity sheet.


The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Wednesdays from 1:00-2:00pm and Fridays from 8:30-9:45am in the Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.), room 120. Check out upcoming Labs or read the recaps from past Labs. We build interdisciplinary conversations that are more emergent than a presenter and more dynamic than a panel — a conversation with colleagues sharing challenges, solutions, and experiments on topics selected by a variety of stakeholders.

Sign up for regular Lab announcements by sending an email to


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

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