Part 11 – Spring 2020 Labs

216 Learning From and About Students – 02.14.2020

On February 14, 2020, participants in the Active Teaching Lab met to discuss how to enhance the evaluation and feedback process to learn more about how students learn, as well as community building techniques and ideas to welcome students into the classroom community.


  • Personalize activities, questions, and evaluations: require students to personalize content, connect it to their lives, and evaluate their own performance on a given assignment (or from the entire semester).
  • Go where students are: Connect with students in their learning environments: hold online office hours via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, join conversations in Piazza, ask how their other courses are going, and have them connect content between courses! Not only can you learn more about current students (different from your student experience!) but this fosters personal support for students on the edge, who might otherwise not feel comfortable initiating conversations with instructors. 
  • Give them agency: Student-led rubric design lets students more deeply understand expectations, but also invites them to co-create activities and assignments that frame their own learning outcomes. Encourage students to frame what the outcomes should look like to inspire them to meet their own goals, not just the instructor’s. 

To learn more and discover new resources, visit the session’s activity sheet.



The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Thursdays 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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