Part 9: Spring 2019 Labs

151 Week 0: Teach Students to Succeed – 01.18.2019

In the January 18, 2019 Active Teaching Lab, participants explored how to create resources in Canvas that help students understand how to effectively learn course content. Attendees discussed common stumbling blocks for students and strategies to set students up for success. 


  • Use a Week 0 template to provide a structure and even a checklist of often-overlooked but helpful features to include for students.
  • Communicate student responsibilities in all facets of academic success, including time expectations, technology requirements, peer-peer and peer-teacher interaction standards, and how to seek help.
  • Establish rapport by providing opportunity for students to get to know one another as well as the instructor.
  • Push students to discover the utility of content themselves rather than laying out the importance of the course for them; self-generated utility has been demonstrated to promote better student performance and interest (Canning & Harackiewicz, 2015).
  • Encourage students to express their personal values, why they hold these values, and how those values relate to the course.
  • Show images of the people behind the research/topics presented in class, especially if they look like the students, to foster a sense of belonging and achievement potential.
  • Explain that feedback is provided because the instructor believes students can meet high standards.

For more information on Week 0 for student success, 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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