Faculty Institute on Teaching
Faculty Institute on Teaching (FIT)
Duration: 2 days, week immediately prior to the start of the semester
The Faculty Institute on Teaching advances your preparation for teaching during the upcoming semester(s). It serves as a foundation to strengthen your teaching skills within a community of peers who will model teaching and learning excellence at UW-Madison. The FIT takes place each semester during the week prior to the start of UW-Madison classes.
- Build a foundation for a faculty learning community.
- Become familiar with the purpose and goals of MTLE and what is to come in the year ahead.
- Explore individual learning goals, interests, and needs related to teaching.
- Advance practice and skills related to teaching and learning.
Module A1: Learning Environments
Duration: 3 weeks
This module builds a foundation for the year ahead and establishes your cohort as a supportive community of peers with clear expectations for involvement, engagement, and contributions to our work. The foundation is based on the MTLE hallmarks of learner-centered, evidence-based, reflective, and innovative teaching grounded in a community of practice. Specifically, you will reflect on what you value in a learning environment as an instructor and a learner and develop a plan to communicate those values with your peers and your students throughout the semester.
- Identify what you value in a learning environment as an instructor and why.
- Plan how you will communicate your values to students and elicit their values.
Module A2: Assessment for Learning
Duration: 4 weeks
This module engages you with assessment at a point in the semester when it is immediately relevant, as the first round of midterm exams and assignments are typically forthcoming. It connects to prior work at the FIT related to course design and cognitive principles of learning, and it gives you the opportunity to practice designing or revising assessments that measure the learning outcomes you set for your courses. This module also provides a foundation for the next module on Deepening Learning.
- Articulate how and why assessment drives learning.
- Explain the purpose of creating an assessment map for your courses.
- Create an assessment map including learning outcomes, formative assessments, and summative assessments to identify gaps and redundancies.
- Use formative and summative assessments to gauge progress on learning to (a) inform your teaching and (b) communicate performance to students so they can adjust their approaches to learning.
Module A3: Deepening Learning
Duration: 4 weeks
This module advances content at the Faculty Institute on Teaching related to course design and cognitive science of learning and integrates content from the first two modules on learning environments and assessment. You will apply principles to your course/class planning to promote deep learning, and you will practice your facilitation of teaching skills in the safety of the MTLE community, receiving targeted feedback from your peers and facilitators.
- Apply basic working knowledge of key learning principles (prior knowledge, knowledge organization, deliberate practice, targeted feedback, mastery, and self-directed learning) to deepen student learning in your courses.
- Improve your facilitation of teaching skills through targeted feedback from peers and facilitators.
Module B1: Designing Effective Writing and Research Assignments
Duration: 4 weeks
Educational research suggests that well-designed writing activities can increase undergraduate student engagement and learning. In this module, you will learn to design effective research and writing assignments that include (1) interactive components that give students opportunities to brainstorm ideas and get feedback prior to drafting, (2) a relevant disciplinary problem or task requiring active critical thinking, and (3) clear explanations of writing expectations.
- Articulate ways in which effective research and writing assignments can promote learning and advance equity in your learning environments.
- Design learning outcomes for your research and writing assignments that align with your course goals.
- Design transparent, inclusive, and engaging research and writing assignments.
- Apply strategies for equitable and transparent evaluation of student research and writing.
- Apply strategies for providing effective feedback to students on their research and writing assignments.
- Examine research and writing conventions in your field to better support the development of disciplinary ways of thinking in your students.
Module B2: Equity and Inclusion in the Learning Environment
Duration: 4 weeks
Our current university structure and pedagogies are viable models for the success of many of our students, yet there are discrepancies that perpetuate inequities across learning environments, benefiting majority populations over underserved populations. It has been documented locally and nationally that for many students, in particular those who hail from underrepresented groups, our current system is ineffective, unwelcoming, and even hostile or threatening. Inclusive teaching helps address this issue by engaging in teaching practices that benefit all students with specific attention to those who experience the greatest barriers in higher education.
This module is an introduction to inclusive teaching, defined by the University of Michigan Center for Research on Learning and Teaching as “an umbrella term to name a complex network of pedagogical issues and strategies that attend to student differences and take deliberate steps to ensure that all students, across differences in academic and social background as well as physical and cognitive abilities, feel welcome, valued, challenged, and supported in succeeding in the field of study
Reflect on your own social identities and the impact they have on your learning environments.
Discuss the impact that inequities and inequity dynamics on our campus can have on learning.
Access resources and strategies on inclusive teaching.
Identify at least one way your teaching can be more inclusive and develop an action plan.
Module B3: Teaching and Tenure
Duration: 3 weeks
In this module, you will identify changes you have made to your teaching as a result of your participation in MTLE and consider next steps in your development as a teaching and learning leader on campus. The modules up to now have been learner-centered; this final module is intentionally instructor-centered. Over three weeks, we take time to reflect on your experience in MTLE and determine ways in which that experience can advance your tenure case. Ultimately, this process of self- and community-reflection equips you to implement, evaluate, and sustain a learner-centered approach in your teaching in the years to come.
- Reflect on the evolution of your teaching practice over the past year.
- Identify elements to be highlighted in a teaching statement according to UW Madison tenure division guidelines.
- Develop a frame to write/revise a robust teaching statement that documents professional growth and accomplishments in teaching and addresses tenure division elements.
Critical Reflection Sessions
Duration: 4 sessions throughout the year, scheduled strategically at mid- and end-of-semester points
You will engage in a process of critical reflection designed to support you in synthesizing your learning in MTLE at key points throughout the year. Each critical reflection session invites you to review the work you have completed in the fellowship to date, consider ways in which your teaching practice has changed and evolved, and articulate how those changes are contributing to your confidence and efficacy as an instructor.
- Describe changes in your teaching practice as a result of your participation in MTLE.
- Explain how these changes have (a) helped you become a better teacher and (b) helped your students learn better.
- Describe challenges in your teaching practice that need your attention and identify resources to address them.