Faculty Institute on Teaching

Program Curriculum

Click on the “advance slide” bar at the bottom of this diagram to explore each module at a glance.



Program Arc

MTLE weekly sessions occur during the academic year, excluding breaks and the summer semester. First-semester incoming Fellows take part in a two-day Faculty Institute immediately before the start of the semester (Fall-Spring cohorts have their Faculty Institute at the end of August, Spring-Fall cohorts have their Faculty Institute in mid-January).

Faculty Institute on Teaching (FIT)

Duration: 2 days during the 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.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Build a foundation for a faculty learning community.
  2. Describe the purpose and goals of MTLE and what is to come in the year ahead.
  3. Explore individual learning goals, interests, and needs related to teaching.
  4. Advance fundamental (pre-semester) teaching and learning skills.

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.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify what you value in a learning environment as an instructor and why.
  2. Calibrate your values for equity and justice in your learning environment.
  3. 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.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Articulate how and why assessment drives learning.
  2. Explain the purpose of creating an assessment map for your courses.
  3. Create an assessment map including learning outcomes, formative assessments, and summative assessments to identify gaps and redundancies.
  4. 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 our learning from the Faculty Institute on Teaching and introduces new principles related to deep learning in course planning and design. During this module, we will explore principles of prior knowledge, knowledge organization, practice and feedback, and competence and mastery. You will also practice integrating teaching skills learned this semester by designing a teach-out for your MTLE Fellows.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Apply basic working knowledge of key principles to deepen student learning in your courses: prior knowledge, knowledge organization, practice and feedback, and competence and mastery.
  2. Integrate teaching skills learned in earlier modules (writing learning outcomes, designing formative assessments, etc).

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.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Articulate ways in which effective research and writing assignments can promote learning and advance equity in your learning environments.
  2. Design learning outcomes for your research and writing assignments that align with your course goals.
  3. Design transparent, inclusive, and engaging research and writing assignments.
  4. Apply strategies for equitable and transparent evaluation of student research and writing.
  5. Apply strategies for providing effective feedback to students on their research and writing assignments.
  6. 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 marginalized 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.[1] 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.[2]

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.”

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Reflect on your own social identities and the impact they have on your learning environments.
  2. Discuss the impact that inequities and inequity dynamics on our campus can have on learning.
  3. Access resources and strategies related to inclusive teaching.
  4. 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.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Reflect on the evolution of your teaching practice over the past year.
  2. Identify elements to be highlighted in a teaching statement according to UW Madison tenure division guidelines.
  3. 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.

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Describe changes in your teaching practice as a result of your participation in MTLE.
  2. Explain how these changes have (a) helped you become a better teacher and (b) helped your students learn better.
  3. Describe challenges in your teaching practice that need your attention and identify resources to address them.

  1. "The Research Basis for Inclusive Teaching." (n.d.). Retrieved February 16, 2019, from http://crlt.umich.edu/node/90467.
  2. Steele, C. (2010). Whistling Vivaldi: And other clues to how stereotypes affect us. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.


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MTLE Resources Copyright © by Christian Castro; Naomi Salmon; and Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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