In partnership with the Teaching Academy, two DoIT Academic Technology staff developed and launched a brand-new workshop series around teaching and learning this past fall. I-LEaP, which stands for Instructor Learning Environment and Pedagogics, was designed to equip instructors with the fundamental knowledge, practices, habits, learning community and philosophies of learner-centered instruction, with an emphasis on instructors who are new to UW-Madison. In parallel, the group also developed a sister program for teaching assistants, called TA-LEaP. Recently, the series was highlighted in this College of Engineering article.
Sarah Miller, Leader of Faculty Engagement, teamed with the Teaching Academy, the College of Engineering, and the Wisconsin School of Business to develop and deliver the I-LEaP program. John Martin, a program manager who oversees the Active Teaching Lab, helped build and offer TA-LEaP.
Workshops in the series included introductions into active learning, assessment, and development of a learner-centered syllabus. One feature of the program was that the workshops modeled the teaching practices about which the participants were learning. For example, participants engaged directly in active learning exercises both about teaching and about various subject areas relevant to their courses in engineering, business, horticulture and other subjects.
Response to the program was overwhelmingly positive. Participants suggested altering the format for future iterations that included an accelerated 2-day model at the start of the semester, rather than bridging across the entire semester. “This workshop series was an important step for our campus to expose new instructors to the excellent teaching and learning community that UW-Madison has to offer.”
Martin says TA-LEaP is “designed for any graduate students who want to learn to be better educators.” Martin said the program was a success and is a “good example of Academic Technology partnering and collaborating with other teaching and learning groups on campus.”
If you’re interested in participating or learning more about the I-LEaP and TA-LEaP institutes, visit the Teaching Academy UW-TEACH website.