Professor Dave Abbott, right, checks with students discussing questions and answers in small groups during an open test in an undergraduate zoology

UW-Madison Collaborative for Advancing Learning and Teaching

The university’s commitment to pursuing excellence in teaching, research and outreach is inextricably linked to advancing the Wisconsin Experience. At the heart of these synergistic pursuits is The Collaborative for Advancing Learning and Teaching (The Collaborative). The Collaborative is a partnership of cross-campus units at UW-Madison that uniquely unites and leverages a collective wealth of wide-ranging expertise to advance teaching and learning in the classroom and beyond. The group honors the richness of its diverse membership, supporting and valuing the unique contributions of each unit, while continuously pursuing new and innovative ways to use its collaborative strength.

From a local to national scale, The Collaborative provides and advances:

  • Professional development opportunities for future and current faculty, and staff
  • Research mentor training
  • Campus coordination of student academic advising
  • Program and course assessment
  • Technology and support in multi-use, student-centered learning environments
  • Innovative, sustainable, high-impact science programs for learners of all ages

Initiative Highlights

The Collaborative is engaged in various projects and initiatives ranging in size and scope. The following highlight two current areas of focus.

Teaching Professional Development

The Collaborative is committed to providing and advancing teaching professional development across UW-Madison. Core to this aim is ensuring information about cross-campus opportunities is easily accessible. The Collaborative has developed, and continues to curate, a comprehensive list of current offerings for faculty and instructors, as well as for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Additionally, The Collaborative provides teaching professional development that ensures faculty and instructors area able to implement learner-centered teaching practices. Together, these resources are some of The Collaborative’s first steps toward enhancing professional development infrastructure across campus.

Inclusivity and Diversity

The Collaborative is helping to ignite change and advance inclusive teaching and learning practices in higher education, particularly in STEM fields, across the university, state and nation. The group continues to play a critical role in helping faculty and staff develop more inclusive learning environments that nurture learners of all backgrounds and help students succeed. Learn more about The Collaborative’s contributions to national, higher education inclusivity and diversity initiatives, as well as inclusive teaching efforts at UW-Madison.

Overarching Goals

  • Enhance the Wisconsin Experience for students and improve student learning
  • Align and connect teaching and learning professional development activities to leverage effort and resources, and to maximize impact
  • Contribute to a systems approach to building excellence and innovation in teaching and learning
  • Provide expertise in teaching and learning, and facilitate the adoption of evidence-based best practices
  • Align activities with the strategic goals of the university

Current Members

  • Delta Program in Research, Teaching and Learning

    The Delta Program in Research, Teaching and Learning provides professional development opportunities to future faculty in the natural and social sciences, engineering and mathematics. The program offers credit-based courses, facilitated discussion groups, workshops, community events, a Teaching-as-Research internship experience, as well as a certificate. Participants of the program are committed to implementing and advancing effective teaching practices for diverse student audiences as part of their professional careers. UW-Madison and the Delta Program are members of the national Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning (CIRTL), a network of 25 research universities. Learn more.

  • Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence (MTLE)

    Madison Teaching and Learning Excellence (MTLE) aims to improve undergraduate education at UW-Madison by supporting early-career faculty to become fast, effective, and efficient starters in teaching. Over the course of a year, each cohort of MTLE Faculty Fellows engages in a modular curriculum designed to do the following: (a) quickly connect fellows with the many specialized programs across campus focused on teaching excellence, (b) effectively innovate in their classes with learner-centered practices proven to enhance learning, and (c) foster a cross-campus community of practice shown to live well beyond fellows’ time in MTLE. Through this program, MTLE Fellows report greater satisfaction and impact with their teaching, resulting in an efficiency that affords them more time for research, outreach, and service. Learn more.

  • Student Learning Assessment

    At UW-Madison, student learning assessment is coordinated through the Office of the Provost in partnership with deans, schools and colleges, departments, and co-curricular programs. The provost’s assessment team supports academic programs by providing resources, planning tools and consultative services for assessment-related activities. The Student Learning Assessment Plan provides an overarching framework for assessing learning at the course, program an institutional levels. Learn more.

  • Office of Undergraduate Advising

    The Office of Undergraduate Advising (OUA) supports advisor training, communication, assessment and technology for the campus-wide advising community. Through these efforts, OUA cultivates an environment in which all advisors can best facilitate undergraduate education. Learn more

  • UW-Madison Teaching Academy

    The mission of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy is to promote, recognize and support excellence in teaching and learning among faculty, staff and students across campus and beyond. The academy is a shared-governance organization, led by over 380 members across the UW-Madison campus. Learn more.

  • Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL)

    The Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning (WisCEL) fosters instructional innovation, active learning, and high-quality teaching and learning opportunities by providing instructional resources, technology and support in multi-use, student-centered learning environments at UW-Madison. WisCEL provides comprehensive learning opportunities that enable student engagement, academic mastery, performance skills and self-efficacy. These opportunities also support learning community and prepare students for life-long learning. WisCEL serves as a campus model for change by reinventing the use of campus infrastructure, reconsidering where teaching and learning occur, nurturing the innovation of new teaching models, improving instructor support, and contributing to successful student learning campus-wide. Learn more.

    To apply to teach in WisCEL, visit: apply.wiscel.wisc.edu.

  • Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE)

    In collaboration with UW-Madison schools and colleges, and national and global communities, the Wisconsin Institute for Science Education and Community Engagement (WISCIENCE) develops innovative, sustainable, high-impact science programs that provide high-quality experiences for learners of all ages and backgrounds. WISCIENCE programs foster lifelong learning while addressing today’s challenges in science education and preparing the next generation of scientists. Learn more.