Team-Teaching Workshop June 8

If you part of a teaching team — as a teacher or course administrator, or support curriculum innovation at any level — you’ll be interested in a seminar entitled “Team Teaching: Ways to make it more fun, effective, and rewarding.” The session takes place June 8 from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the 1360 Genetics/Biotechnology Center, 425 Henry Mall.

The instructor, Katherine Sanders, has extensive experience helping faculty improve their instructional skills, both on the UW-Madison campus and elsewhere. The program is co-sponsored by the Office of the Provost, UW System Office of Professional and Instructional Development, and the CALS Department of Food Sciences.

A course description follows, and can also be downloaded at Please post it at appropriate spots.


Team Teaching: Ways to make it more fun, effective, and rewarding.

When we want students to have an extraordinary learning experience, many times we choose to have them work in groups. Group work is also a way we typically think about making good use of diversity – across disciplines, backgrounds and ways of thought. Then why is it that when we decide to teach in groups, we don’t always feel that our own experience is enriched? Or maybe our experience is that it’s more effort and time than it’s worth? Why do most of us choose to tag-team teach and miss out on the deeper possibilities of true integration of diversity in disciplines/approaches?

How can we design a course so that we get as much (or more) out of teaching it as the students do in taking it? How can we create teaching environments that call out the best we have to offer, help us collaborate effectively with each other, and motivate us to bring what they’ve learned from the group back to our independent courses and curricula?

In this morning session we will discuss team teaching:

  • Why do we want it?
  • When it’s desirable and worth the effort (and when it’s not);
  • The differences (for faculty and students) between team and tag-team teaching;
  • Danger signs – when a course is at risk for encouraging tag-team teaching;
  • How to make the experience of collaboration rewarding and FUN for teachers;
  • Examples of course designs meant to attract great and soon-to-be-great teachers by fulfilling their needs for challenge, growth and involvement.Whether you’re a teacher, a course administrator, a department chair or dean, if you are responsible for curriculum innovation at any level, this session is for you!

Katherine Sanders, Ph.D., founded and directed a UW-Madison faculty development center, Creating a Collaborative Academic Environment, from 1993-2003. She is a Human Factors Engineer who specializes in health, effectiveness, and collaboration in the workplace. She enjoys teaching and teachers, and loves helping faculty innovate and experiment in the classroom. She has taught undergraduate and graduate students in engineering, was an NSF Visiting Scholar for faculty development, and an active member of the UW-Madison Teaching Academy from 1996-2003. She was one of the original group of faculty who designed and piloted “Introduction to Engineering,” the UW-Madison College of Engineering’s first cross-disciplinary, team-taught course, which gave freshmen engineering students a powerful service-learning experience. Twelve years later, the course is still highly successful and still being team-taught. She currently lives and works in Philadelphia, helping corporate professionals find more meaning, balance and joy in their work.