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UW–Madison Smart Restart: For information about fall semester instruction and campus operations, please visit smartrestart.wisc.edu. For COVID-19 news updates, see covid19.wisc.edu.

School of Education offers training for UW-Madison instructors teaching online

The Discussion Project Virtual is an online training that supports instructors in creating the conditions for equitable, inclusive, and engaging online discussions. Our spring 2020 research based on 1,164 surveys & 92 interviews of UW-Madison students indicates that they greatly value high-quality online discussion: It helps keep students engaged in learning. We are excited to offer this new training to support UW-Madison instructors in their important work to improve online discussion!

The Discussion Project Virtual training will help university instructors…

  • understand how the characteristics of online communication affect discussion and classroom climate and account for these in their discussion plans;
  • take responsibility for creating an equitable and inclusive classroom climate conducive to high quality discussion by implementing strategies that engage all students;
  • distinguish between discussion and other forms of student talk/interaction and articulate the benefits of discussion for student learning;
  • identify the relative advantages of different ways of structuring discussion and match discussion types to specific learning objectives;
  • effectively plan, implement, and reflect on classroom discussions; and
  • implement strategies that develop students’ discussion skills.

The training consists of five two-hour synchronous sessions in BBCollaborate Ultra, each accompanied by an hour of asynchronous work. For completing all sessions, modules, and program evaluation surveys, participants will receive $250. All participants will also have access to free instructional consultation during or after the training. Any UW-Madison instructor of a fully online course this fall may take the training, including graduate students who are the primary instructor for their course.

We hope you will consider applying for The Discussion Project Virtual. Please click here to apply. For full consideration, apply by July 3!