Reflecting on the 2023 Instructional Development Institute

On January 10, 2023, we gathered virtually for the annual Instructional Development Institute hosted by CATL and the Instructional Development Council. This year included attendance and presentations by educators from UWGB, UW System, K-12 schools, and the private sector for the 2023 Instructional Development Institute: Cultivating Student Success. The conference was a huge success, with over 140 in attendance for our keynote session and strong momentum throughout the rest of the day. In this blog post, we will reflect on the Insitute and share teaching resources, materials, and takeaways from this year’s Institute.  

Keynote & Workshop Leaders

2023 Instructional Development Institute: "Cultivating Student Success" Keynote Speakers Dr. Stephen L Chew & Dr. Bill CerbinThis year’s IDI included two keynote speakers, Dr. Stephen L. Chew, 2011 Carnegie Professor of the Year and 2018 recipient of the American Psychological Association’s national award for distinguished teaching, and Dr. Bill Cerbin, the founding director of the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning at UW-La Crosse and a nationally recognized expert on lesson study and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Dr. Stephen and Dr. Cerbin’s keynote and workshop presentations explore the nine main cognitive challenges of student learning and how we, as educators, can address each of these nine challenges to better support our students.  

We encourage you to watch the recording of the keynote and both keynote workshops to learn more about the cognitive challenges students experience and ways educators can address these challenges. In addition to the keynote presentations, Dr. Bill Cerbin has created a self-paced, self-directed, ungraded Canvas course, Cognitive Challenges of Lectures, that is available for IDI attendees and those who enroll in the IDI Canvas course. The Cognitive Challenges of Lectures course expands upon the keynote’s research and presentation and provides instructors with tangible takeaways to improve student learning and success.  

Presentations, Roundtables, and Panels on Student Success

The theme this year was centered on “Cultivating Student Success,” and presentations highlighted the many ways all university community members support the success of students. Sessions throughout the day covered topics such as using universal design for learning (UDL), information literacy, fostering growth mindset in high-tech classrooms, best practices for handling hot-button topics in the classroom, and reflections on student internship experiences. All sessions were recorded and are available to view from the 2023 IDI Canvas Course. We encourage you to watch the recordings to hear from our presenters and enroll in the Canvas course if you have not done so already! Below are some resources from a variety of different IDI presentations for you to explore.  

The session, “Teaching Students to Evaluate Website Credibility” led by three members of the UW-Green Bay Libraries’ team, Jodi Pierre, Renee Ettinger, and Carli Reinecke included a demonstration on lateral reading and additional resources for instructors teaching an FYS or a research focused course to help students identify credible websites for their research purposes.  

Instructors can use the resources available through the UWGB Libraries FYS Integration Kits which include pre-built learning objects, lesson plans, and simple assignments that can be integrated into their courses to support a variety of information literacy learning outcomes. Additional resources provided are the Civic Online Reasoning website which provides lesson plans, assessments, and videos on evaluating online information as well as the SIFT framework used to evaluate websites. As a reminder, UW-Green Bay libraries offer a wide range of research and information literacy resources, including library instruction for your classes.  

The session, “Inner Tracking: A Reflective Practice for Holistic Learning” led by David Voelker included a discussion on implementing written reflective learning practices for students that help students reflect on how their learning is affecting them as a person. An additional resource from this session includes the Inner Tracking exercise which instructors can incorporate into their course. 

The IDI hosted a special podcast episode of Psychology & Stuff, “How to Build Community” with co-hosts Ryan Martin and Georjeanna Wilson-Doenges. In this thought-provoking discussion, Ryan and Georjeanna discuss approaches to creating meaningful connections and building community among university staff in higher education. Watch the recording to learn more as Psychology & Stuff hosts apply research and principles from urban planning and environmental psychology to the building of community in our workplaces and learning communities 

The session, “Using Universal Design (UDL) to Create Access and Increase Student Success,” led by Lynn Niemi and Alison Gates provided a useful hand-out for instructors to use in their instruction for Further Resources for Universal Access Design for Learning.

Wrap-up & Conclusion

This year’s Institute was a huge success, and we thank everyone who attended our teaching and learning conference and supported all our thoughtful presenters. The presentations and conversations throughout the day offered us some important themes, which CATL director Kris Vespia shares in the wrap-up of the day, that we can take into the spring semester. One is the importance of empathy and perspective-taking, as throughout the day we were asked to put ourselves in a student’s shoes and struggle to understand in new learning contexts. Another theme of the day focused on the importance of communities, whether that is in the classroom to create inclusive environments or building communities amongst faculty and staff. The communities we build in higher education will directly affect students’ paths to success in individual courses and in their educational endeavors. We hope to see you at the 2024 Instructional Development Institute!  

In case you missed it

If you were not able to attend the Instructional Development Institute this year, we welcome you to self-enroll in the IDI Canvas course (select “UW Employee / Faculty / Student”). Enrolling will grant you full access to the IDI Canvas course until May 2023, including the session recordings.  

MS Teams group photo from IDI wrap-up session

Highlights from the 2021 Instructional Development Institute

Each January the UW-Green Bay Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and the Instructional Development Council host the Instructional Development Institute, a conference for faculty and staff that promotes the continued development and application of best practices for teaching and learning. The conference was held virtually this year on Jan. 19 and 21 and consisted of a variety of synchronous and asynchronous presentations that explored this year’s theme, “Making Meaningful Connections”. UWGB staff and faculty made up the largest portion of presenters and attendees, though we also had individuals outside of UWGB both present and attend.

Troubling Connections: Five Lenses for Teaching Toward Justice, a presentation by our keynote speaker, Dr. Kevin Kumashiro, was perhaps the most popular session this year. The session explored fives lenses for understanding and making meaningful connections in higher education with an emphasis on how we might re-imagine and democratize education to work toward equity and justice. These five lenses are: 1) naming the moment, 2) curriculum as intervention, 3) contradictions of teaching, 4) learning through crisis, and 5) movement building as a frame. Dr. Kumashiro presented each lens one by one, providing both real world examples and citations for the philosophy behind them. Many attendees commented on how they were invigorated by the presentation, with some opting to dive deeper into these five lenses in a follow-up workshop later that afternoon.

Another standout session was The UWGB Land Acknowledgment: How to Meaningfully and Respectfully Recognize Wisconsin’s First Nations. The panel, comprised of several First Nations community members and instructors that teach in related studies, gave an overview of the First Nations people groups that once resided on the land our university now occupies. Attendees were encouraged to reflect on the importance of learning about and publicly acknowledging First Nations’ history. Our panelists offered several concrete suggestions for making the land acknowledgement a more regular part of our activities both for the university at large and within our individual classrooms.

The session Student Perspectives of Learning in a Pandemic, a live Q & A with a panel of five UWGB students and the Dean of Students, Mark Olkowski, also had high attendance. The panelists addressed instructor questions, offering honest feedback on topics like group work, discussions, virtual classroom settings, and instructor communication. The students often acknowledged the challenge of balancing academic rigor with a necessary level of flexibility to meet student needs during a pandemic when making their suggestions. The ability to honestly and openly engage with our students about teaching was a valuable experience for panelists and participants alike and we have already received requests to include student panels at future conferences.

In addition to these and many other live sessions, the Institute also included asynchronous “on-demand” sessions this year that span a range of topics from course accessibility to assessment of teaching. These asynchronous sessions come in the form of pre-recorded videos, PowerPoint presentations, and Canvas pages, paired with interactive elements like quizzes and discussions. During a time when it is understandably difficult to coordinate events synchronously, we were excited to have an opportunity to include more submissions in this way and hope to continue offering asynchronous options in the future.

If you were unable to attend this year, or attended but missed some of the sessions, it’s not too late to partake in what the Institute has to offer. Session recordings and other asynchronous content are now accessible in the Canvas course and will remain there until the end of spring semester. We highly encourage you to continue engaging with the materials there as you have the time and space. Consider also posting a comment or question in the session discussion boards to show support to your colleagues and contribute to these important conversations.

The Instructional Development Institute was made possible in great part through the hard work and participation of many of our faculty, staff, and students, so a huge “thank-you” to all that contributed to making this year’s conference a success. We very much enjoyed our time together and hope that you continue “making meaningful connections” in all that you do!