The mission of EI is to engage and inspire students through enriched learning. To fulfill this mission, we will:

  1. Enable personalized learning experiences, at scale, using technology
  2. Expand access for both traditional and new student audiences


The vision of EI is to lead the university in providing an innovative, accessible and inclusive learning environment that fosters highly engaged learners capable of addressing the challenges of the modern world.



Enable personalized learning experiences, at scale, using technology.

  • Facilitate growth of learner-centered environments and active learning experiences across campus
  • Identify and utilize course-level learning data and analytics to support instructors and students

Expand access for both traditional and new student audiences.

  • Develop pathways to expand enrollments through Summer Term, and other course and program offerings
  • Expand technology implementations to realize opportunities and new distance learning experiences
  • Explore new, accessible ways to deliver content (e.g., open education resources that reduce costs for students, e-texts and other media)


Student Digital Ecosystem

UW-Madison is building a next-generation student digital ecosystem to better support faculty, staff and students. The ecosystem will connect university-wide systems including student information, learning management and curriculum management systems, as well as digital assessment tools. The connection of systems will allow for interoperability and flexibility, improve information accessibility and consistency, and empower faculty, staff and students with new tools and capabilities to achieve success. As shown in the figure ...

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REACH - Redesigning for Active learning in High-enrollment courses

Primary Objectives

The REACH team will partner with faculty and instructors to:

  • Transform high-enrollment, lecture-based courses into more active and inclusive learning environments that can be sustained by academic departments
  • Inspire greater student responsibility for learning by increasing student inquiry and engagement with the subject matter
  • Improve student learning
Early Indications of Impact
  • Consistent, active and inclusive course structures and practices
  • Co-created learning objectives, curriculums and assessments
  • ...
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UW-Madison & Unizin

In late September 2014, after a summer of exploring and openly discussing the prospect of joining Unizin with governance bodies and key stakeholders, UW-Madison officially joined Unizin, a consortium of major universities across the U.S. that are working to assemble a standards-based set of digital tools for teaching and learning.

With these tools, which span the areas of course ...

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Blended Learning

EI strives to support the growing number of blended learning efforts occurring across campus. In particular, the EI partners with DoIT Academic Technology to offer Blend@UW and the Blended Learning Fellowship Program.

Blended learning can come in many shapes and forms, and can assume a number of different meanings to different people. According to the university’s Blended Learning Fellowship Program, blended learning courses at ...

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Online Learning

Online learning is a prevalent and key element in both of EI’s main goals. As such, EI remains steadfast in its recognition and encouragement of online learning across campus. In particular, EI partners with the Division of Continuing Studies to develop and expand high-quality, online academic programs and provides funding to support the TeachOnline@UW Program.

UW-Madison’s Design+Teach+Engage website also provides additional resources for ...

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Open Educational Resources (OER)

UW‐Madison has identified the adoption and production of Open Educational Resources (OER) as a priority within the Educational Innovation (EI) Initiative, and in connection with the university’s Unizin efforts. The advantages of increased use of OER for instruction include enhanced attainment of learning outcomes, greater flexibility and more diverse pathways for students when accessing learning materials, greater flexibility for instructors to customize instructional materials, and lower course material costs ...

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EI Small Grant Program

The EI Small Grant Program supports faculty and instructional staff in their efforts to experiment with new technologies and new ways of learning. The program is modestly funded and typically awards grants of up to $10,000.

General Proposal Requirements

All proposals must:

  • Address how the effort(s) will transform student learning
  • Align with departmental priorities and include a signature of endorsement from the department chair
  • Clearly articulate how the effort(s) ...
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Apply Now for 2017-18 TeachOnline@UW Learning Community

Are you designing or redesigning a fully online course? Apply now for an opportunity to participate in the 2017-18 TeachOnline@UW program.

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REACH Faculty Wins Distinguished Teaching Award

Associate Professor Jordan Schmidt, Department of Chemistry, was one of twelve faculty members chosen to receive this year’s Distinguished Teaching Awards. The awards, an honor given out since 1953, recognize excellence in teaching, diversity and inclusion, and outreach teaching.

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EI Around Campus

Photo: Students in flipped classroom
Graduate students, postdocs and professors in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields share deep devotions to rigorous inquiry. However, many early-career investigators need a little help learning how to lead a classroom. To help them become more effective teachers, a series of free online courses is being offered by [...]
Tue, May 31, 2016
Source: EI Around Campus
Sarah Mangelsdorf
A $1.5 million gift to UW–Madison from alumni Ricky and Mara Sandler will be used to improve student learning by increasing students' engagement in large, introductory lecture-based courses. The gift from the Sandlers, both 1991 graduates of the university, is for the Educational Innovation (EI) Initiative's REACH project. The project will [...]
Tue, Mar 08, 2016
Source: EI Around Campus
Photo: Laura Schmitt and student writers
Laura Schmitt (left) with Green Bay writers participating at the Artstreet literary stage. Schmitt created The Quill — a new literary journal for middle and high school students in Green Bay. Photo: Dave Lassen On a warm August afternoon last summer, a group of nervously excited young writers took to a small [...]
Mon, Nov 02, 2015
Source: EI Around Campus
Photo: Jonathan Patz
Jonathan Patz, who will teach “Climate Change Policy and Public Health,” was a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. “Climate Change Policy and Public Health,” the sixth and final Massive Open Online Course offered by the [...]
Tue, Oct 27, 2015
Source: EI Around Campus


Advisory Committee

The EI Advisory Committee supports the initiative in the following areas:

  • Policy – identifying, prioritizing and understanding policy issues needed to advance EI in alignment with the institution’s mission and values
  • Engagement – facilitating broad campus participation and involvement of faculty, staff and students
  • Direction and success – determining the strategic direction and progress of EI

View list of governance members…


The primary aim of the UCAAA is to support, enhance and coordinate academic and co-curricular programs and educational achievement across campus, with a focus on student learning, effective teaching and improving the educational experience of all students.  The committee also serves as an advisory council for EI.

View list of governance members…


The EI initiative continues to develop partnerships across campus in support of its core mission to inspire and engage students through enriched learning opportunities. Thanks to the innovative efforts of our talented faculty, staff and students, educational innovations continue to occur throughout our university every day. The following is an ever-evolving list of our partners. Please take a look and find out more!


EI Co-Leads:

Jeffrey Russell,

Vice Provost for Lifelong Learning, & Dean, Division of Continuing Studies (DCS)

Areas of focus: Lifelong learning opportunities, post-baccalaureate degrees and certificates, Summer Term, academic calendar, MOOCs


Find more information about DCS.

Steven Cramer,

Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

Areas of focus: Academic affairs, teaching and learning programs, active learning initiatives, advising, academic planning, accreditation, REACH, Unizin, UW-Madison Canvas Pilot


Visit the Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning’s website.

EI Senior Fellows:

Kris Olds,

Professor, Department of Geography

Areas of focus: REACH Co-lead, Open Educational Resources (OERs), internationalization at home, MOOCs

Academic Planning & Institutional Research:

Jocelyn Milner,

Director, Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR)

Areas of focus: Course approvals; academic program planning, approval, and review; learning analytics, peer analysis, and decision-support; accreditation; accountability


Find more information about APIR.

Academic Technology:

Linda Jorn,

Associate Vice Provost for Learning Technologies, and Director of DoIT Academic Technology

Areas of focus: Technology-enhanced teaching and learning, learning technology infrastructure, REACH, Unizin, UW-Madison Canvas Pilot, MOOCs


Find more information about DoIT AT.

Sarah Miller,

Service Leader for Faculty Engagement, DoIT Academic Technology

Areas of focus: REACH Co-lead, Blend@UW, Blended Learning Fellowship Program

Assessment, Evaluation & Curricular Redesign:

Mo Bischof,

Associate Vice Provost, Office of the Provost

Areas of focus: Student learning assessment, curricular development, faculty development, course evaluation, accreditation, EI communication strategy and planning


Visit the UW-Madison assessment website.

EI Communications:

Caitlin O'Brien,

Communication Coordinator, Office of the Provost

Areas of focus: EI communication strategy and planning, EI story development and writing, EI website management, EI Small Grant Program, EI funded projects and events coordination

Post-Baccalaureate Degree & Certificate Programs:

Katy Duren,

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, DCS

Areas of focus: Post-baccalaureate degree and certificate programs, curricular development, academic planning and approval, program revenue


Learn more at advanceyourcareer.wisc.edu.

Summer Term:

Sarah Barber,

Director, Summer Term, DCS

Areas of focus: Summer term, program revenue, academic program planning, academic calendar


Learn more about Summer Term.

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Contact Form

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