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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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Online Learning

Enhancing and scaling online learning is a significant focus for campus and the EI Initiative, particularly as both strive to advance personalized learning strategies using technology and to expand access to both residential (“traditional”) and new student audiences.

In partnership with schools, colleges and other campus units, EI aims to help enhance and scale high-quality online learning experiences across campus.

Goals for Online Education
  • Advance excellence in teaching and ...
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REACH - Redesigning for Active Learning in High-Enrollment Courses

Primary Objectives

The REACH team partners 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

In fall 2018, 6,600+ students are participating in REACH courses. The courses feature:

  • Consistent, ...
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Excel - Extending Teaching Professional Development to the Classroom

Excel is a course design initiative that helps faculty and instructors apply evidence-based and learner-centered teaching practices to their courses. The initiative supports the development of deep learning and inclusive classroom environments by providing individualized support, instructional and financial resources, and evidence-based approaches to course design and implementation.

Instructors engaged in Excel have previously participated in in-depth and comprehensive teaching professional development through the university (e.g., Madison ...

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Blended Learning

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

Blended learning can come in many shapes and forms, and can assume a number of different meanings to different people. Faculty and instructors in the Blended Learning ...

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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 partnership with the Unizin consortium. 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 ...

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Online Course Development Grants

Important Notice: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual call for EI Online Course Development Grant proposals will not take place this fall 2020. We appreciate your understanding.

Formalized in 2017, the campus Online Learning Initiative offers faculty and instructors the opportunity to apply for Online Course Development Grants to support the development of online courses taught in any term (fall, spring or summer). An annual call ...

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EI Small Grant Program

Important Notice: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the EI Small Grant Program and its annual call for proposals will not take place this fall 2020. We appreciate your understanding.

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 primarily provides support for credit-based, undergraduate courses and programs; however, proposals for graduate courses ...

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EI Small Grant Supports 21st Century Approach to Physics

Smartphones get a workout in a two-semester accelerated introduction to physics for potential University of Wisconsin–Madison physics, astronomy, and applied math, engineering and physics majors. Week after week, the smartphone becomes an instrument for teaching and learning introductory physics.

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TeachOnline@UW Summer, Fall & Spring Sessions - Apply Now

This year, the TeachOnline@UW Program will offer summer sessions – this is a great opportunity for faculty and instructors to get a quick start on developing online courses. The program will also continue to offer sessions this fall 2019 and spring 2020.

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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


Find more information about DCS.

John Zumbrunnen,

Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

Academic affairs, teaching and learning programs, active learning initiatives, online learning, advising, academic planning, accreditation. Learn more.

Steven Cramer,

Vice Provost for Instructional Continuity and Academic Affairs

Areas of focus: Instructional continuity. Learn more.

EI Senior Fellows:

Ivy Corfis,

Professor, Department of Spanish and Portuguese

Areas of focus: REACH Co-lead

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