WCTC Journey

The Journey: Institute of Learning


Transforming Instruction

Instructors are experts in their content areas, with years of experience and education. However, most haven't had robust training that teaches them how to teach. The Journey goes beyond exposure to classroom techniques and gives participants a deeper understanding of effective instruction and the research supporting it.

Course Details

Each Journey course offers an immersive experience that puts you into the learner's shoes first. These courses build on each other to enhance your experience; start with one or stack all three for a deeper exploration.

  • Foundations: Start your Journey experience by exploring educational research, concepts and skills related to high-quality instruction.
  • Application: Build on your foundation of knowledge and apply new skills with your own students.
  • Transformation: Develop transformed instructional beliefs and practices by applying new learning, self-reflection and deep discussions with fellow participants.

Earn a certificate of completion for each course, plus a Journey Certificate of Effective Instruction for completing all three! Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) participants who complete all three units receive credit for all initial Faculty Quality Assurance System (FQAS) requirements.

Session Schedules

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July 29 - August 1, 2024

8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | In person | $375

Some believe that knowing course content and being able to talk about it is enough to teach effectively, but research shows that the most effective instruction also requires knowing how to teach! We can help with that.

In the Foundations course, you'll explore how the brain learns, how to build an effective learning environment, and how to prepare and facilitate learning experiences that support learning.

Course Content

Planning and Preparing for Teaching

Strong preparation leads to instruction that motivates students, focuses on outcomes and increases learning. You will explore:

  • Self-identity and reflection
  • Students as learners
  • Lesson planning
  • Learner-centered approach

Building an Inclusive Environment

Sense of belonging has been shown to be connected to valuable outcomes for college students, including retention, academic standing, and self worth. You will learn how to build such an environment as you explore concepts and skills, including:

  • Norms
  • Bandwidth taxes
  • Cognitive shortcuts
  • Warm and inclusive language
  • Relationship building
  • Belonging

Instruction and Assessment

During Foundations, you will identify and understand the value of effective components of instruction and assessment, and how the brain learns. Dive into topics including:

  • Active learning
  • Formative assessment
  • Engaging openings
  • Repetition, prior knowledge and cultural dissonance
  • Brain growth over time
  • Synaptic connections

Course content is subject to change.

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September 13, October 11, November 8 and December 6, 2024

10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | In person or virtual | $550

The Application course takes you deeper into your understanding of quality instructional practices. You'll be challenged to apply your new knowledge and skills with your own students through assignments that challenge you to meet student needs in new ways.

Our feedback will encourage you to stretch your thinking and apply more effective instructional practices. As you practice applying these skills with your students, you will receive helpful, individualized feedback to further improve your practice.

Course Content

Planning and Preparing for Teaching

Deepen your learning and explore new concepts to prepare and use lesson plans with your students. You will explore:

  • Proactive classroom management
  • Individual students as learners
  • Lesson planning
  • Student-centered approach

Building an Inclusive Environment

Practice creating an inclusive learning environment where your students feel a sense of a belonging. Concepts include:

  • Relationship building
  • Warm and inclusive syllabus language
  • Immediacy
  • Challenges to stereotypes in learning materials

Instruction and Assessment

Deepen your knowledge and explore new concepts and skills related to instruction, assessment and how the brain learns. Apply your developing knowledge and skills with your students.

  • Engaging openings
  • Feedback for learning
  • Formative assessment
  • Active learning
  • Presentations with purpose
  • Bloom's taxonomy
  • Neural history, acquisition, elaboration and encoding
  • Assessment
  • Modeling
  • Closings

Course content is subject to change. You must complete the Foundations course before taking this course.

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January 8 and 9, 2025 (in person)
March 7 and April 4, 2025 (in person or virtual)
May 2, 2025 (in person)

10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. | $625

After completing your first two Journey courses, you'll begin to appreciate the breadth and depth of the content. In Transformation, you'll begin to see the larger picture through synthesis of prior learning, application with your students, our feedback, and reflection on your practice.

This course will challenge you to think about teaching and learning in new ways that may not have previously been possible. You'll make intentional decisions about your teaching based on your new knowledge of how the brain learns, research-based practices, effective preparation, building an inclusive environment, and your evolving beliefs about teaching and learning.

Course Content

Planning and Preparing for Teaching

Synthesize learning from all three Journey courses to prepare effective learning experiences for your students. New content includes:

  • Task analysis
  • Self-study for improvement
  • Teaching observations

Building an Inclusive Environment

Weave together learning from the first two courses with new content to create an inclusive learning environment for your students. New content includes:

  • Representations of diversity
  • Universal design for learning
  • Mental models
  • Microaggressions
  • Norms

Instruction and Assessment

Combine what you've learned throughout the Journey to make intentional decisions about which practices most effectively support student learning. New content includes:

  • Leading discussions
  • Bloom's taxonomy
  • Zone of proximal development
  • Scaffolding
  • Modeling
  • Role of language in thinking and learning
  • Learner voice

Course content is subject to change. You must complete the Foundations and Application courses before taking this course.


Register for The Journey

Want to get in on the action? We'd love for you to join us! Register by July 14, 2024 to get started this fall.

More to Explore

The Journey facilitators have many years of experience teaching and training teachers in the U.S. and abroad.

Linda Gordy, Ph.D.
Curriculum & Instruction
University of Wisconsin - Madison

Jennifer J. Fontanini, Ed.D.
Leadership, Learning, and Service
Cardinal Stritch University

Bethany Leonard, Ed.M.
Harvard Graduate School of Education

The Journey is ideal for new and experienced faculty members, the leaders and staff who support them, and for anyone interested in quality instruction.