Thursday, April 20 & Friday, April 21, 2023

Memorial Union, Madison

In-Person and via ZOOM

The theme for this year’s conference is The Joys of Teaching and Learning : Centering Students

From the classroom to department meetings and from learning management systems to addressing mental health and wellbeing, students are the focus of our professional lives.  In the past few years, we have increased our attention to centering our teaching practices around the “whole student.” Re-examining assessment strategies, updating curriculum, exploring teaching methods and modalities while increasing flexibility and compassionate responses to students’ needs are just a few examples.

Centering Students is what we do as educators and is tied to our goals, challenges and the rewards of teaching and learning.  As we deal with the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have an opportunity to explore what we have learned, and what we still need to learn, about connecting with and supporting students.  How might we consider what we need in terms of self-care and care for colleagues so we can feel a sense of well-being and enable us to better care for others around us? How do we cultivate relationships and create a sense of community with our students?  How do we bring student voices into our face-to-face, online, and blended learning environments?  What opportunities are there to cultivate connections both within and external to our class environments?  How can we meet students where they are, while advising and mentoring them to succeed beyond our learning contexts?

We invite you to register to attend OPID’s 2023 Spring Conference so we can collaborate and learn together to explore possibilities for centering students in our teaching/learning contexts.

Spring Conference 2023 Program

2023 OPID SCoTL Program pdf

Interactive Plenary- Dr. Peter Felten

Dr. Peter Felten (photo by Kim Walker)

Thursday, April 20, 2023

Relationship-Rich Education: Learning and Equity In and Beyond Our Courses

Our Centering Students theme is intentionally tied to the expertise of this year’s plenary speaker. Decades of research demonstrate that the quality of student-faculty, student-staff, and student-student interactions are foundational to engaging, inclusive, and purposeful learning. Educational relationships profoundly influence motivation, learning, belonging, and achievement for all students, and particularly for new majority students. Drawing on more than 400 interviews with students, faculty, and staff across U.S. higher education, we will explore relationships as a flexible, scalable, equitable, and humane approach to ensuring that all students experience welcome and care, become inspired to learn, and explore the big questions that matter for their lives and our communities. You will leave with practical ideas for research-informed ways that you can cultivate educationally powerful interactions in your work with students in and beyond the classroom.




Dr. Peter Felten is a professor of history, executive director of the Center for Engaged Learning, and assistant provost for teaching and learning at Elon University. During the 2022-2023 academic year, he has been named Fulbright Canada Distinguished Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, at Carleton University in Ottawa. Peter has published six books about undergraduate education including (with Leo Lambert), Relationship-Rich Education: How Human Connections Drive Success in College (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). His next book, a student guide to relationship-rich education, is co-authored with Isis Artze-Vega, Leo Lambert, and Oscar Miranda Tapia, will be published by Johns Hopkins in 2023 (with an open access online version free to all readers). He has served as president of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) and also of the POD Network, the U.S. professional society for educational developers. He is on the advisory board of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and is a fellow of the Gardner Institute, a foundation that works to advance equity, justice, and upward social mobility through higher education. Learn more about Peter’s scholarship. Peter earned a Ph.D in history from the University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in history, summa cum laude, at Marquette University. He was born and raised in Madison.

OPID 2023 Signature Programs Committee
Sylvia Tiala, Chair (UW-Stout). Members: Verda Blythe (UW-Madison), Abhimanyu Ghosh (UW-Stout), Veronica Justen (UW-River Falls), Bryan Kopp (UW-La Crosse), Mary-Beth Leibham (UW-Eau Claire), Heather Pelzel (UW-Whitewater), Erin Speetzen (UW-Stevens Point), Jamie White-Farnham (UW-Superior).


Programmatic inquiries may be directed to:

Fay Akindes, Director of Systemwide Professional and Instructional Development, UW System,, (608) 263-2684.

For technical support contact:

Erin McGroarty, Program Associate, Office of Academic Programs & Faculty Advancement, UW System,, (608) 262-8778.