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Making of a MOOC

Photo: Digitizing archaeology

While some massive open online courses, or MOOCs, are essentially digital archives of lectures, UW-Madison anthropology professor John Hawks took a much more ambitious approach with his MOOC, Human Evolution: Past and Future. He carried a portable video kit around the world. He sent small cameras into an archaeological site with UW students. And then, working with DoIT, he edited dozens of hours of footage into shorter video segments for class. Two days after the course launched, nearly 10,000 students had logged more than 31,000 views of the week-one videos.

Top Stories

Annual Security and Fire Safety Report released

Photo: UWPD High Res Patch

UW-Madison's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report was released this week. The report contains a wide range of safety topics, including crime, fire safety, and an expanded section on sexual assault and domestic violence. Printed copies can be requested from UWPD by calling 608-264-2677. 

Blank’s Slate: Diversity on campus a priority

Photo: Rebecca Blank

"A diverse community is deeply important to the educational mission" of UW-Madison, Chancellor Rebecca Blank writes in a new blog post. She discusses the new diversity framework "Forward Together" and urges members of the campus community to hear details and have their questions answered at a series of sessions beginning next week.

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Around Campus

UW aims to improve digital teaching and learning

Graphic: Unizin logo

UW-Madison is joining Unizin, a consortium of universities developing a common set of improved digital tools for teaching and learning. The Unizin partnership will allow faculty to design effective learning experiences and improve how course content is created and delivered.

South Africa: Team effort in the Eastern Cape

Photo: UW students planting food

In the fertile, rolling hills of the Eastern Cape province of South Africa, it’s hard to imagine a food shortage. But hunger is a serious threat there, especially for children. Researchers at the CALS-based Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) are teaming with local groups to try to improve those conditions.

Employee Assistance Office to host open house

Photo: Sherry Boeger

New Employee Assistance Director Sherry Boeger hopes many in the campus community will take time out to meet her staff and learn about the confidential services the Employee Assistance Office offers at an open house at the Lowell Center on Nov. 7. Registration is requested by Oct. 22.

Outside UW

PALS program targets health of African-American seniors

Photo: Biking couple

Statistics show that less than one-fourth of African-American seniors participate in the recommended levels of physical activity, contributing to disability and poor health outcomes. In response, the UW School of Nursing has launched a new, tailored Physical Activity for Life for Seniors (PALS) program.


Physicist turns smartphones into cosmic ray detectors

Photo: Justin Vandenbroucke

A new smartphone app developed by Justin Vandenbroucke, a UW-Madison assistant professor of physics, can essentially turn your Android phones into pocket cosmic ray detectors. The app, DECO, uses the phone's camera to capture energetic subatomic light particles and log data.

In the Media

UW expert offers advice to educators, social workers

Photo: Dipesh Navsaria

The Des Moines Register reports on the work of UW pediatrics expert Dipesh Navsaria, who recently shared advice on child development with educators and social workers at a Des Moines conference. Brain growth can be slowed by childhood traumas and a lack of stimulation, he said.


First shared governance reception to be held next week

Photo: W banner on Bascom Hill

Mark your calendars for Oct. 7, 3-5 p.m. in the Gordon Dining and Event Center, for the first Shared Governance Reception. The reception will serve to recognize the work of faculty, academic staff and classified staff in shared governance. The chancellor will address those in attendance at 3:30 pm.

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