35th Annual Distance Teaching & Learning Conference offers festivity and fun

UW-Madison Distance Teaching & Learning Conference Attendees

What’s the first word that pops into your head when you hear the word “conference”? Perhaps it’s “informative,” “collaborative,” or maybe even “innovative.” 

The University of Wisconsin–Madison Distance Teaching & Learning (DT&L) Conference can be characterized as all of these things, but there’s another descriptor attendees use that might come as a surprise: fun.

Celebrating its 35th anniversary, this year’s DT&L Conference promises to be the best—and most fun—yet. 

More than 800 higher education faculty members, staff, instructional designers, and workforce trainers are expected to attend the conference Aug. 6-8 at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. The conference program will address emerging issues such as virtual and augmented reality, multimedia design, and alternative credentials.

Conference organizers have also planned a variety of extracurricular activities that celebrate and build on the momentum of DT&L’s 35 dynamic years.

“We feel that it is important to offer fun alongside networking, sharing, and learning experiences for our attendees,” says conference director Wendy Fritz. “Infusing fun and memorable events into our conference helps people remember and retain what they have learned, and cements newly formed professional bonds between our attendees.”

Here are just a few of the fun activities attendees can expect this year:

Monona Terrace, site of the DT& L Conference Rooftop Party UW-Madison

Get outside and get down

Boasting stunning views of Lake Monona and the Madison skyline, the Monona Terrace rooftop is the perfect setting for Wednesday evening’s 35th Anniversary Rooftop Celebration. Enjoy food, drinks, and music with your fellow attendees. You can even help fill the party playlist with your favorite songs from the past 35 years. Just email dtl@dcs.wisc.edu with your best music picks. (Seinfeld’s Elaine dance is optional.) Sign up to attend this free event when you register for the conference, or call the registrar at 608-262-0810 to add to an existing registration.


Play to win

Check your conference handouts for details on our Twitter contest and scavenger hunts. Prizes include a free Duarte course and complimentary registrations to the 2020 DT&L Conference. Make sure you have your phone handy so you can tweet, scan, and photograph your entries. And be sure to hashtag #dtlcontest and #UWDTL in all social shares and posts.


State Street Madison Wisconsin DT&L Conference Experience

Explore your surroundings

Madison is consistently rated as a top small city in which to live, work, and play—so why not experience some of this Midwestern goodness for yourself? Representatives from the Greater Madison Visitors & Convention Bureau will be on hand at DT&L, offering immersive tours you won’t want to miss. Take a guided tour of State Street, learn how to craft your own bitters at a local bar, or paddle to a peaceful lakeshore preserve. Sign up at the conference information desk to take advantage of these and other Madison experiences. 


Man getting massage DT&L Conference UW-Madison

Find kneaded relief

With all of the learning and fun you’ll be having at DT&L, you might need a little downtime. Conference organizers have you covered. You’ll find massage chairs in the exhibition hall both Tuesday and Wednesday, staffed with massage therapists to help you work out the kinks.


Pose with a badger

Say cheese! UW-Madison’s beloved Bucky Badger will be on hand for photo sessions Tuesday in the exhibit hall and Wednesday at the rooftop party. Impress your fellow attendees with this fun fact: Bucky’s full name is Buckingham U. Badger.


Be ready for surprises

We can’t give away all the fun, but rest assured there are other appearances and activities you won’t want to miss. So bring your ideas, enthusiasm, and willingness to dive in and have fun. It’s a great year to celebrate the world of distance teaching and learning.

To learn more about the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference or to register, see the conference website. For additional information, contact conference director Wendy Fritz, 608-265-2679, wendy.fritz@wisc.edu.