Learn more about The Discussion Project team

The Discussion Project, developed by leading educators at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is a professional learning course for teachers leading classrooms in grades 6-12 and college instructors. It is designed to improve discussion pedagogy as part of facilitating a more engaging, inclusive, and intellectually rigorous classroom environment.

Where we are

The Discussion Project’s home base is in Madison, Wisconsin at the Wisconsin Center for Education Products & Services, though some of our instructors live in Colorado.

The Discussion Project is also a research project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research, where it originated and still is going strong, providing support to UW-Madison instructors.

Why we are

Our goal is to improve classroom discussion because we know it leads to higher levels of engagement, belonging, and learning for students. As such, we provide a course that helps all instructors grow in their skills to build inclusive and engaging “discussion classrooms” that foster community-building and intellectual engagement.


What our professional learners say

Pamela Epley

Interim Senior Vice-President of Academic Affairs & Dean of Faculty, Clinical Professor, Erikson Institute

“The Discussion Project was an amazing experience for the Erikson faculty to engage in together. We learned from the wonderful facilitators as well as with and from each other multiple ways to create space for varied perspectives, facilitate meaningful engagement across all students, and intentionally promote learning through small and large group discussions.”

Khasan Redjaboev

PhD candidate, International Studies, UW-Madison

“I liked the Discussion Project as an absolutely essential teaching training for both newly starting and experienced instructors. Even though I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education in Teaching and Learning, the program kept me busy and engaged thanks to the latest innovations in educational research. I recommend the Discussion Project for everyone interested in making their classes more inclusive, teaching effective, and outcomes more lasting.”

The Discussion Project

Research and development

Informed by an extensive review of literature and rigorous academic studies, our interactive curriculum reflects learning from research and multiple iterations of feedback from participants and experts. Our project’s team of curriculum writers and instructors have deep expertise in classroom instruction and discussion design.

The research and development has been funded by a $1mm grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and further investment by University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Create equitable and inclusive classrooms conducive to high quality discussion


Improve instructor discussion pedagogy skills


Enhance student learning


Increase student and instructor engagement and retention


Strengthen departmental profiles


Build institutional reputation for teaching quality

Woman reading a report to a group of people

Ready to have a discussion?

Submit your information for a personalized course walk-through with The Discussion Project team to better understand how it can support the growth of your instructors, departments, and institution.

Schedule a consult today