About Improving University Teaching

The International Conference on Improving University Teaching (IUT) invites you to join us for our 46th annual forum, which will be held virtually again this year from July 21st through July 23d, 2021.  Our theme, “The Human Side of Teaching,” will address affective issues such student isolation and the need for faculty self-care that can shape learning outcomes during the current pandemic just as much as technology and innovative course design.  As was true last year, our conference will occur live throughout 72 hours — three consecutive days — with sessions shifting from Australia to Europe to North America and on to Australia again in a continuous cycle. All will be recorded and archived for later viewing.

The first IUT Conference was organized in 1975 in Heidelberg, Germany by Ben Massey of the University of Maryland system. Massey’s original aim was to stimulate discussion and improve the teaching skills of American university faculty and their European counterparts. Over time, the conference has grown in size and broadened its attendance to include participants from more than a dozen nations on six continents. After 27 years of guiding the conference, Massey retired in 2002. Jane Halonen of University of West Florida and Peter Seldin of Pace University succeeded him as co-directors of IUT. Their five years of collaborative leadership brought about renewal in the conference format and registration systems, and strong relationships with several universities around the globe.

In 2009, James Wilkinson of Harvard University and Todd Zakrajsek of the University of North Carolina succeeded Halonen and Seldin as co-directors. On their initiative IUT was chartered in 2011 as an independent, non-profit organization under United States law. The following year Wilkinson assumed sole responsibility as director and the Advisory Board was expanded in size.

Until the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, IUT was held in a different country each year. Last year, however, we shifted for the first time to a virtual format. But whether face-to-face or virtual, the conference emphasizes dialogue and sharing among participants through thought-provoking keynote addresses, interactive theme sessions, workshops, concurrent paper sessions, poster presentations, and a digital showcase. The small size of the conference helps to foster additional opportunities for informal exchange. Its expanding online presence promises to provide additional resources to the international teaching community throughout the year.

Previous Conference Sites

2020: First IUT virtual conference
2019: Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany
2018: Port Macquarie, Australia
2017: Tel Aviv, Israel
2016: Durham, UK
2015: Ljubljana, Slovenia
2014: Vancouver, Canada
2013: Santiago, Chile
2012: Innsbruck, Austria
2011: Bielefeld, Germany
2010: Washington, DC, USA
2009: Vancouver, BC, Canada
2008: Glasgow, Scotland
2007: Jaén, Spain
2006: Dunedin, New Zealand
2005: Pittsburgh, USA

2004: Bern, Switzerland
2003: Växjö, Sweden
2002: Vilnius, Lithuania
2001: Johannesburg, South Africa
2000: Frankfurt, Germany
1999: Brisbane, Australia
1998: Dublin, Ireland
1997: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1996: Nottingham, England
1995: Hong Kong
1994: College Park, Maryland, USA
1993: Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany
1992: Tokyo, Japan
1991: Glasgow, Scotland
1990: Yogyakarta, Indonesia

1989: Vancouver, BC, Canada
1988: Umea, Sweden
1987: Haifa, Israel
1986: Heidelberg, Germany
1985: Utrecht, Netherlands
1984: College Park, Maryland, USA
1983: Dublin, Ireland
1982: West Berlin, Germany
1981: Tsukuba, Japan
1980: Lausanne, Switzerland
1979: London, United Kingdom
1978: Aachen, Germany
1977: Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK
1976: Heidelberg, Germany
1975: Heidelberg, Germany