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Students participate in the TLA in a number of different ways. Most students enroll in one of several courses and participate in the TLA as part of their coursework, including through Communication 322, Communication 339, and other courses as well. Additionally, many students participate on a volunteer basis.
This course explores the nature of civil discourse and provides instruction and practice in writing and speaking across differences for a range of public audiences in an effort to enhance the collective good. By focusing on the theory and practice of civil discourse as a means for accomplishing effective dialogue, students will develop concepts, attitudes, and skills needed to be engaged learners and citizens in the campus community and beyond. Course requires two practicum experiences including participation in Western's Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA), a campus-wide dialogue forum on teaching and learning which includes students, faculty, and staff who are working collectively to enhance the University learning environment. For more information, contact instructor Carmen Werder.
In response to the request by a number of graduates of Communication 322 who have participated in the Teaching-Learning Academy and want to continue, as well as to accommodate students who want to participate in the TLA for credit, students may earn practicum credit through Communication 339. In addition to joining the TLA dialogue for five hours each quarter, practicum students also engage in oral and written communication tasks related to action projects that originate in the TLA. For example, a group of practicum students have worked on a project to map activities involving students in community-based learning experiences through the Center for Service-Learning. Other practicum students have worked to advance upper-class student mentoring opportunities, as well as to create a virtual teaching and learning commons, both action items that have emerged frequently in TLA dialogue. For more information about current practicum opportunities, contact instructor Carmen Werder.
Faculty, Staff, and Community Member Participation
All members of the WWU campus community, as well as members of the Bellingham community, are welcome in the TLA dialogue groups.
Not only do these non-student voices inform the dialogue on teaching and learning, but past participants say it gives them a chance to let students and others in the TLA know about the work they do across the University and in our neighboring community.
While regular TLA dialogue groups last officially for 80 minutes, non-student participants are welcome to come for as long as their schedules permit. Community member participants may obtain a visitor’s parking permit to attend TLA dialogue groups.