Creativity needed? Sign up now for Winter TLA groups!

Posted on: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - 11:35am

The Western Washington University Library welcomes all members of the campus community to participate in the Teaching-Learning Academy dialog forum in winter quarter. Participants include faculty, staff, Bellingham community members and students who meet every other week to address a big question of shared interest.

Fall participants developed a big question around creativity, and winter participants will advance the study by highlighting courses and programs at WWU that are already supporting innovative teaching and learning, as well as by finding more ways to make WWU the most creative university it can be.

Choose from four TLA group options: Wednesdays or Thursdays at noon or 2 p.m. Groups meet every other week for a total of five meetings beginning Jan. 12 or 13, and sessions last officially for 80 minutes, but non-student participants can feel comfortable in leaving early if needed.

For winter, Wednesday groups will meet in the Canada House, except for Jan. 12, when they will meet in CEED, the Center for Educational Equity and Diversity, in Miller Hall Room 5. Both Thursday groups will meet in CEED all quarter.

In addition to working to understand better our lived experiences at WWU, TLA participants translate those understandings into concrete actions, including changes in individual and institutional teaching and learning practices. For example, TLA members will have an opportunity this year to contribute to a new teaching manual that the Academic Coordinating Commission is launching.

As many faculty, staff and community participants have noted: While making space for the five-or-so hours a quarter it takes to participate is sometimes challenging – being part of the conversation is always informing and often inspiring. Staff frequently add that the TLA is an excellent site for sharing information about campus resources. And students express surprise and interest in learning more about how much others care about their learning, an attitude shift that often results in more engaged behavior inside and outside the classroom.

To sign up for a TLA group, just e-mail Heather Dalzell,, and then come join the dialog on Jan. 12/13.

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