News from the Teaching-Learning Academy: dialogue groups, 'Conversations in Common'

Monday, January 13, 2014 - 11:44am
Western Today staff

As I hope you know, the Libraries Learning Commons partners are working hard to create and develop a space where everyone feels welcome. That’s why we want to be sure you know about three ways that might inspire you to come in this quarter.

First off, the regular Teaching-Learning Academy (TLA) dialogue groups, which include faculty, staff, students, and even community members represent one way for you to help make WWU an even better place to teach and learn. TLA dialogue begins this week, Jan. 15/16, and meets every OTHER week for a total of 5 times for the quarter. To accommodate your busy schedules, we offer four dialogue group options: W12-1:20, W2-3:20, R12-1:20, and R2-3:20. All dialogue groups meet in the Learning Commons in Wilson 2West. While the dialogue groups each go for 80 minutes, you are welcome to dip in for whatever time you have. Fall quarter’s TLA members crafted an engaging BIG question that we will pursue this quarter: How do we ignite individual passion, purpose, and potential to co-create a culture of trust?” If you’d like to join this dialogue and be on the list serve, just email

Another reason for you to come to the Library might be “Conversations in Common,” a new initiative sponsored by the Library’s Learning Commons for individuals, departments, and programs to share information on resources available across Western’s campus. Resulting from an idea that emerged from the TLA last year when they explored how to cultivate more positive communities, these Conversations afford an opportunity to learn more about campus-wide resources as well as to engage in informal dialogue in a centrally located space that has been deliberately designed for interaction and collaboration. A space within the recently remodeled Learning Commons (in the Wilson wing next to the Info Desk) will be available for scheduling “Conversations” beginning next week. Programs that have already signed on to host a Conversation include the Western Sustainability Green Energy Fee grant program, Academic Advising, and the Career Center. If you’re interested in hosting a Conversation in the space or would like more information, please contact me.

A third reason you might want to come into the Learning Commons is to meet students for your regular office hours or to schedule periodic conferences with them. We have a comfortable meeting space in Wilson Library 265 (aka the TLA Living Room), next to the Info Desk, that includes a teaching and learning print collection and that can be reserved for you to meet with individual students or small groups. This space is adjacent to the newly remodeled area where your students can also easily access various resources such as the Writing Center, Research Consultation, and the Tutoring Center. Cups and hot tea provided. To schedule this space in the Learning Commons space, contact Shevell Thibou at the above email address.

Here’s hoping that you will use one of these ways as well as find other reasons to come to the Libraries Learning Commons.


-Carmen Werder