Plan Your Professional Development for 15-16!

ATLC listserv
If you are not already subscribed to the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Community (ATLC) listserv, sign up here!  This listserv is the primary method the office of Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) disseminates information about events of interest to faculty and staff in our Washington State CTC system, including our Fall and Winter retreats, the new 15-16 Systems Biology Workshop Series, state-wide conversations about issues of importance such as “Standing in the Gap” and “English 101 as ‘Next Space,’” and our Bridge to College English (BCTE) Course Refinement and Development Meetings.

SBCTC Professional Learning Calendar
This google calendar is regularly updated with all of the professional learning opportunities offered by our agency, including the annual Best Practices event, eLearning’s popular Open Educational Resources (OER) training and Introduction to Canvas for Faculty, and other trainings such as Bootcamps for Professional Technical Instructors.

ATL Blog
If you follow Jen Whetham’s Blog, you can find out how to join a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) on hybrid instruction and read meditations on hot topics like Standardized Testing by Bill Moore.  Jen also posts opportunities that fund faculty travel and participation in national projects—like this invitation to participate in an assignment charrette in New Orleans.  Sometimes Jen will even ask for help when she is preparing for an event!

Spring ATL Conference
Save the Dates: May 4-6, 2016
Our annual spring conference brings together educators to broaden their understanding of teaching, relate effective learning practices, and exchange insights, methods, and strategies that promote and support student learning.  This year the keynote is the leading authority on communities of practice, social learning theorists and consultants Etienne and Bev Wegner-Trayner.

FLC Grants
Read about the FY 15-16 FLC grant recipients here!  A faculty learning community (FLC) is a group of educators (faculty, administrators, professional staff) who collaboratively design and then implement a structured, intensive, year-long professional learning experience for its members. Together, the community builds a curriculum of study that engages complex problems and focuses around the members’ individual and collective teaching and learning.  To support system-wide professional learning related to instruction and innovation, the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning (ATL) and eLearning and Open Education departments of the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) invites faculty, staff, and administrators to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to fund Faculty Learning Communities.  Applications for FY 16-17 will be available in March 2016.

As usual, Jen welcomes your questions, comments, and suggestions!  Contact her at

Placement as Conversation, Communication, and Education: Moving Towards Multiple Measures

Assessment, Teaching, and Learning SBCTC Logo

The 2014 Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference is fast approaching!

April 30th-May 2.

Register before April 15th to avoid paying higher conference fees!

Interested in Placement and Multiple Measures?  Consider Pre-Conference Workshop Number 2:

Placement as Conversation, Communication, and Education: Moving Towards Multiple Measures

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Risk and Renewal: Finding the Courage to Teach

Sally Heilstedt

If you have read Parker Palmer’s book The Courage to Teach (and even if you have not!), you might be interested in attending pre-conference workshop number 1 at the 2014 Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference.

Risk and Renewal: Finding the Courage to Teach

Facilitator: Sally Heildstedt, Lake Washington Institute of Technology

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Submit a Proposal for the Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference!

Assessment, Teaching, and Learning SBCTC LogoThis year’s Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference, hosted by SBCTC, will be held at the Vancouver Convention Center at the Hilton in Vancouver, WA.  Peter Elbow will deliver the keynote address on the faculty role in competency based approaches to education titled, “Trying to Teach While Thinking About the End.”

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Peter Elbow to Speak at Spring Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference

Peter ElbowHappy Holidays to all of you, and congratulations to all of you for completing a highly successful fall quarter 2013!  While April and May of 2014 might seem very far off, I urge you to reserve April 30th-May 2nd for the annual Assessment, Teaching, and Learning Conference held at the Hilton Hotel in Vancouver, Washington.

This year our keynote speaker will be Peter Elbow, Professor Emeritus in the department of English at University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  In his keynote address, “Trying to Teach While Thinking About the End,” Dr. Elbow will revisit an essay (published in 1979 in the anthology On Competence).  In the original essay, Elbow explored some of what he called the “paradoxical effects” of a competence approach and raised questions about whether such an “rules out or inhibits certain styles or temperaments in teaching.”

35 years later, his inquiry still feel resonant and timely—perhaps even more so, as technology offers us previously un-imagined possibilities in regards to instructional design and competency based education (CBE).  I, for one, am most eager to hear the insights of this thoughtful scholar on this provocative topic.  As an added bonus, Dr. Elbow will be available for a follow-up discussion after the keynote with interested faculty.