Learning Systems: Service, Priorities, & ADEI-AR
What We Believe
by Learning Systems, ATUS
We work together and across departments to expand connections and research solutions. With our combined 50 years of service working at Western Washington University, we have a long track record of empowering personnel across departments and programs to promote student success and accomplish the academic mission of the university via learning systems and relational support. We recognize our privileges and hope to use our positions to expand access, diversify our collective knowledge, and promote ease and joy in teaching and learning. We also acknowledge when we fall short, when we must be accountable, and when we have more to learn. We honor all the teachers, authors, and sages who have guided us and continue to mentor us.
We are relational technologists. This means that we approach working with our clients as people first, regardless of role, background, identity, or affiliation at the university. We ask a lot of questions to better understand client needs, to challenge our own and our clients’ assumptions, and to keep students centered.
We partner with our clients. We listen to our clients’ needs and walk with them through the steps to find customized, personalized solutions.
We aim to destress our clients’ relationship with instructional technology and design. We share strategies with clients that align with their ideas, relieve some of the pressure points in working with technology, and creatively solve problems.
We believe that accessibility, diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism (ADEI-AR) efforts should be integrated and considered in all aspects of our work, from trainings, consultations, and communications to technology research and evaluation. We believe in creating an environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to participate fully in the teaching and learning process.
- Accessibility: We recognize that education is a transformative process that should be accessible to all individuals, regardless of their background, ability, or identity.
- Diversity: We are dedicated to creating a teaching and learning environment that celebrates diversity, represents a variety of identities, and values holistic practices.
- Equity: We acknowledge that systemic barriers can disproportionately affect certain groups and create inequitable access to educational resources, technologies, and opportunities. We actively work to eliminate these barriers, promote equal access to technologies, and enable clients’ skills potential.
- Inclusion: We believe that inclusion is fundamental to our approach in our service to faculty, and in creating a learning environment where everyone feels valued and empowered in the teaching and learning process. We endeavor to reach those who are excluded from our traditional domain by sharing professional development opportunities with all those who teach, support teachers, and use our academic learning systems–not just professors.
- Anti-racism: We approach our work with the understanding that higher education was formed with white supremecist roots and supports exclusionary practices. We work against this by questioning traditions, patterns, and processes to reconfigure constraints, conditions, and systems of power.
We believe that education is lifelong, can be formal or informal, comfortable or uncomfortable, linear or nonlinear, and can appear in a multitude of ways–some we have yet to imagine.
We examine and test emerging trends and relay best practices, challenges, and possibilities to our faculty. By doing so, we hope to positively impact students in gaining the knowledge and the skills necessary for their future careers.
Blick, A. M., Brown, J. S., Nicandri, L., & Posthumus, L. (2022). Heuristic for Inclusive Instructional Design. Teaching and Learning Cooperative, Western Washington University. CC-BY license.
Bradshaw, A.C. Reconsidering the Instructional Design and Technology Timeline Through a Lens of Social Justice. TechTrends 62, 336–344 (2018).
Care and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy in Online Settings. Kyei-Blankson, L., Blankson, J., & Ntuli, E. (Eds.). (2019). IGI Global. Available via the TLCo-op.
Ikeda, R., Nham, K., Laura Armstrong, Diec, F., Kim, N., Parada, D., Sanchez, D., Zhen, K., & Robinson, V. (2021). Designing for Liberation: A Case Study in Antiracism Instructional Design. The Journal of Applied Instructional Design, 10(4).
Laurence, A. Roby, S. & Tam, R. (2021). Bringing Inclusive Language into IT. EDUCAUSE Review.
United Nations - Definition of Digital Inclusion
U.S. Office of Education - Priorities - Digital Equity & Opportunity
Washington Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction - Digital Equity and Inclusion