Dear Evergreen Colleagues,

During week five, faculty take stock of student work and advise around progress. Students may not have a good sense of their own standing in a program or class, particularly in an online environment; connecting with students individually may be especially important for providing direct feedback, answering questions, and letting students know what resources are available to help them succeed. Given the challenges of online learning, you might consider adopting a flexible approach to deadlines and expectations around synchronous participation. Students may be pulled away from their studies by circumstances beyond their control; besides notifying the CARE team, make sure they are informed of policies around taking a medical leave of absence, withdrawing from a program, academic standing, and required leave. For further guidelines and resources, please consult with the week 5 resources and reminders page.
The Washington Center/Learning and Teaching Commons will be hosting two upcoming events to support faculty connection and well-being. The first is a Learning Communities Association Happy Hour (virtual drinks are free!) on Wednesday, February 10, 1 - 2pm. Come together with faculty from colleges across the U.S. to talk about building and sustaining community during challenging times. The second is a Commons Conversation on Wednesday, February 24, 1 - 1:50pm with Chaplain Melissa Bennett, Evergreen’s Assistant Director for Spirituality and Meaning Making, on Spiritual Care, Self-Care, and Healing Justice; RSVP here. Evergreen faculty and staff are invited to attend either event.
In celebration of Black History Month, Evergreen-Tacoma is hosting a series of Friday, 12 - 1pm discussions, beginning with a panel Friday 2/5 on mental wellness and psychology during COVID and the current racial and political climate. The event is free and open to the public and can be accessed here. Look for updates on Friday events to follow.
The Center for Racial Justice in Education has provided a helpful Black History Month resource guide, which includes a reminder that “ensuring the ongoing integration of Black history and experiences throughout all curriculum is imperative as educators continue to uplift every student and reinforce that Black Lives Matter everyday.”
Please read on to find out about other events and resources hosted or compiled by Evergreen’s Learning and Teaching Commons.

Eric Stein, 2020-21 Learning and Teaching Commons Faculty Scholar

The Learning and Teaching Commons newsletter is delivered to your inbox on the Friday of odd weeks of the quarter.  Click here to read past newsletters.


  • Evergreen received two historic gifts made by alumni. Graduates Christy Holz and Tim Ball have donated $1 million to fuel Evergreen’s work on climate action and sustainability. Graduate John Hennessey also pledged $1 million to make a lasting impact on future generations of Evergreen students. Read the recent email detailing these gifts. 
  • Join the Student Affairs Program Design Committee in upcoming sessions around reimaging how we provide holistic services around student needs. The first session will be held Friday, February 5th | 8:45 am - 4 pm. More information and registration for these sessions can be found here
  • Evergreen-Tacoma will hold virtual space for Black History Month events every Friday at noon during the month of February. A Mental Wellness and Psychology Panel will be held February 5th at 12 pm.
  • The Climate Justice and Resilience Speaker Series has upcoming events. Saturday, February 6th | 10 am - 1:15 pm | Ellen Marie Jensen, Ph.D. will visit “Climate Change & Colonization in the Arctic: Who are the Sámi?” And Monday, February 8th | 12 - 1:30 pm | Professor John Bolte, of the Oregon State University will be speaking about modeling wildfire in Oregon.
  • The Evergreen Art Lecture Series will host Dr. Gilda Sheppard to discuss her recent film SINCE I BEEN DOWN on Wednesday, February 10th | 11:30 am - 1 pm.
  • This February, First Peoples Multicultural, Trans, and Queer Support Services will share community-created art, poetry, music, and creative work in celebration of Black History Month. If you would like to participate, please contact Merrill Pusey to sign up and receive more details. Creative work will be featured at weekly events on Wednesdays, February 10, 17, and 24, from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm 
  • Evergreen’s Unsoeld Lecture presents Toshi Reagon on Parable of the Sower on Saturday, February 20 | 1 - 3 pm.
  • This February, faculty, staff, and students are invited to participate in the virtual Evergreen Lunar New Year 2021 seminar, celebration, and workshops. More information here.
  • Faculty are invited to have their spring programs join the Writing Lab, a meeting place for participants to share their writing, build a community, and crowd source best practices for working under these unusual circumstances. More information can be found in this recent email.
Evergreen State College Red Square with holiday lights in the winter.

Inclusive Teaching Tip

Every newsletter will feature an Inclusive Teaching Tip that you can add to your teaching toolbox. These reflections and strategies are catalogued on the Learning and Teaching website

[For those of you knee deep in delivering mid-quarter feedback to students, you may wish to revisit the Inclusive Teaching Tip we shared in fall on feedback]

Use Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to Remove Barriers to Learning

Universal design for Learning (UDL) is a framework that accommodates individual learning differences by intentionally seeking and removing barriers experienced by diverse students. UDL draws from the architectural concept of universal design—a design philosophy that seeks to make the physical environment accessible to the widest number of users. The idea is to move from “retrofitting” an existing design toward considering the whole range of human diversity during the design process. Consider, for example, a public building designed with ramps and automatic doors at its entrance. These features improve access for a broader set of the population by offering multiple ways to enter. Not only are those who use wheelchairs and assistive mobile devices able to gain access to the building, but others such as the family with a small child in a stroller or the visitor bringing a case of files to a meeting also experience improved access.
Similarly, the UDL framework reduces barriers for students by considering the cognitive diversity (neurodiversity), physical abilities, and cultural diversity of learners in the classroom. For example, consider captions on videos available in multiple languages. The captions make the video accessible to those who are deaf or hard-of-hearing while also improving understanding for learners who find that reading the dialogue while it is spoken helps their understanding, for those whose primary language is not English, or for those who are watching the video in a noisy environment.
The Center for Applied Special Technology has developed guidelines (CAST; 2018) meant to support cognitively diverse learners to become “expert learners” by changing the learning environment rather than attempting to change the learner. The guidelines are organized into three broadly defined principles that provide flexibility in the ways (1) students are engaged in learning, (2) information is acquired, and (3) students reach and demonstrate mastery. (  These principles are described with a little more detail here. When faced with an access teaching puzzle, the UDL guidelines provide a useful lens to devise universal solutions. The questions below provide a useful exercise to kickstart your thinking. 
Engagement: Are students able to articulate how course content is relevant to their lives or future goals? do students understand the skills and knowledge they will gain from course activities?
Representation: is the material accessible? do documents support screen readers and do all videos have closed captions and transcripts? Have you provided stu- dents with what they need to decode complex language or symbols? is content presented in multiple formats such as text, diagrams, and videos?
Action and Expression: Have you provided flexibility in how students will demonstrate their learning? Are there multiple ways for students to interact with each other, for example, in-class discussions and online forums? Have you demonstrated ways to solve problems using a variety of strategies?
A piece of advice: START SMALL! Choose one strategy that appeals to you and try it out. Ask students to weigh in on the strategies that are working for them.
In the interest of keeping our newsletter brief, this Inclusive Teaching Tip has been truncated.  Please visit the Learning and Teaching Commons blog for access to the full-length article.


Learning Community Association Virtual Happy Hour

February 10, 2021 | 1 PM 
This informal discussion will be focused on building and sustaining community in virtual LCs during challenging times and will be led by Amy Cooper, Manager of the Learning Community Program at Wayne State University. More details, including the zoom link, can be found on the Commons website

Commons Conversation Series: Winter 2021

Commons Conversations provide space and time for Evergreen faculty and staff to discuss issues of teaching and learning, share resources, and build community.

Spiritual Care as Self-Care

February 24, 2021 | 1-1:50 PM 
Facilitated by Melissa Bennett
Spiritual Care is one of several wellness focused resources available to students on campus. Learn more about spiritual care at Evergreen and how it contributes to students’ self-care and total well-being. Engage in conversation about the role of spiritual care in higher education and the ways it supports healing justice in our community.
RSVP for the Commons Conversation Series

Washington Center Collaborative Series: Winter 2021

Each month, the Washington Center Collaborative host monthly conversations that provide a space for you to engage with fellow higher education scholars, practitioners and administrators on topics relevant to our collective work supporting student success.  

Covid & Equity: How is the Pandemic Impacting Students?  

Dr. Jeannette Smith, Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Engagement, and Julia Metzker, Director of the Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education, Evergreen State College (Olympia, WA) 
DATE: Friday, February 26
TIME: 11:00 am PST | 12:00 pm MST | 1:00 pm CST | 2:00 pm EST (1.5 hour session)
LOCATION: RSVP for Zoom link
Nearly a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, what have we learned? How do we take this opportunity to do our work differently as we plan for fall 2021? How do we sustain ourselves while also providing better experiences for students?
RSVP for the Washington Center Collaborative Series


Week 5 Reminders and Resources for Faculty

The Academic Deans sent a recent email detailing information on changes to Mentoring Day, week 5 check-ins, power outage planning, Academic Statement support, Student Wellness Services, and more. Review these resources here.

Teaching Resources Available on Canvas

You can find support and resources for teaching on the Teaching at Evergreen Canvas site. If you don’t have access, use this link to self enroll:
The Learning and Teaching Commons has created a space in the Teaching at Evergreen Canvas: Critical Dialogues about Current Events, for faculty to share strategies and activities to support critical dialogues about current events. This space contains a discussion board and links to resources, which will continue to expand.

Make Online Courses Accessible

Access Services hosts virtual and phone drop-in appointments every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, from 2 - 4pm. For access to the Zoom links for these sessions, as well as other tips and resources for designing accessible and inclusive courses and programs, review this recent email.

Dr. Gilda Sheppards’s Documentary SINCE I BEEN DOWN

Starting Friday, February 5th at 12 pm and ending Wednesday, February 10th at 5pm, Dr. Sheppards’s documentary will be exclusively available for the Evergreen community for streaming in a virtual screening room. More information about this film and how to access it can be found in this recent email.

Spring Writing Lab

As faculty make plans for spring quarter, faculty and their programs are invited to join Writing Lab, a meeting place for participants to share their writing, build a community, and crowd source best practices for working under these unusual circumstances. At the center of Writing Lab, we will dive into a series of free-writing, list making, and drawing exercises. See this email for more information.

Honoraria and Reimbursement Updates

To improve efficiency and consistency among the various divisions, the college has streamlined the honoraria and reimbursement processes.  Please review the changes in this recent email.

Request a Teaching Consultation 

Do you have a teaching puzzle? Is there an activity you are struggling to translate to remote teaching? Do you need some help designing asynchronous activities?
The Learning and Teaching Commons offers individual and small group remote teaching consultations. Consultations provide an opportunity to get direct feedback on your teaching puzzles. Click here for details.


These individuals and offices are eager to support students remotely. Keep this list handy when advising students or reach out to schedule a visit to your program or course.

Spiritual Care Appointments

Faculty, please let your students know that they can now schedule confidential, virtual appointments where they can explore issues related to belonging, purpose, identity, grief/loss, joy/celebration, personal and communal values, religious/spiritual discernment, and self-care. It can be a space for students to vent, be present to and process their own feelings, or learn practices that assist with grounding & centering. Students can email Chaplin Melissa Bennett directly to schedule an appointment.

Speedy’s Study Space and Limited In-person Student Service for Winter

Faculty, please let your students know that Evergreen has two areas of limited in-person student service this quarter. Student Activities is providing space in the CAB for a limited number of students who need a warm, well-lighted place with good wi-fi to study. Information about Speedy’s Study Space, including hours, how students can reserve a spot, and safety protocols is available online. In addition, Evergreen will continue to plan a Basic Needs Center to provide students with access to a food pantry and other essential supplies. More information here

COVID-19 Testing Sites

Limited COVID-19 testing sites are now on campus. The College has partnered with Thurston County Public Health to host a community testing site on Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm in Parking Lot C. The clinic is walk-up, first-come, first-serve. No cost, no insurance billing. However, they will only test symptomatic people or close contacts of a confirmed case. For more information visit the Evergreen COVID-19 Health and Safety site.

Student Support at

Evergreen has launched a new and improved This resource has been specifically designed to put students in touch with the people, offices, and services they need. It is still the place for technical help, but it can now connect students with Student Services and Academics including academic resources, housing, financial aid, student accounts, the library, and more. Please share this resource with your students.

Other Resources:

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