Dear Evergreen Colleagues,
The pandemic is a portal …
I just came from a workshop with faculty who teach science in community college, where we explored equity-producing assessment and evaluation systems.  Through authentic assessment and ungrading models, these faculty were exploring possibilities that a year ago would have been unthinkable, despite knowing they would better serve students.  Just a year ago, the systems, the structures, the cultures wouldn’t have tolerated this change. 
Arundhati Roy’s essay “The Pandemic is a Portal” gives name to this phenomenon. Just a little over a year ago, taking the entirety of Evergreen’s curriculum online was unimaginable - yet we are all coming off a lived experiment of having done just that.  It wasn’t perfect, but it was possible.  Also, we learned SO much about what we value in the process - and perhaps now have a little better window into what is essential.
What made these futures unimaginable?  Was it our inability to imagine? Was it our human instinct to adhere to what is? Is it the complex interplay of cognitive biases that lead individuals in groups to over rely on past failures, over signal outliers, or seek evidence to support what we already believe to be true and possible? Or is it just a fluke? I don’t pretend to know but I am fascinated by the question.  (I recommend watching the Arundhati Roy reading her essay or digging into the Cognitive Bias Codex)
As we come near to the close of this academic year - and the lived experiment - it is time to turn our attention to the coming summer and academic year.  We are walking through the portal, will we walk lightly and take only what matters?
As you ponder that, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t highlight some important pieces towards moving into the future.

  1. The summer institute deadline is tomorrow (May 15th).  Registration will close at midnight so we can assess enrollments and move people from waiting lists.  This is harder than it sounds, so please be patient with us.

  2. Please heed the recent Deans’ reminders about the academic fair. Students are wondering what walking through the portal will mean for summer and fall courses - this is their best opportunity to find out.

  3. Next week, I will be facilitating the second and final installment in a workshop series on writing learning outcomes.  The topic, Writing Transparent, Challenging, and Portable Learning Outcomes, will guide you a process of evaluating and refining your existing learning outcomes. 

  4. Changes to the governance calendar forced a cancellation of Monday’s book club with new faculty.  Please plan to join us for the final session in Week 9: Monday, May 24 (Week 9) 3:30-5:00pm.

In community,
JuliA Metzker
Director, Washington Center for Improving Undergraduate Education

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.


  • The Deans sent faculty tips and reminders for the upcoming Academic Fair that can be found in this recent email.
  • Faculty Ruth Hayes and Laurie Meeker were selected as the faculty graduation speakers. For more information on their speech proposal, review this recent email.
  • The Writing Center provided Academic Statement resources for students in this recent email.
  • An email update on the New Directions for Evergreen Initiative was shared. For more information on the Paths Project, certificates, graduate and professional studies, capstones, holistic advising, and more, review this email
  • The deadline to submit proposals for the National Learning Communities Conference (NLCC 2021) is June 4, 2021. This year’s event will be held virtually on October 21-23, 2021. For more information, review this email
Two people work at the Evergreen organic farm in the springtime.



2021 Evergreen Summer Institutes

This summer’s program offers opportunities to build community, improve our practice, and engage in meaningful conversations about student success. This year, the Learning and Teaching Commons is sponsoring a new conference-style institute, Designing Learning Experiences that Matter, that merges the principles of intentional and universal design approaches to program and course planning with a variety of optional workshops. The institute will be offered twice this summer, June 14-18 and Aug 2-6. 
Registration for summer institutes is open until May 15.   
Register Here!



Online Learning Consortium

Don't forget to explore the resources available to you through the Online Learning Consortium! Evergreen holds an institutional membership to the Online Learning Consortium. As a member institution, faculty have access to free webinars, and other online teaching and learning resources. Members also receive special discounts on workshops, teaching certificate programs, conferences and events. 

To access your member benefits, create your free user account here. Be sure to use your Evergreen email to create your account. 

EdPuzzle is Now Available Through July 2021

EDpuzzle is a teaching tool used to place interactive content into pre-existing videos from a variety of sources, such as TED or YouTube, or into videos you have made. More information can be found here.   

Request a Teaching Consultation 

Do you have a teaching dilemma, issue or question? 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.

Academic and Career Workshops

Faculty, please let your students know they can join sessions led by Academic and Career Advisors, faculty, and Writing Center staff this spring to learn about resumes, the Academic Statement, interviewing skills, and more. Visit this page for more information.

Academic Statement Writing Guide

The first edition of A Guide to Writing Your Academic Statement is now available in print and electronic versions.  This guide will help students understand how to do the research, brainstorming, drafting, revision, and proofreading needed to create a finished draft of their academic statement.

Basic Needs Center- 1st Floor of the CAB

Students now have access to a space every Monday and Friday from 3pm-6pm to procure basic items. Students may schedule an appointment to pick up items such as PPE, library books, clothes, and hygiene items. Please let your students know about this resource.   

Evergreen Organic Farm

Tell your student that the Evergreen Organic Farm is working on accepting basic food and EBT payments for local, fresh produce on campus! Enrolled students received discounts thanks to support from the Services & Fee Allocation Board (S&A).

Hungry Greener Program

If you know of Evergreen students that are concerned about where they will get their next meal, this program will provide limited funds to eligible students that can be used confidentially in The Greenery using a current student ID card. Because the block meals will appear on ID cards, others will not know that the blocks have been donated. Complete a simple application for more information.

Other Resources:


New Faculty Book Club- Portfolio Prep: Evaluating Yourself and Your Peers | 3:30-5pm 
Jeff Antonelis-Lapp: “A Virtual Field Trip in the Nisqually River Watershed” | 11:30-1pm
Path Group Meeting | 3-5pm
Agenda Committee | 3-5pm 
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