The Role of the Teaching and Learning Center in Promoting Transformative Learning at a Metropolitan University

  • Judy Ableser Oakland University
  • Christina Moore Oakland University
Keywords: collaborative leadership, universal design for learning, community engagement, experiential learning, strategic planning, organizational change, change initiative

Abstract

With many potential community partners and a diverse student population, the metropolitan university has many opportunities to operationalize transformative learning, which involves a dramatic shift in one’s assumptions that has a lasting change on their perspectives. The challenge of identifying transformative learning initiatives and making these initiatives take hold across a campus requires administrative direction and faculty buy-in. A teaching and learning center (TLC) can guide and sustain such transformation by providing the pedagogical expertise to identify and evaluate transformative learning initiatives, offering a collaborative forum for implementing these initiatives, and serving as an embedded structure to protect initiatives over time. The literature on organizational change in higher education and transformative learning has not yet explored the role TLCs can have in these areas. This article offers a narrative of how a TLC promoted transformative learning through two initiatives: creating a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) initiative to had better include diverse learners, and increasing community engagement through collaborative interactions with the university’s new Experiential Learning Center. This manuscript offers guidelines on leading, directly and collaboratively, such initiatives in a sustainable way, to assist other TLCs in meeting similar goals at their own metropolitan institutions.

Author Biographies

Judy Ableser, Oakland University

Judith Ableser is the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) at Oakland University. Her PhD is in Curriculum and Instruction from Wayne State University. Prior to serving as Director of CETL, she was an Associate Professor in Teacher Education focusing on meeting diverse learning needs of students and evidence-based practices in teaching and learning.

Christina Moore, Oakland University

Christina Moore is the Virtual Faculty Developer at CETL at Oakland University. Her undergraduate and graduate degrees are in English from Oakland University. Prior to her role at CETL, she was a Special Lecturer in Writing and Rhetoric. She has published in areas of learning technology, high impact practices, and teaching writing in higher education.

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Published
2018-08-15