Two Years to Two Decades Initiative

2y2d Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century Initiative

As an initiative of the Sustainable Academic Business Plan, we strive to systematically addresses how we will approach teaching and learning in the coming years.

The Initiative Steering Committee and its two working groups (Pedagogy and Technology) include leaders and faculty from across campus. These groups collaborate with University of Washington Information Technology (UW-IT) and the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL) on pedagogical resources, innovations, and integrated technologies to support teaching and learning.


Students studying at UW BothellThe Teaching and Learning Initiative sought extensive input from 2y2d focus groups and other sources during the 2009–2010 and 2010–2011 academic years. Recommendations were distilled into the following principles and goals.

UW Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century:

  • serves an increasingly diverse UW community
  • involves more innovative pedagogies and experiential learning
  • is more collaborative
  • is supported by technology
  • is aware of changing student expectations”

Read the full vision: Teaching & Learning the 21st Century.

Near-term goals

  • Embrace the rapid pace of change in teaching and learning in ways that align to our mission, vision, and values.
  • Continue to prioritize and provide rich interaction between faculty and students.
  • Fulfill the needs and expectations of an increasingly diverse and digitally savvy UW community with shifting demographics by anticipating and responding to developments in cutting-edge pedagogy, and the omni-presence of transformative, integrated technologies.


UW-IT and collaborators on all three campuses continue to develop and support tools for teaching and learning:

  • student Canvas square smGuided pilot projects to examine the effectiveness of technology tools intended to improve the student learning experience, including Tegrity, a cloud-based lecture capture solution (2012 pilot project report); Canvas (2012 pilot project report), and eTexts (2013 pilot project report).
  • Launched Canvas Learning Management System (LMS) on all three campuses in 2012–2013, supporting 1,902 courses involving 36,634 students in Fall 2013 (300 courses at UW Tacoma, 335 at UW Bothell, and 1,271 at UW Seattle). Inside Higher Ed featured the UW-IT efforts as a example of a successful LMS roll-out, hosting an hour-long webinar on the UW Canvas launch that featured members of the UW-IT Learning & Scholarlary Technologies team.
  • Produced videos to promote Canvas to faculty: an overview, and segments focused on using Canvas for collaboration and grading.
  • Supported the development and launch of SpaceScout, a mobile app to help students find study spaces on the Seattle and Tacoma campuses. Spaces on the Bothell campus are being added during 2013-14.
  • In partnership with Student Technology Fee Committee, launched MyPlan, a web-based tool to help students plan their path to degree, recently featured in an article on successful online aids to face-to-face advising  (video, overview, Spring 2013 update).
  • Guided development of new technology-enhanced active learning classrooms (ALC) in Odegaard Undergraduate Library.
  • Developing ways to use learner-based analytics to send personalized support to students; UW Tacoma has received national attention for a pilot program.
  • Released Notify.UW, a service that notifies students about course availability, sending messages when a course closes, or when seats become available in a course that had been closed.

UW-IT and CTL, in collaboration with partners on all three campuses support faculty as they teach using new technologies:

Resource videos: Innovative teaching techniques

KikismsquareThis series demonstrates techniques that increase students’ meaningful understanding and deep learning. These videos were produced by the 2y2d Teaching & Learning initiative in collaboration with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

Next steps

  • Create a cohort of “faculty evangelists” to share experiences with colleagues.
  • Gather outcomes data on flipping.
  • Further develop MyPlan, including: develop advisor-generated sample plans, and provide data to colleges and departments from MyPlan.
  • Continue to gather best practices for teaching and learning and for facilitating instructor innovation.
  • Continue to support CTL and UW-IT in providing resources, workshops, and faculty learning communities in a shared effort to make it easier for faculty to experiment with new approaches to instruction.
  • Address the instructional space issues, the need for flexible facilities, and IT in classrooms.
  • Promote conversations about learning goals and student outcomes at the classroom, program, degree, and institution level.


Steering Committee and Working Groups