FAQ: The IDEAL Learning Journey
Frequently Asked Questions about The IDEAL Learning Journey
Learning Journey goals
What are the reasons it's important for me to attend?
The learning journey is one of many critical components in the university’s diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy for staff. Our goal is to ensure our culture is fair, respectful, inclusive, and one where all feel they belong. Achieving this vision for our culture will definitely take all of us working together. By learning together, our culture will improve because we will have a common understanding of the behaviors and actions we can all take toward enabling a fair, respectful, and inclusive workplace; and build our confidence in how to stand up for each other and disrupt these negative behaviors if we observe them happening. This is an opportunity to make your personal commitment to diversity and equity.
What will I learn?
The learning journey has been designed to be highly relevant to Stanford’s issues and challenges by members of UHR, some of the IDEAL Advisory Committee members and nationally recognized women and minority-owned DEI consulting firm. The curriculum builds self-awareness through education on biases, racism and injustice, microaggressions, diversity and social justice, and how those show up at Stanford. Additionally, a core focus is to help strengthen the skills necessary for changing behaviors and habits toward creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels safe to speak up and stand up to racism
You will have opportunities to observe role-play exercises in how to have race-based conversations, learn how to apply these learnings at work, and engage in discussions with others to share learnings and insights.
You’ll also have an opportunity to develop and demonstrate empathy through this experience, perhaps the most crucial skill to deal with our differences.
When does the learning journey end?
Learning about diversity, equity, and inclusion is a life-long journey. Currently, the journey includes a core curriculum focused primarily on race; however, additional diversity-related content will be added over time.
STARS Enhancements in December 2022
Why are the changes to STARS being done?
The primary reason is based on feedback from participants that prerequisites are confusing and it was sometimes frustrating to find individual components within the learning journey. In addition, in 2023, it is anticipated that over 5,000 additional staff will participate in The IDEAL Learning Journey. Many of the registration and associated maintenance tasks have been done manually, so now we need to automate processes for program efficiency. Here's an overview of what is changing:
- Each learning component will now be listed separately in STARS (not combined as before), and each will have a Launch/In Progress/Completed button next to it, as well as identifying if each component is Required or Optional.
- For learning components with a prerequisite (e.g., the workshops), STARS will now display the prerequisite that must be completed if your record indicates an unmet prerequisite.
- Individual contributors who become people managers, as well as managers who become individual contributors, will be automatically assigned to the correct learning journey track, a process previously done manually.
- All benefits-eligible new hires will be automatically enrolled during the first week of their enrollment.
Timing & participation
Who is expected to participate in The IDEAL Learning Journey?
All benefits-eligible, academic and non-academic staff are expected to participate; approximately 14,000. This number includes staff in positions that are exempt, non-exempt, and bargaining unit, but not temps, casuals or staff currently on a leave. During the remainder of 2022, we anticipate the majority of people managers to complete all parts of the learning journey.
What time commitment is needed to participate in The IDEAL Learning Journey?
The learning journey is meant to be experienced over a six-month time period. Within those months, you’ll participate in about eight to ten hours to complete the learning journey. Your actual time may vary and will depend on your learning style as well as the number of hours you devote to exploring the self-paced videos, articles, and self-assessments, and lastly, if you participate in the optional open discussion groups.
People managers have additional learning options related to their role that add approximately one hour.
Is the learning journey mandatory?
No. However, the President and Provost have both stated that this learning program is a priority to ensuring we have a culture that is fair, respectful, and creates a sense of belonging for all and achieving this vision for our culture will definitely take all of us working together. Our plan is that approximately 15,000 Stanford staff will complete the learning journey in approximately two years. Our hope is that our culture will change for the better when we have a common understanding of how we can forge a workplace where we all feel respected, valued, and confident in how to stand up for each other.
Will non-exempt staff, including represented staff, be able to participate?
Yes. Participation in The IDEAL Learning Journey is open to all staff, including those in bargaining unit positions, and is considered as paid time. Managers are expected to work with their teams to ensure operational effectiveness while team members are participating in the experience. Options for staff who do not use computers or mobile devices in their work are being arranged and announcements will be made within schools and units.
I'm enrolled in the track for individual contributors, but am going to be taking a manager role. Will I be enrolled in the manager learning journey track?
Yes, any staff member whose role changes from individual contributor to manager, as well as managers who take an individual contributor role, will be automatically reassigned to the correct learning journey track. As a result of this process being automated, those previously enrolled in individual contributor workshops will have to newly enroll in the manager workshops, because the content differs.
I have already attended a diversity, equity, and inclusion training offered by my department/unit; am I expected to attend the learning journey, too?
Yes, staff are still expected to attend the learning journey as it is one of the university’s critical initiatives in support of IDEAL for staff. This is the first time in Stanford’s history that over 15,000 of us will be participating in a comprehensive experience together to learn how to forge a more diverse, equitable and inclusive future. What you learned in your department, school or unit was undoubtedly highly useful; at the same time, that experience was not shared by thousands of your colleagues. By having a shared experience, we begin to use a common language, we learn ways to disrupt any bias or discrimination we observe, and we share approaches and best practices with each other. Plus, the journey provides an opportunity to reinforce and supplement what you have already learned as we believe learning about diversity and inclusion is a life-long journey.
Are faculty being invited to The IDEAL Learning Journey?
No, but faculty are welcome to participate if they desire and can request to be enrolled in The IDEAL Learning Journey by submitting a help request that goes to the learning journey team.
What are the plans for diversity and inclusion education for faculty?
The Vice Provost for Faculty Development, Diversity, and Engagement has created tools and materials to support the learning and development of faculty. There are also plans underway for additional learning opportunities such as workshops and peer-to-peer facilitated tabletop discussions. For more information, please contact Susan Drange. Faculty are able to participate in The IDEAL Learning Journey on request.
How will faculty who manage staff be informed about this learning journey?
Faculty who have staff as direct reports will receive key information in an email a week prior to the launch, as will all managers. In addition, they will receive a communication “toolkit” to help them share information with their teams.
Logistics for the learning journey
What time commitment is required to participate in The IDEAL Learning Journey?
The learning journey is meant to be experienced over a six-month time period. Within those months, you’ll participate in about eight to 10 hours to complete the learning journey and a few additional hours to attend optional open discussion experiences. Your actual time may vary and will depend on your learning style as well as the number of hours you devote to exploring the self-paced videos, articles, and self-assessments, and lastly, if you participate in the optional open discussion groups.
People managers have additional learning options related to their role that add approximately one hour.
Am I able to participate with my own workgroup/an intact team?
Our DEI partner, an expert in DEI and learning experiences, has strongly recommended that intact teams not participate together due to the sensitive nature of the discussions. Of course, if intact teams wish to participate together, there are ways to do that, such as everyone agreeing to complete specific learnings within the self-paced activities and then having discussions about that learning in a team meeting. Once teams have completed the self-paced learnings and are eligible for the workshop series, teams can coordinate to enroll in the same workshop (based on workshop availability).
Will I be asked to complete assessments or surveys? What is done with the data from those?
Yes. You’ll be asked to do two self-assessments; one at the beginning of the self-paced learning, and a follow-up of the same self-assessment after you have completed the two workshops. This helps you and the learning journey team identify your baseline awareness, skills, and abilities and then helps to identify any changes over the course of the learning journey. Each self-assessment has just 15 rated questions.
There are also two surveys; these are very brief opportunities to give immediate input on the specific components of the learning journey so the learning journey team can identify any needed changes to content. The first survey is after completion of the self-paced learning component, and the second is after completion of the workshops. Each survey has just five questions.
Each self-assessment and survey will ask you to self-identify your demographic information, such as race/ethnicity, gender, etc. This is voluntary, and we want to reassure you that no identifiable information will be shared with others; we are seeking to identify data trends, in aggregate, that help us more deeply understand the feedback and calibrate needed changes within the learning journey experience.
When I am in one of the e-learning courses, the course won’t advance after I have viewed a specific component; e.g., a video. How do I keep going with the e-learning course when it won’t advance?
The e-learning courses require any embedded videos and audio to play to the end for the next button to appear. If you have just viewed a video and audio and the course will not advance, relaunch the course to access the screen and play the audio and video until it is completed. Click the next button to advance to the next screen.
What were the main findings from The IDEAL Learning Journey that was piloted in summer 2021?
We learned so much from the feedback and ideas shared by the pilot participants; about the content, the way feedback is solicited, and the communications. Changes, both minor and significant, have been made to all aspects of the learning journey as a result. We’ve reduced the complexity of the learning journey components while including new content, streamlined the foundational self-paced online learning and the eLearning courses, have included action planning as part of all workshops, and have designed the open discussion groups to begin closer to the onset of the journey. We reviewed all feedback and recommendations with the IDEAL Staff Advisory Committee members to arrive at the final design.
About the interactive workshops
When can I enroll in an interactive workshop?
As soon as you complete Part 1: Self-paced learning, you will see a link in STARS on your “All learning” page to enroll in an upcoming workshop. Enroll in a workshop that fits your schedule and be sure to block the time. Waitlists will be available for all workshops.
What days are the interactive workshops offered?
Currently, subject to change, workshops for people managers will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Workshops for individual contributors will be held on Wednesdays. Additional sessions will be added based on demand.
How far in advance will workshop dates be published so I can sync up with my calendar/work priorities/personal time off?
Workshop dates will be available in STARS for self-enrollment approximately 6-8 weeks prior to the workshop dates. If new workshop dates are added, those will be published farther in advance.
Based on current estimates (not counting additional dates that could be added), how many staff can attend workshops in 2022?
In 2023, there will be enough workshops to accommodate approximately 5,000 staff; in 2022, approximately 4,000 staff participated. All 15,000+ staff are able to participate in the self-paced learning opportunities.
Workshop attendance policies
When can I enroll in an interactive workshop?
As soon as you complete Part 1: Self-paced learning, you will see a link in STARS on your “All learning” page to enroll in an upcoming workshop. All workshops are conducted virtually and are interactive. Enroll in a workshop that fits your schedule and be sure to block the time. Waitlists will be available for all workshops.
Important Note: The learning in the workshops is progressive, so be sure to enroll in Workshop 1 on a date that is before Workshop 2. (If you accidentally enroll in Workshop 2 on a date scheduled prior to Workshop 1, please drop Workshop 2 and enroll in a date that is after Workshop 1.)
I am not seeing workshops scheduled for future quarters when I look in STARS; why is that?
The interactive workshops will be available quarterly and published in STARS just prior to the beginning of each quarter. Please carefully review your calendar and availability before enrolling in a workshop to be sure you can attend on the date and time you scheduled.
What are the workshop drop policies?
You are able to drop a workshop you’re enrolled in up to five business days prior to the workshop date. When you drop prior to five days before the workshop, the first person on the waitlist will automatically be enrolled and sent a confirmation.
Workshops are an important part of the learning journey experience and we have secured a nationally recognized diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging vendor to deliver them. As a result, we want to ensure all available spaces in each workshop are filled.
Your ability to enroll in a future workshop may be limited as the workshop may not be offered again for many months, so we hope you take every opportunity to block the time well in advance so you can participate.
What if I have an emergency the day of my workshop and cannot attend?
If you have an emergency and need to drop 1-5 days prior to the workshop or the day of the workshop, you must submit a service request.
I need to reschedule a workshop I’m enrolled in. What’s the best way to do that?
Login to STARS in Axess. If the workshop is more than five days in the future, you can drop it in STARS and then search for a future workshop date. However, the workshop may not be offered again for many months/until the next quarter, so we hope you take every opportunity to block the time well in advance so you can participate.
Taking care of yourself throughout the learning journey
What resources are available to me as I participate in the learning journey components?
As with all aspects of the workplace, you have key resources; people, and groups who are there to help you. Some of the content in the learning journey is sensitive in nature and/or could be emotionally triggering. If you experience these feelings and would like help to process them, please reach out to:
How to get help
Please submit a help request (webauth required) for any learning journey support you need.