Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

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The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL or SoTL; pronounced /sˈɔtl/ or /sˈɔtəl/) is a growing movement in post-secondary education. SOTL is scholarly inquiry into student learning which advances the practice of teaching by making research findings public.

SOTL necessarily builds on many past traditions in higher education, including classroom and program assessment, K-12 action research, the reflective practice movement, peer review of teaching, traditional educational research, and faculty development efforts to enhance teaching and learning. Terms closely related to the scholarship of teaching and learning are good teaching (that which promotes student learning and desired outcomes and is recognized by student satisfaction, peer review, etc.) and scholarly teaching (in which teaching is regarded as an area of study and the teaching and learning knowledge base is regarded as an additional discipline in which to develop expertise).

As such, SOTL research encompasses aspects of professional development or faculty development, such as how teachers can not only improve their expertise in their fields, but also develop their pedagogical expertise, i.e., how to better teach novice students in the field or enable their learning. It also encompasses the study and implementation of more modern teaching methods, such as active learning, cooperative learning, problem based learning, and others. SOTL researchers come from various backgrounds, such as those in educational psychology and other education related fields, as well as specialists in various disciplines who are interested in improving teaching and learning in their respective fields. Some researchers are educational researchers or consultants affiliated with teaching and learning centers at universities.

Research methods in SOTL include reflection and analysis, interviews and focus groups, questionnaires and surveys, content analysis of text, secondary analysis of existing data, quasi-experiments (comparison of two sections of the same course), observational research, and case studies, among others. As with all scholarly study, evidence depends not only upon the research method chosen but the relevant disciplinary standards. Dissemination for impact among scholarly teachers may be local within the academic department, college or university, or may be in published, peer-reviewed form. A few journals exclusively publish SOTL research, and numerous disciplinary publications disseminate such research (e.g., J. Chem. Educ., J. Natural Resour. Life Sci. Educ., Research in the Teaching of English, College English, J. Economic Education), as well as a number of core SoTL journals and newsletters.

The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning (ISSOTL) was founded in 2004 by a committee of 67 scholars from several countries and serves faculty members, staff, and students who care about teaching and learning as serious intellectual work. ISSOTL has held annual conferences since 2004, attended by scholars from about a dozen nations. The conferences sites include Bloomington, Indiana USA (2004); Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (2005); Washington, DC, USA (2006); Sydney, Australia (2007); Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (2008); Bloomington, Indiana, USA (2009); Liverpool, UK (2010).

External links[edit]

Readings[edit]

  • Bass, R. 1999. "The scholarship of teaching: What is the problem?" Creative Thinking about Learning and Teaching 1(1). online - online
  • Huber, M.T., and P. Hutchings. 2005. "Surveying the scholarship of teaching and learning", Chap. 1, The Advancement of Learning: Building the Teaching Commons, (ISBN 0-7879-8115-X)
  • Hutchings, P. 2000. "Approaching the scholarship of teaching and learning" (Introduction to Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; ISBN 0-931050-68-5) online
  • Kreber, C. 2002. "Teaching excellence, teaching expertise, and the scholarship of teaching" Innovative Higher Educ. 27:5-23.
  • McKinney, K. 2004. "The scholarship of teaching and learning: Past lessons, current challenges, and future visions." To Improve the Academy 22:3-19.
  • Shulman, L.S. 1999. "Taking learning seriously" Change July/August 1999:11-17.
  • E.Boyer. 1990. "Scholarship Reconsidered: Priorities of the Professoriate". The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Online

SoTL Conferences[edit]