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CELT encourages instructors to treat their teaching practices more like their research to embed a scholarly culture of ongoing learning assessment, reflection and iterative change. When instructors engage in the iterative cycle of asking questions or identifying concerns, trying new teaching interventions, identifying any change in student learning, reflecting, and doing it all again, they are taking a more learner-centered, analytic approach to their teaching. This also encourages innovation, as instructors address various challenges by making repeated changes to their teaching practices. 

What is SoTL (The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning)? 

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is a systematic engagement with research related to student learning that is published in peer-reviewed journals to advance the knowledge base of peers.  While SoTL requires rigorous research methodology, you do not need to be expert educational researchers.  SoTL projects are grounded in specific disciplines, and the skills you bring from your specific discipline can be applied to SoTL. A key to working in SoTL is an intention to grow and develop knowledge about your own teaching that in turn has a significant impact on your institution and your disciplinary field.  As with all research projects, SoTL requires IRB approval to ensure the student identities are protected. 

These videos from the Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University and the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) describe the Key Characteristics of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning  and showcase faculty presenting Examples of SoTL Projects 

Students sit in a circle in the quad in October.Why do SoTL? 

Being engaged in SoTL can shift in how you think about your teaching, understand student learning, and consider student feedback. It ensures you remain up-to-date with changing student needs and helps you to make decisions about teaching methodologies and texts based on research and best practices.  There is variance among departments as to how much weight is given to SoTL publications for tenure and promotion. 

Scholarly Teaching vs The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 

A scholarly approach to teaching involves reading about new teaching methodologies, reflecting on teaching practices, attending workshops, or asking for peer feedback. CELT supports faculty in this scholarly approach to teaching through its many programs and events, including: offering workshops related to student-centered; coming to classes to conduct mid-term feedback; sharing innovative ideas; observing classes; offering new teaching methodologies; and sharing new approaches to course design.

By contrast, the scholarship of teaching and learning involves a systematic engagement and analysis of research questions related to student learning that are shared publicly in peer-reviewed journals to advance the field of teaching and learning.  CELT is also actively involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning, including: conducting research projects on pedagogy; publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals; and serving on boards of educational journals. As the field of SoTL has grown, faculty from across all disciplines conduct research and publish articles.

SoTL Publications

Among the wide range of print and online SoTL journals, some are discipline-specific while others cross all disciplines. Some key journals include, the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL), Teaching & Learning Inquiry and The International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning  Kennesaw State also maintains a listing of current Teaching Journals, organized by discipline.

Getting Started with the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning

This page poses a series of steps and guiding questions that may be helpful in conceptualizing your own SoTL project.  After looking through this information, you can CONTACT THE CENTER to arrange a consultation with CELT staff for more support.  CELT partners with faculty to help them get started with scholarly investigations about their teaching.   

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