Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

What Is Scholarship of Teaching and Learning?

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) uses discovery, reflection, and evidence-based methods to research effective teaching and student learning. These findings are peer reviewed and publicly disseminated in an ongoing cycle of systematic inquiry into classroom practices. This work benefits students and colleagues and is a source of personal renewal.

Different research methods and arguments can be used to demonstrate student learning, though they vary in the strength of evidence they can provide. Deductive arguments and experimental methods generally provide stronger evidence of learning than inductive arguments and case studies, though combining methods can capitalize on the advantages of each. Any of these can be effective SoTL methods.

How is SoTL Useful For Me?

  • Research Opportunities: SoTL is research; quantifiable and rigorous research. More and more departments are counting SoTL publications toward decisions about tenure and promotion, though this is not yet universal.
  • Effective Teaching: By its very nature, SoTL directly impacts how effective your teaching is in terms of student learning. Engaging in SoTL will help you become a more effective teacher, as you become increasingly aware of your classroom practices and make strides toward systemic change. You will learn to focus your attention on continual assessments of your teaching practices.
  • Tenure & Promotion: Teaching effectively is one thing, but proving your effectiveness is quite another. SoTL makes it easier to demonstrate your practices in the classroom, and highlights your active interest in improving your teaching. Outcomes from SoTL research make natural components of teaching portfolios, which are often used in tenure & promotion decisions.
  • Renewal: Looking for new ways to examine or enhance student learning can help re-inspire you as a teacher. For further inspiration, read: Teaching With Fire by S. Intrator and M. Scriber, 2003.

List of Possible SoTL Topics

Active Learning; Assessment (of Student Learning); Assessment of Curricula, Programs, Processes; Cognition; Community; Cooperative Learning; Course Design; Critical Thinking; Deep Learning; Diversity; Engagement (Student); Ethics; Evaluation of Teaching; Faculty Learning Communities; General/Liberal Education; Group Learning (Other than Cooperative); Learner/Student-Centered; Motivation; Music; Reflection; Research (Undergraduate); Rubrics; STEM Teaching; Service Learning; Technology; Writing

Creating SoTL Projects

The following links and resources at the University of Central Florida, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning are very useful toward developing, carrying out, and publishing your SoTL efforts.

  • Implementing and Managing: Once you have your SoTL research idea, links at this page can help by explaining the different methodologies that exist, providing information on how to collect and analyze evidence, and how to obtain grants and IRB approval.

  • Writing and Publishing: When your study is complete the information here can help you share it with others and get it published.

SoTL Resources and Publications