Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
SoTL is a growing movement in post-secondary education that uses systemic, deliberate and methodological inquiry into student learning in order to improve teaching. Its methodology disseminates findings beyond a single course and mobilizes knowledge.
The field of SoTL aims to take teaching beyond a well-rehearsed practice into a scholarly activity, one that engages the instructor in careful planning, evaluation and dissemination. SoTL uses a range of methodologies and builds on disciplinary practices and epistemologies.
There are three main SoTL objectives:
- To conduct scholarly examination of what takes place inside the classroom, asking questions and collecting evidence on the effectiveness of different methods of teaching.
- To make the results of this analysis readily available to other scholars, inviting their comment and review, and contributing to knowledge on student learning.
- To improve student learning by finding better, more engaging ways to teach.
How to participate
- Ask questions: What aspects of a course are not working well? What learning outcomes are not being met sufficiently?
- Look for opportunities for improvement: What technologies and pedagogies may help improve these aspects of the course? How can they be applied in the specific context?
- Evaluate: Document inputs, process and outcomes. Identify focuses for evaluation and required evidence and study whether the course has been approved.
- Iterate: Most challenges take more than a single attempt at a solution. Evaluate generality. Does a similar approach work for related topics and contexts?
- Talk about it: Share lessons learned — both positive and negative — are essential to advance the field.