Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

SoTL is a growing field in post-secondary education that uses systematic, deliberate and methodological inquiry into teaching (behaviours/practices, attitudes, and values) in order to improve student learning (Potter & Kustra, 2011). 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:

  1. To improve student learning by finding better, more engaging ways to teach.
  2. To conduct scholarly examination of what takes place inside the classroom, asking questions and collecting evidence on the effectiveness of different methods of teaching.
  3. To make the results of this analysis readily available to other scholars, inviting their comment and review, and contributing to knowledge on student learning.

Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

Ask questions about your teaching practice(s): What is working well and what challenges have you faced in your classroom? Have you noticed a student behaviour you’d like to understand better? Are there any pedagogies or technologies that might further inform how you approach your teaching? How could they be brought into in your particular teaching context? What could you learn from working with  other instructors? The SoTL Seed Program is an excellent starting point for investigating some of these questions, and for getting personalized support.

Consider how you would evaluate your teaching practice(s): Answering questions about teaching and learning requires evaluation of the learning environment. By systematically documenting processes and outcomes, you can learn what is and isn’t working for you and your students. At ISoTL, we understand that learning is an evolving process, and support projects through different iterations. If you’re unsure, consult with one of our team members about how best to evaluate and research your teaching practice(s). We’re here to help!

Share your work with colleagues: It’s important to connect with the UBC community and share lessons learned – both positive and negative – with fellow SoTL practitioners. There are many avenues to disseminate your work at UBC, such as CTLT Institutes, Celebrate SoTL Day, and departmental meetings. We also encourage you to attend teaching and learning conferences (funding support is available through the SoTL Dissemination Fund), events and workshops and learn from others doing SoTL work outside of UBC. Please get in touch with us for more information and opportunities or sign up for our Newsletter.