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:

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