Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
As defined by CETL at KSU, The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is systematic inquiry into student learning and/or one’s own teaching practices in higher education which is situated in context and involves methodologically sound application of appropriate research methods, peer review, and distribution as scholarly work.
NEW: Book a consultation or meeting in the CETL Research Lab, an interactive and collaborative space where you can use the Hopscotch 4-SoTL model to assist you in designing a well-informed SoTL project. The CETL Research Lab (pictured in the interactive 360° video below) is a branch of the Interactive Research Methods Lab.
CETL supports faculty members conducting SoTL research in the following ways:
Hybrid program that provides funding for participants to complete writing goals in consultation with peers and CETL staff.
Competitive travel funding program for faculty whose SoTL work has been accepted for presentation at a conference.
Digital badges that can be earned by KSU faculty, staff, and students, demonstrating varying levels of SoTL knowledge and skills.
A web tool that assists users in developing a well-informed SoTL research design.
An annual international SoTL conference coordinated by KSU CETL.
A SoTL Listserv for the KSU community that provides updates on SoTL opportunities at KSU and beyond.
A directory of journals that publish SoTL research focused on college/university teaching.
A directory of conferences that focus on college/university teaching.
Individual and group consultations with faculty concerning any step of the SoTL process.
Want more information about SoTL? Check out these resources:
What is SoTL?
As defined by CETL at KSU,The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is systematic inquiry into student learning and/or one’s own teaching practices in higher education which is situated in context and involves methodologically sound application of appropriate research methods, peer review, and distribution as scholarly work.
The following resources may be useful to help you get started with SoTL:
- One-minute video introduction to SoTL:
- Fifteen-minute "Getting Started with SoTL at KSU" on-demand webinar (KSU faculty, staff, or students completing this video will earn a Micro-Credential souvenir):
- Tips for SoTL novices, compiled by the KSU SoTL Scholars
CETL offers frequent workshops and webinars on SoTL. Please see our events page for more information.
Literature on Teaching and Learning
It can be challenging for faculty with a limited knowledge of the science of teaching and learning to situate their SoTL studies within a theoretical framework. Click here for recommended entry points and influential research studies on the science of learning.
For help in searching and reviewing the SoTL literature, check out these two excellent articles by Healey and Healey:
Healey, M., & Healey, R. L. (2023). Searching the literature on scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL): An academic literacies perspective part 1. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 11. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.11.4.
Healey, M., & Healey, R. L. (2023). Reviewing the literature on scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL): An academic literacies perspective part 2. Teaching & Learning Inquiry 11. https://doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.11.5.
Finally, Dr. Olga Koz, Research Librarian and Associate Professor of Library Science, serves as KSU's SoTL librarian and can also assist you in locating literature that may inform your SoTL study.
Disciplinary Approaches and Methodologies
The Hopscotch 4-SoTL model can be useful as a tool to help you plan and visualize your research design. The KSU library also has an excellent Research Guide that contains resources for research design, impact, and publishing.
Resources for different disciplinary approaches to SoTL:
- Illinois State University has an excellent resource for SoTL in the various disciplines.
- Chick, Nancy L. (2014). ‘Methodologically sound’ under the ‘big tent’: An ongoing conversation. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 8(2), Article 1.
- Huball, H., & Clarke, A. (2010). Diverse methodological approaches and considerations for SoTL in higher education. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,1(1), Article 2.
- Huber, M. T., & Morreale, S. P. (Eds.). Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Exploring Common Ground. Menlo Park, CA: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
- Kelly, N., Nesbit, S., & Oliver, C. (2012). A difficult journey: Transitioning from STEM to SoTL. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6(1), Article 18.
- Potter, M.K., & Wuetherick, B. (2015). Who is represented in the teaching commons?: SoTL through the lenses of the arts and humanities. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6(2), Article 2.
Resources for Methodologies in SoTL:
- Cook-Sather, A., Abbot, S., & Felten, P. (2019). Legitimating reflective writing in SoTL: “Dysfunctional Illusions of Rigor” revisited. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 7(2).
- Bernstein, J. (2018). Unifying SoTL methodology: Internal and external validity. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 6(2), 115-126.
- Divan, A., Ludwig, L., Matthews, K., Motley, P., & Tomljenovic-Berube, A. (2017). Survey of research approaches utilized in the scholarship of teaching and learning publications. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 5(2).
- Gurung, R. A. R., & Wilson, J. H. (2013, Winter). Doing the scholarship of teaching and learning: Measuring systematic changes to teaching and improvements in learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, Issue 136.
- Kanuka, H. (2011). Keeping the scholarship in the scholarship of teaching and learning. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 5(1), Article 3.
- McKinney, K. (2012) Increasing the impact of SoTL: Two sometimes neglected opportunities. International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 6(1), Article 3.
Measures and Scales Useful for SoTL
IRB and Ethical Concerns
Most SoTL studies fall under the purview of the Institutional Review Board (IRB). For assistance in preparing an IRB proposal for your SoTL study, visit our SoTL IRB FAQs page or contact us for a consultation.
Other Resources on Ethics in SoTL:
Sharing Your Work through Published Scholarship
Like other forms of scholarship, SoTL work can be shared in disciplinary or interdisciplinary academic journals, books, and other non-traditional avenues. Below are some resources that may help you as you prepare to disseminate your work.
- CETL maintains directories of disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching-related conferences and journals, searchable by topic, discipline, and for the conference directory, location.
- The KSU library has a research guide that includes several helpful resources on:
- Helpful resources on writing SoTL:
- Healey, M., Matthews, K.E., & Cook-Sather, A. (2019). Writing Scholarship of Teaching and Learning articles for peer-reviewed journals. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 7(2).http://dx.doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.7.2.3
- Sword, H. (2019). The first person. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 7(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.20343/teachlearninqu.7.1.12
- Publishing your SoTL work:
- Information about non-traditional forms of SoTL and SoTL as "public scholarship."
- Nancy Chick's blog on SoTL as public scholarship
- Chick, N., & Friberg, J., Eds. (2022). Going public reconsidered: Engaging with the world beyond academe through the scholarship of teaching and learning. Stylus Press.
Funding Sources for Educational Research in Higher Education
The Office of Research at KSU has extensive resources for helping faculty find and obtain funding for their research projects. Below are some potential sources of funding for educational research. In addition to these, many disciplinary associations (for example, The Society for the Teaching of Psychology) also offer funding programs for SoTL projects.
Internal Funding Sources:
- The Office of Research offers several programs that may be appropriate for your educational research project.
- Many departments and colleges offer small internal grants for SoTL studies. Check with your individual department or college for details.
External Funding Sources (Government):
- The Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
- National Institutes for Health (NIH) – R25 and R15 Programs
- National Science Foundation (NSF) – Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR)
- National Endowment for the Humanities – Division of Education Programs
External Funding Sources (Private Foundations):
Students as Partners in SoTL
Including students as partners in your SoTL research can provide benefits to everyone involved in the study. For more information on how to include students as partners, see the following resources:
- Elon University's Students as Partners in SoTL resource
- Maurer, T. (2017). Guidelines for authorship credit, order, and co-inquirer learning in collaborative faculty-student SoTL projects. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 5(1).
Connecting with Others
The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) is the largest society for faculty engaging in SoTL. They host an annual conference and post numerous resources to their website and Twitter accounts.