Central to CETL’s work is to encourage faculty to explore their teaching as a scholarly endeavor. Ernest Boyer (1990), while directing the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, first introduced the concept of the “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” (SoTL). Since then it has emerged as a significant category of research in which faculty investigate a component of their teaching with the purpose to advance not only their own practice of teaching and subsequently their students’ learning; but in making their research findings public, they advance teaching and learning in general.
The following videos are helpful in describing SoTL and its key characteristics:
- Scholarship of Teaching and Learning vs. Scholarly Teaching
- Key Characteristics of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Generally SoTL research projects address one of the following questions:
Is it working? Trying something new and examining whether it is achieving the goal/ you have identified in impacting student learning or motivation.
What does it look like? You begin with a descriptive question of what is going on…for instance, what goes on in a seminar for instance. What goes on in an intellectual community? Then once described, you can build on this and generate interventions.
What would it look like? What would it look like if I taught a course in a totally different way that would be new for the field? Teaching Abnormality Psychology through the lens of resilience, for instance. Focus would be on describing the design and then the experience.
Theory or concept building question. Building a different way of making meaning out of the things that faculty and students do together in the classroom. For instance, how do students and faculty think about moments of difficulty in the classroom? Not asking whether it works or what it looks like but theorizing about difficulty and helping all to make sense of it.