Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL)
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is:
- A problem on an issue in teaching or learning, the study of the problem using strategies related to the disciplinary epistemologies, analyzing the results, disseminating the information, having peers review the study, and performing self-reflection (Cambridge, 2001).
- The continual learning about teaching and the resultant use of such knowledge (Kreber & Cranton, 2000).
- Determining which elements of the research, results or reflections to be published or presented (Richlin, 2001).
- Incorporates the three interrelated elements of engagement with current teaching and learning knowledge, reflection of this knowledge as used in one's discipline, and sharing the subsequent results within the discipline (Martin, Benjamin, Prosser & Trigwell, 1999).
Good Teaching - Scholarly Teaching - SOTL
According to McKinney (2003), good teaching, scholarly teaching, and SOTL need to be distinguished. Good teaching has been evaluated by a number of methods including end-of-course evaluations, peer observation judgments, and self reflective portfolios. In essense, however, good teaching is that which promotes student learning and other desired student outcomes. Good teaching can support departmental and institutional missions and objectives. Through research on education and OTL, information on good teaching has come to light (e.g., Astin, 1993; Chickering and Gamson, 1987; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991).
Scholarly teaching, on the other hand, involves using a scholarly approach to teaching similar to those one would use in other areas of knowledge and practice (McKinney, 2003). Scholarly teachers perceive teaching as a profession and thus one should also develop expertise on teaching and learning. Scholarly teachers are involved in activities such as reflecting on their teaching, using classroom assessment techniques, dialoguing with peers on common teaching issues, experimenting, and taking to practice their findings from the teaching and learning literature. Scholarly teaching is integrally linked to reflective practice (e.g., Brookfield, 1995; Schon, 1983). This conception of scholarly teaching is related to what Boyer (1990) labeled the scholarship of teaching.
SOTL supports a rigorous and engaging study of teaching and/or learning, public dissemination of the results, and peer review (Shulman, 2001). Given the disciplinary differences in epistemology and need for interdisciplinary SOTL, the term "study" is broadly defined. Dissemination can occur via resentations and/or publications, and be local, regional, national or international. SoTL primarily has applied to higher education teaching and learning practices within the classroom and within a given discipline.