The Evidence Base for the Practice of Teaching

Many faculty first discover the research literature on teaching and learning when a teaching challenge piques their interest. The broad research base for pedagogy (i.e., the method and practice of teaching) encompasses both theorization of learning and teaching and empirical research studies. The 3 types of empirical educational research literature: Educational Research, SoTL, & DBER.

Scholarly Teaching

Adopting a scholarly approach to teaching involves framing teaching and learning as “problems that should be investigated, analyzed, represented, and debated” (Bass, 1999), analogous to the problems that form the basis of all scientific research and scholarly activity. Given that progress only comes when we challenge the status quo, the FDC encourages faculty to take a scholarly stance toward teaching “problems,” that is, to treat them as the subjects of inquiry or scholarship, looking toward the pedagogical research base to find answers and evidence, and conducting SoTL studies of their own in order to advance the field.

To that end, the FDC provides many resources for faculty who want to learn from the latest pedagogical research in order to build their teaching repertoires, as well as begin to explore their own pedagogical research questions. For resources on pedagogy, please see our pedagogical resources page or search the FDC library. The FDC also disseminates ideas from the latest research through our ongoing programming and our ALIT and INNOVATE certificate programs.  For a list of upcoming programs, please see the Events sidebar on the FDC homepage.

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is scholarly activity in which instructors pose questions related to student learning and teaching practice, systematically gathering and analyzing empirical evidence, drawing conclusions based on that evidence, and sharing the findings publicly so that they may be critically reviewed and contribute to the body of pedagogical knowledge. Most SoTL studies are conducted by instructors who are investigating their own classroom practices. The FDC supports SoTL research on campus by sponsoring a SoTL discussion group and providing consultations on SoTL projects in all stages of development. For more information on SoTL and resources available at UMBC, please visit the support for SoTL page.

Pedagogical Research at UMBC

The pedagogical research at UMBC page (coming soon!) includes information on peer-reviewed publications and grant funded research at UMBC. The FDC staff conduct their own pedagogical research, collaborate with faculty and staff on pedagogical research, and provide consulting and support to faculty and staff who are conducting their own pedagogical research projects (including projects funded by the NSF, NIH, and other sources). Information on research conducted by the FDC staff can be found on the FDC publications and presentations page.



Bass, Randy. The Scholarship of Teaching: What’s the Problem? Inventio: Creative Thinking about Learning and Teaching, 1:1, February 1999.

Bishop-Clark Cathy and Beth Dietz-Uhler. Engaging in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: A Guide to the Process, and How to Develop a Project from Start to Finish, 2012, Stylus Publishing.

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