What is SoTL?
The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is scholarly activity in which instructors pose questions related to student learning and teaching practice, systematically gather and analyze empirical evidence, draw conclusions based on that evidence, and share 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.
Overview of the SoTL Process
The process for conducting and sharing results of a SoTL study mirrors that of research processes in many disciplines. The steps are often recursive as the study becomes more defined, and findings often generate further questions for future research:
- Identifying the problem and querying the research literature
- Defining the research question and designing the study
- Getting IRB approval
- Collecting and analyzing data
- Presenting and publishing findings
SoTL Discussion Group at UMBC
The FDC sponsors a SoTL discussion group that meets regularly during the academic year and summer. The group is open to anyone interested in learning about and discussing SoTL and the evidence base for scholarly teaching. Meetings can have various structures including reading from texts that describe the SoTL research process, discussion of empirical research articles, or a presentation by a faculty member who is working on SoTL research and seeking feedback from a supportive, scholarly community. A repository of articles discussed at past meetings can be found on Box. If you are interested in attending a SoTL discussion group meeting, please check the FDC homepage for a list of upcoming program dates and register for the session you wish to attend.
Additional Support and Funding for Pedagogical Research
Through the individual colleges and the Hrabowski fund, UMBC offers a range of other forms of support for those interested in SoTL research. The following collaboration and grant opportunities exist at UMBC:
College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Grants for Pedagogy and Teaching (CAHSS PAT) – Look under the “Teaching” heading.